1960 Bentley S2 Continental 'Flying Spur' Saloon Coachwork by H J Mulliner Chassis no. BC76AR Engine no. A75BC
This Bentley S2 Continental features the elegant, H J Mulliner-designed, 'Flying Spur' four-door coachwork, and is one of only 71 with right-hand drive out of a total of 125 completed in this style on the S2 chassis. Eulogising 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 aluminium-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. Rolls-Royce had envisaged the Bentley Continental as exclusively a two-door car, but late in 1957 the decision was taken to sanction the production of a four-door variation by H J Mulliner. Introduced on the S1 Continental and known as the 'Flying Spur', this design was a collaborative effort by Rolls-Royce's in-house styling department and H J Mulliner, and bore a strong resemblance both to the two-door Continental and to existing coachbuilt four-door styles on Rolls-Royce and (non-Continental) Bentley chassis. To the Continental's existing qualities of pace and elegance, the Flying Spur added four-door practicality, a more spacious interior and generously proportioned boot. The Flying Spur body style continued on the V8-engined S2 Continental and was revised to incorporate the S3's four-headlamp front end following the latter's introduction in 1962. Chassis number 'BC76AR' was retailed new via Jack Barclay Ltd and first owned by Philip Hill & Partners of London EC2. Accompanying copy chassis cards record that the car was delivered finished in Velvet Green with beige leather upholstery and equipped with various special features including folding armrests to the rear seats, elbow rests to the front seats, front passenger seat headrest and 'GB' lettering. The second owner is listed as Basil Wigodner, also from London, who purchased the car on 28th March 1963. In 1975 the Bentley was sold to Frederic Kanter of St Pete, Florida, who restored it in 2006. The current owner purchased the car in October 2009 via Gullwing Motor Cars in New York and brought it to Belgium. Presented in fine overall condition, Bonhams recommend close inspection of what must be the ultimate 'gentleman's express'.