The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106

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Lot 6
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.
1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE

DKK 7,200,000 - 9,200,000
US$ 1,100,000 - 1,400,000
Amended
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.
1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

Chassis no. B212LFA
Engine no. BF106

4,887 cc OHV 6-cylinder Inline Engine
Twin HD8 SU Carburettors
Adequate Power
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-wheel Drum Brakes


*First built for John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
*One of just 12 cars built to this design, 5 of which were LHD
*Extensive restoration work performed by P. & A. Wood
*Matching numbers example with well-known history
*Offered with Bentley Factory records



THE BENTLEY S-TYPE

Conceived as replacements for the ageing Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley R-Type, the all-new Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type were introduced early in 1955. The duo sported sleeker bodywork on a new box-section separate chassis, as Rolls-Royce continued to eschew unitary construction. The new models also incorporated improved brakes and suspension, where the latter featured electrically controlled damping. The wheelbase had been extended by three inches to 123. The cars had softer suspension than the R-Type, and the steering was lighter, even more so with optional power assist.

The proven silky smooth inlet-over-exhaust 6-cylinder engine was enlarged to 4,887 cc, and a 6-port cylinder head was adopted which boosted the traditionally undisclosed power output. For the first time, specifications were identical in both Rolls-Royce and Bentley forms. The 4-speed GM Hydra-Matic automatic gearbox was now standard equipment, with manual transmission a Bentley-only option up to 1957. The S-Type was a fast 100 mph-plus car, while remaining relatively economical and cheaper to maintain than the V8-engined versions that would arrive in 1959. The British magazine The Motor reported a top speed of 103 mph and 0-60 acceleration of 13.1 seconds from a short-wheelbase S1 in 1957. For these reasons, the classically elegant S-Type is arguably the most quietly competent and user-friendly of all post-war Bentleys.

Despite the popularity of Rolls-Royce's "standard steel" bodywork, discerning customers continued to patronise the handful of coachbuilding firms that remained in business after WW2. Following the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type models, production of coachbuilt cars increasingly favoured the Bentley Continental chassis, 1,131 of which were delivered up to the conclusion of S-Series production in 1965 compared with a mere 162 on the standard Bentley chassis.


THE MOTOR CAR OFFERED

Bentley chassis B212LFA was delivered to the Rolls-Royce Lillie Hall premises in Fulham, London on 20 December 1957. This was the oldest Rolls-Royce facility, which had been established by Charles Stewart Rolls in 1903 as a sales showroom for French cars imported by him prior to the creation of the Rolls-Royce Motor Car Company in 1906. From Lillie Hall, B212LFA was sent to H.J. Mulliner to be fitted with what Mulliner somewhat stiltedly called a "2 door 4 light Drophead Coupe, design no. 7409". What the dry Mulliner designation referred to was one of the most elegant and refined styles of the 1950s, a sensuous convertible executed in the best possible taste, designed to provide luxurious open-top transportation for four people seated in the utmost comfort: a quiet and distinguished luxury car which was the antithesis of the finned spaceships being manufactured in Detroit.

H.J. Mulliner Ltd. had been established in 1900 in the early days of motordom and quickly established itself as a coachbuilder of the very highest quality and craftsmanship, especially in the interwar years when the first Rolls-Royce was shown at the Olympia in 1928. Mulliner's connection with Bentley had always been strong, with Mulliner bodying more than 240 chassis during the 1920s, many built to Weymann patents. Mulliner survived the downturn after the war and created some superb designs, such as the R-Type Continental fastback made from 1952 to 1955 and the S-type cars made from 1955 to 1965. In 1959, Rolls-Royce purchased H.J. Mulliner in order to retain its coachbuilding skills and merged the company with Park Ward in 1961.

Chassis B212LFA is one of the latter cars, and Mulliner certainly did their best, finishing the car as specified in a pale blue and grey livery. A matching blue power top was fitted that folds completely into the body and only needs a small cover when down so as not to spoil the impeccable lines of the coachwork. The specification for the interior included fully adjustable tipping front seats, a folding armrest in the middle of the rear seat and one on the inside of each front seat squab – all clothed in luxurious high-quality leather in a dignified blue tone to match the body and top. The woodwork is simply exquisite, with two large blackfaced dials dominating the finely finished dashboard.

