1958 Bentley Flying Spur Saloon
Chassis no. BC68LBY
Eulogizing about Bentley's new 'S'-series cars, introduced in April 1955, The Autocar wrote, 'the latest Bentley model offers a degree of safety, comfort and performance that is beyond the experience and perhaps even the imagination of the majority of the world's motorists.' Later, in October that same year, the Bentley Continental became available on the 'S' chassis, the model having been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction in R-Type form in 1952. Having relied exclusively on six-cylinder engines since civilian production resumed at the war's end, Rolls-Royce secured its long-term future by turning to V8 power as the 1960s approached. Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their Silver Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though their performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminum-alloy engine. Power-assisted steering was now standard and there was no longer the option of a manual gearbox, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering.
The S2 Continental chassis differed by virtue of its shorter radiator, four-leading-shoe front drum brakes and - up to chassis number BC99BY - higher gearing. Independent coachbuilders continued to offer alternatives to the factory's 'standard steel' bodywork, perhaps the most stylish being those produced to cloth the Bentley Continental which was, of course, only ever available with bespoke coachwork. The Continental began life exclusively as a two-door car, but from 1957 H J Mulliner offered the most elegant four-door six-light coachwork on the Continental chassis, this model being known as the 'Flying Spur'.
Maria Helen Smith, born July 4, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a pioneer in the arenas of broadcasting, business and real estate. Over the course of her career, Smith paved the way for women in television, radio and corporate ventures. She was one of the first women in the United States to own a television station and went on to finance and build the Disneyland Hotel in 1955.
From the estate of Maria Helen Smith, this wonderfully honest, original, CA black license plated 'Spur shows a mere 55,000 miles from new, and perfectly reflects her passion for collecting, as well as her distinct style and appreciation of classic European design.
- We are advised that this is a 1961 Flying Spur, not a 1958 as the catalog description states. The title for this lot is in transit.