1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN
Lot 225
1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.
£120,000 - 160,000
US$ 160,000 - 210,000

Lot Details
1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN 1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC23GN
1959 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.

Registration no. NF 12
Chassis no. BC23GN
*Unsurpassed style and luxury
*One of 431 Series 1 Continentals
*Present ownership for 37 years
*Dry stored and recently re-commissioned

Footnotes

  • Bentley's 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. Unlike the ordinary, factory-bodied, 'standard steel' R-Type, the Continental was bodied in the traditional manner and first appeared with what many enthusiasts consider to be the model's definitive style of coachwork - the lightweight, wind tunnel-developed fastback of H J Mulliner.

    The Continental's performance figures would have been considered excellent for an out-and-out sports car but for a full four/five seater saloon they were exceptional: a top speed of 120mph, 100mph achievable in third gear, 50mph reached in a little over 9 seconds and effortless cruising at the 'ton'. Built for export only at first, the Continental was, once delivery charges and local taxes had been paid, almost certainly the most expensive car in the world as well as the fastest capable of carrying four adults and their luggage. 'The Bentley is a modern magic carpet which annihilates great distances and delivers the occupants well-nigh as fresh as when they started,' declared Autocar.

    With the arrival 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. Eulogising about the new S-Series cars, introduced in April 1955, 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.'

    Later, in October that same year, the Bentley Continental became available on the 'S' chassis. 'It brings Bentley back to the forefront of the world's fastest cars,' Autocar remarked of the H J Mulliner-styled fastback which, arguably, was the quickest four/five-seater saloon of its day. The S-Type's new box-section chassis incorporated improved brakes and suspension and an enlarged (to 4,887cc) and more powerful version of the existing inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine, which for the first time was identical in specification in its Rolls and Bentley forms. The Continental version came with shorter radiator and higher gearing and, for a time at least, could be ordered with right-hand 'change, manual transmission. As had been the case with the original R-Type, the new S-Type Continental was only ever available as a coachbuilt car, the designs produced by independent coachbuilders for the S1 Continental chassis being among the era's most stylish.

    Of the 431 Bentley S1 Continentals produced between 1955 and 1959, 185 were bodied by Rolls-Royce's in-house coachbuilder, Park Ward Ltd, like this example. Chassis number 'BC23GN' was delivered in May 1959 to its first owner, one N Field, and registered as 'NF 12'. Noteworthy special features include power assisted steering, electric windows, fold-up seats to the rear, and suitcase racks.

    The Bentley has belonged to the current vendor for the last 37 years, having previously belonged to his father and been registered in the name of his company: A C Nicholas Ltd of River Front, Enfield. 'NF 12' has been maintained by Rolls-Royce/Bentley specialists Hadley Green Garage, who some 16 years ago rebuilt the automatic transmission.

    Dry stored for the last 15 years, the Continental has recently been re-commissioned and serviced by a specialist mechanic, receiving a new battery and new fuel pumps. The private vendor advises us that the engine runs smoothly and that the chassis is in generally good condition, and describes the bodywork as fair/good though in need of a repaint (the paintwork is original). The interior is said to be 'tired', and although the speedometer works, the odometer does not. Accompanying documentation consists of a V5C Registration Certificate, and the Bentley also comes with a handbook and two factory manuals.
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