1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC

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Lot 315
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe
Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC

AU$ 200,000 - 250,000
US$ 140,000 - 170,000
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe
Coachwork by Park Ward

Chassis no. BC86BY
Engine no. B85BC
Described by The Autocar as, "A new stage in the evolution of the post-war Bentley," the 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 in 1955 of the final generation of six-cylinder cars, the all-new Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type, the Continental lost some of its individuality but none of its exclusivity, a state of affairs that continued after the arrival of the V8-engined S2.
With development of its dependable six-cylinder engine nearing an end, and facing competition from faster rivals in the United States market, Rolls-Royce turned 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. "The Bentley S2, with its sister Rolls-Royce models, gives high-speed travel in silence and luxury, while the driver and passengers enjoy the sense of well being that only British craftsmanship can give. The V8 engine, with its flashing acceleration, certainly contributes to the result and is a definite step forward in Rolls-Royce technique," enthused Autosport. There were few significant changes to the running gear, though power-assisted steering was now standard and the manual gearbox had been dropped, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering.
The Continental version of the Bentley was, as ever, exclusively a coachbuilt car. The firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young and Hooper (with a solitary example) all offered bodies on the Continental S2 chassis, by far the most memorable being those bodied as coupés and dropheads by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder Park Ward, whose influential design, with its continuous front-to-rear wing line, hinted at the shape of things to come.

Delivered new to a Mr. J.Eisinger in July 1961, this right-hand drive S2 Continental was subsequently imported into Australia at some point in the 1980s and variously wore English plates '550 CXU' and '980 NOT'. The car belonged to West Australian collector Peter Graham in the 1990s and was restored to a very high standard by the renowned Roger Fry in West Australia. This was a body-off rebuild from the ground up, with full rustproofing, new paint and upholstery, the hood relined, the timberwork refurbished and both the engine and gearbox rebuilt, all by local WA craftsmen. Finished in dark metallic blue with magnolia hides, the Bentley remains in immaculate condition throughout and must rate as one of the best examples of the S2 Continental in Australia. The present owner, a notable private collector based in Sydney, has continued to maintain the Bentley regardless of expense during his ownership. The engine and gearbox were recently rebuilt by Paradise Garage of Sydney, who also installed an integrated air conditioning unit.
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1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. BC86BY Engine no. B85BC
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