One of only 35 made 1959 Bentley S1 Long-wheelbase Saloon Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd Chassis no. ALB24 Engine no. B23A
Conceived as replacements for the ageing Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley R-Type, the all-new Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type (retrospectively 'S1') were introduced early in 1955. The duo sported sleeker bodywork on a new box-section separate chassis - Rolls-Royce eschewing unitary construction for the time being - incorporating improved brakes and suspension, the latter featuring electrically controlled damping. Enlargement to 4,887cc and the adoption of a six-port cylinder head boosted the traditionally undisclosed power output of the dependable inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine, which for the first time was identical in specification in its Rolls and Bentley forms. Automatic transmission was now standard equipment, with manual transmission a Bentley-only option up to 1957. Fast - 100mph-plus - relatively economical and cheaper to maintain than the successor V8-engined versions, the classically elegant S1 is arguably the most user-friendly of all post-war Bentleys.
In October 1957, long-wheelbase versions of the S1 and its Silver Cloud sibling were made available, with bodies closely based on the standard offering. Four inches longer in the wheelbase and usually fitted out with an internal division, these bodyshells were extended by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward (soon to become H J Mulliner, Park Ward) at its London works and finished off at Crewe. A mere 35 long-wheelbase Bentley S1s were made between 1957 and 1959 compared with 122 of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud version.
The ultimate in style and luxury in its day, this long-wheelbase S1saloon was supplied via retailer Jack Barclay and delivered to its first owner, Shell Petroleum, on 11th February 1959. Chassis card details show that the car was for the use of one J H Loudon. The son of former Shell President Hugo Loudon, John Hugo Loudon was Royal Dutch Shell's CEO from 1951 to 1965 and also President of the World Wide Fund for Nature. When Mr Loudon ordered the Bentley it was supplied finished in Smoke Green with matching upholstery.
After Mr Loudon left Shell, the Bentley was offered for sale by Jack Barclay and sold to a Dutch enthusiast who repainted it white and used it for wedding hire. Its second owner kept the car from 1978 until 2008 when he sold it to the current vendor. The Bentley retains its completely original interior, which has recently been reconditioned by a specialist in the Netherlands. We are advised that the car is rust and accident free, and that it runs and drives correctly, the gearbox shifting smoothly. The Bentley is currently registered in the Netherlands.