1964 Bentley S3 Continental Coupé Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd Registration no. EYY 592B Chassis no. BC12LXC Engine no. 6CBC
Bentley's magnificent Continental sports saloon has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction on the R-Type chassis in 1952. With the arrival of the final (S-Type) generation of six-cylinder cars in 1955, the Continental lost a little of its individuality but none of its exclusivity, and this trend continued after the arrival of the V8-engined S2 in 1959. Although the S2 appeared externally unchanged, its performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc V8 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 being the sole offering. The Bentley Continental was, of course, exclusively a coachbuilt automobile. The firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward and James Young all offered bodies on the Continental S2 chassis, which differed from the standard version by virtue of its four-leading-shoe front brakes, shorter radiator and, up to chassis number 'BC99BY', higher gearing. By far the most striking of these S2 Continentals were those bodied by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward, and this design by Norwegian Vilhelm Koren, with its influential continuous front-to-rear wing line, would continue on the S3 Continental. Quad headlamps were the S3's major styling innovation, and on the H J Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied Continental were contained in slanting nacelles, giving rise to this model's 'Chinese Eye' sobriquet. Sold new to the USA, left-hand drive chassis 'BC12LXC' is one of a mere 75 S3 Continentals bodied by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd after the two firms' merger. In 2008/2009 the car underwent a partial cosmetic restoration, carried out by marque specialists Frank Dale & Stepsons for one of its clients, which included a full interior re-trim in black leather, new headlining and carpets, woodwork restoration, and re-plating of the radiator shell, front/rear bumpers, and the over-riders. Frank Dale & Stepsons also carried out some mechanical works at the owner's request. These included the overhauling the brake master cylinders and relining the brake shoes, as well as fitting new steering joint boots, rear engine mounts, fuel pumps and power steering drive belt. The current owner purchased the Bentley at Bonhams' Oxford Sale in March 2010 (Lot 434) and describes the car as in generally good/excellent condition. Finished in black with matching leather interior, 'BC12LXC' comes with all its tools, current MoT and Swansea V5 registration document.