1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF
Lot 247
1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.
£240,000 - 280,000
US$ 320,000 - 370,000

Lot Details
1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF 1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon  Chassis no. BC24AF
1955 Bentley S-Type Continental Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Park Ward Ltd.

Registration no. JRN 777
Chassis no. BC24AF
*One of only 45 right-hand drive cars built to *Design No. 701
*Extensively restored in the 1990s
*Exceptionally well documented
*Previous class winner at the Louis Vuitton Concours

Footnotes

  • 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 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 Bentley's new 'S' Series cars, introduced in April 1955, 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.'

    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 said of the H J Mulliner-styled fastback, which was the quickest four/five-seater saloon of its day. The Bentley 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 era's the 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, of which 122 were right-hand drive like this example. Built in 1956, 'BC24AF' carries Park Ward's two-door saloon coachwork to Design No. 701, the latter being the work of legendary designer John Blatchley, who had been largely responsible for styling H J Mulliner's original Continental on the R-Type chassis. 'BC24AF' is fitted with the later (arguably more attractive) rear lights, which were incorporated when the rear fins were professionally removed during restoration by P J Fischer of Putney, London SW15, the renowned Bentley specialist. Built to Design No. 872, later variants have a wraparound rear window and narrower 'C' posts, and generally are considered less attractive than the earlier version.

    'BC24AF' was originally finished in silver/green with green interior trim, and was first owned by M L Marsh, Esq of Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. Accompanying correspondence from Rolls-Royce reveals that the last time the factory saw the Continental was in July 1960 when it received a 10,000-mile service (at 70,882 miles) while still owned by Marsh. This letter also states that in June 1964 a service exchange engine and gearbox were supplied, though they were not installed by the factory.

    The next known owner was Mr Martin C Zanger of Holyoke, Massachusetts, who purchased the Bentley via Paddon Brothers Ltd of London SW7 in July 1968 and had it shipped to his home in the USA. Paddon Bros continued to supply Mr Zanger with parts for his Bentley, which was serviced by local specialists in Holyoke (bills on file).

    Mr Zanger died in 1986 and in 1988 the car was sold by his widow, Marilyn. The Bentley then passed to the aforementioned P J Fischer. In a letter on file to Fischer, Mrs Zanger states that the car was kept in a heated garage, covered, and had never been driven on salted roads in winter. The Bentley was registered to Fischer's Northumberland Garage on 20th March 1991.

    During 1992 and 1993, 'BC24AF' was comprehensively restored by Fischer to a very high standard, including a bare metal re-paint and an interior re-trim. This Continental has also been fitted with power steering and air conditioning, the latter being beautifully incorporated into the walnut dashboard. The accompanying extensive history file contains full details of the restoration.

    The car's next private owner was a Mr R L Wadsworth of West Molesey, Surrey, who owned the Bentley from February 1993 to September 1998. Servicing and maintenance during Mr Wadsworth's ownership was carried out by Douglas Daniels Ltd of Bletchingley, Surrey, including a gearbox rebuild towards the end of 1996 (bills on file).

    The owner from 1998 was Mr Donald Reedman of Focus Music, London W1. Issued by P J Fischer and A&S Engineering of Alton, Hampshire, invoices show that the Bentley continued to be fastidiously maintained, with A&S carrying out a most extensive mechanical restoration in 1999. In December 2003, ownership passed to Mr Hugh Guest of Stoke St Mary, Somerset, who continued to have the car maintained by A&S Engineering. In December 2008, marque specialists Frank Dale & Stepsons sold 'BC24AF' to the present owner.

    One of only 45 right-hand drive S1 Continentals cars built to Design No. 701, 'BC24AF' comes complete with its original handbook; a complete set of tools; and an extensive history file documenting works carried out since the early 1960s. The file contains a quantity of MoT certificates dating back to 1990; numerous old tax discs; copies of the Massachusetts Certificate of Title and old V5 registration documents; and an original Park Ward coachwork care instruction book. This has to be one of the very best S1 Continentals currently available.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For Motor Cars a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000.

For Automobilia and Registrations Numbers the Buyer's Premium is 25% on the first £100,000 of the Hammer Price, 20% from £100,001 to £2,000,000 of the Hammer Price, and 12% on the balance thereafter.

VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5809
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802
Similar Items