Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168

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Lot 217
1985 Bentley Continental Convertible

Sold for £ 91,100 (US$ 115,248) inc. premium
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita'
1985 Bentley Continental Convertible
Coachwork by H J Mulliner, Park Ward

Registration no. B20 ELT
Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
*One of 421 built
*Delivered new in the UK
*Recently serviced
*Well documented
*Believed-genuine 40,872 miles from new

Footnotes

  • A key factor in Rolls-Royce's marketing strategy for the 1980s was the re-launch of Bentley. To rekindle interest in the marque, a glorious name from its past was resurrected - 'Continental' - and applied to the two-door model previously known, like its Rolls-Royce equivalent, as the Corniche. An inspired move, the Bentley's 1984 name change had the desired effect; sales, which in the 13 years since the Corniche's launch had amounted to a mere 77 Bentley-badged cars, totalling 421 for the succeeding 11 years of Continental production.

    Introduced in March 1971, the Corniche was a revised version of the H J Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied two-door variants of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series saloons, themselves notable as the Crewe factory's first unitary-construction cars. Recalling the firm's glamorous Grandes Routiérès of pre-war days such as the Phantom II Continental, these final coachbuilt models were limited to just two, a two-door coupé or similar convertible, the former arriving in March 1966 and the latter in September the following year. Some of the frontal panels were shared with the standard four-door saloon but otherwise the new bodyshells were unique, featuring a distinctive dipping upper wing line with parallel crease, and revised, more rounded posterior. Construction involved shuttling the bodyshells between the Crewe factory and MPW's Willesden plant, a necessarily lengthy process that took all of 20 weeks for the saloon and slightly longer for the more complex convertible.

    These exclusive cars were hand built in the best traditions of British coachbuilding using only materials of the finest quality including Wilton carpeting, Connolly hide and burr walnut veneers, such painstaking attention to detail resulting in a price some 50% higher than that of the standard Silver Shadow. Nevertheless, demand for these more glamorous alternatives to the much more numerous four-door model was strong right from the start, a state of affairs that resulted in them being given their own model name - 'Corniche' - in March 1971.

    In Corniche form, Rolls-Royce's well-tried 6.7-litre V8 produced around 10% more power than standard and proved capable of propelling the car to a top speed in excess of 120mph with sports car-beating acceleration to match. Progressively developed, the Corniche received Rolls's advanced split-level air conditioning system along with a redesigned fascia in 1976 - the first Rolls-Royce model to do so - and in 1977 benefited from the many improvements - most notably rack-and-pinion steering - introduced on the 'Shadow II range. Despite its sky-high asking price, the model proved a major success for Rolls-Royce; periodically revised and up-dated, it remained in production well into the 1990s, the last (Convertible) examples being delivered in 1995.

    A right-hand drive model, this beautiful and rare Bentley Continental was delivered to its first owner, Sir Elton John, via Jack Barclay Ltd of Berkeley Square, London on 15th February 1985 with the registration number 'B120 WYM'. It featured prominently in the video for Elton John's hit single of that same year, 'Nikita', where he is seen being driven in icy conditions and admiring a Russian soldier of that name. Subsequently the registration was changed to the personalised 'B20 ELT', which is extant today.

    In 2008, the Bentley was acquired by the immediately preceding owner, a long-time classic-car enthusiast based near Venice, who used it sparingly for some seven years. In February 2015 the car was offered for sale at Bonhams' auction at Le Grand Palais, Paris (Lot 419) where it was purchased by the current vendor. At that time the Continental was described as 'recently serviced and fitted with new tyres and a new battery'. Since then, the Bentley has benefited from the expert attentions of West Hoathly Garage, as evidenced by bills on file for various works (including re-instating the correct steel wheels) totalling £7,810.10.

    Finished in Tudor Red with red-piped beige leather interior and matching hood, the car comes complete with a V5C registration document, current MoT, the original stamped service book (recording Elton John as the first owner), warranty card, etc. The only deviation from original specification is the installation, probably on Sir Elton's instructions, of a boot-mounted CD changer and bass unit.
Contacts
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
Delivered new to Sir Elton John and used in the video 'Nikita',1985 Bentley Continental Convertible  Chassis no. SCBZD0002FCH10168
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