The production card for B212LFA states that the Bentley order reference was BSX823 and that the order was on behalf of Rolls-Royce Inc. of New York acting as retailer with J.S. Inskip Inc. acting as sub-retailer or trader to the first owner who was none other than John D. Rockefeller Jr of Pocantico Hills in Tarrytown, New York. Born in 1874 as the son of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller and father of John D. Rockefeller III; who was the driving force behind establishment of the non-profit Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

The Mulliner build sheet indicates Mrs. Rockefeller as the owner, so perhaps this refined Bentley was a gift from her husband. If so, it was certainly a very exclusive gift. Mulliner only built twelve cars to design 7409, and of those, only five were left hand drive. B212LFA was handed over to the shipper by Mulliner on 16 May 1958 to go on the "American Flyer" London-New York departing on 19 May. Inskip Inc. received the car and delivered it to the Rockefellers on 10 June 1958. As Rockefeller Jr. passed away in 1960, so it is quite possible that his son, John D. Rockefeller lll, used B212LFA as well.

Chassis B212LFA resided for many years in the Jerry Moore collection in Houston, Texas. The car returned to Europe in 1995 when it was imported to join the collection of an important Swiss connoisseur. In 1996 and 1997, this individual had mechanical work performed by the noted Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer and restorer P&A Wood for CHF 137,000. Sophisticated rolling seat belts were installed at that time. An extensive file with photographs and restoration bills come with the car. The car was later sold by Lukas Hüni on behalf of an important German collector and the car went to England. B212LFA was subsequently acquired by the Frederiksen collection.

This Mulliner Drophead Coupe is a handsome and restrained car. In period, it was aimed directly at those who had sufficient culture, sophistication and not least the considerable wherewithal that was necessary to be able to eschew the mass-market garishness that peopled American roads in the late 1950s. In 2015, this classic and stylistically pure convertible has lost none of that understated appeal. An older restoration, the car still presents in lovely condition, and the new owner is sure to have many hours of elegant motoring ahead of him.


BILEN DER TILBYDES

Bentley chassis B212LFA blev leveret til Rolls-Royce Lillie Hall i Fulham, London den 20. december 1957. Fra Lillie Hall blev chassiset sendt til H.J. Mulliner, som monterede et "2 door 4 light Drophead Coupe, design no. 7409" karosseri på det meget fine chassis. Resultatet blev en klassisk og smagfuld todørs cabriolet, som kan transportere fire personer i den yderste komfort.

Karosseriet blev bestilt i to farver, nemlig lyseblå og grå. Den blå kaleche var elektrisk, og interiøret var betrukket i blå læder af den højeste kvalitet. Det fremgår af bilens produktionskort, at B212LFA blev bestilt med Bentley ordrenummer BSX823 på vegne af Rolls-Royce i New York med J.S. Inskip Inc. som underforhandler. Bilen blev bestilt af John D. Rockefeller Jr, søn af olie-manden John D. Rockefeller og far til John D. Rockefeller lll. Det fremgår af Mulliner arkiverne, at bilens ejer var Mrs. Rockefeller, som fik den leveret 10 Juni 1958, og det kan tænkes, at denne pragtfulde bil var en gave fra ægtemanden.

Efter at have været i Rockefeller familiens ejerskab, var chassis B212LFA en del af Jerry Moore samlingen i Houston, Texas gennem mange år. Bilen kom tilbage til Europa i 1995, da den blev solgt til en prominent samler i Schweiz, som fik Bentley og Rolls-Royce eksperterne hos P&A Wood i Essex til at udføre en del arbejde på bilens mekaniske dele. B212LFA blev solgt igen i 2013 af den kendte schweiziske forhandler Lukas Hüni og passerede gennem den markante forhandler William Loughran, inden Henrik Frederiksen købte den i februar 2014.

Denne Mulliner Drophead Coupe er en smuk og stilfuld Cabriolet, som kun venter på at byde sin kommende ejer på mange elegante køreoplevelser.

EU Taxes paid
With Danish Registreringsattest

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, that a second engine number has been found stamped on this car's engine block.
Contacts
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
The ex-John D. Rockefeller Jr.,1958 BENTLEY S1 DROPHEAD COUPE  Chassis no. B212LFA Engine no. BF106
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