1965 Bentley S3 Continental Sports Saloon Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward Registration no. FLW 817C Chassis no. BC66XE Engine no. 33EBC
Eulogising about Bentley's newly introduced 'S' Series cars, 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."
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 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 transmission being the sole offering.
The Bentley Continental was, of course, exclusively a coachbuilt car, the firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward and James Young all offering 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 the 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 Continental S3. 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 one E Barr, this S3 'Chinese Eye' Continental is the third from last made with H J Mulliner, Park Ward's two-door sports saloon coachwork. Special features fitted from new include electric windows and an electric aerial. 'BC66XE' has been owned since 2001 by the treasurer of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club's Central Southern Section. During his ownership the Continental has undertaken R-REC tours to Austria, Southern Ireland, Mosel and the Channel Islands, and in 2002 was selected to represent the model at the Club's celebration of HM The Queen's Silver Jubilee at Windsor Castle.
Major works carried out within the last 15 years include refurbishment of the rear valance/boot area and an extensive interior re-trim (1998); an engine rebuild (1999); replacement of the near-side door sill (2003); replacement of the off-side door sill, boot area refurbishment and re-chroming the radiator shell (2006); and fitting a near-side inner door sill (2011). There are bills on file for these works totalling some £21,500. Described by the private vendor as in 'A1' condition, this well cared for S3 Continental is offered with restoration invoices and photographs, current road fund licence, MoT to July 2014 and UK V5 registration document.