The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon

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Lot 111
Formerly the property of Sir Elton John
1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon

Sold for £ 180,700 (US$ 233,713) inc. premium
The ex-Sir Elton John
1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
Coachwork by H J Mulliner
Registration no. 295 ACF
Chassis no. BC98AR


*One of 71 right-hand drive cars
*Delivered new in the UK
*An older restoration (by Weybridge Automobiles)
*Known ownership history
*Well documented

Footnotes

  • This Bentley S2 Continental features the elegant, H J Mulliner-designed, 'Flying Spur' four-door coachwork, and is one of 71 with right-hand drive out of a total of 125 completed in this style on the S2 chassis.

    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, the model having been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction in R-Type form in 1952.

    Having relied exclusively on six-cylinder engines since civilian production resumed at the war's end, Rolls-Royce secured its long-term future by turning 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. Power-assisted steering was now standard and there was no longer the option of a manual gearbox, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering. The S2 Continental chassis differed by virtue of its shorter radiator, four-leading-shoe front drum brakes and - up to chassis number 'BC99BY' - higher gearing.

    Independent coachbuilders continued to offer alternatives to the factory's 'standard steel' bodywork, perhaps the most stylish being those produced to cloth the Bentley Continental which was, of course, only ever available with bespoke coachwork. Rolls-Royce had envisaged the Bentley Continental as exclusively a two-door car, but late in 1957 the decision was taken to sanction the production of a four-door variation by H J Mulliner. Introduced on the 'S1' Continental and known as the 'Flying Spur', this design was a collaborative effort by Rolls-Royce's in-house styling department and H J Mulliner, and bore a strong resemblance both to the two-door Continental and to existing coachbuilt four-door styles on Rolls-Royce and (non-Continental) Bentley chassis. To the Continental's existing qualities of pace and elegance, the Flying Spur added four-door practicality, a more spacious interior, and a generously proportioned boot. The Flying Spur body style continued on the V8-engined S2 Continental and was revised to incorporate the S3's four-headlamp front end following the latter's introduction in 1962.
    Factory records show that chassis number 'BC98AR' was sold new to the world-famous automotive and aerospace company, Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (GKN) of Smethwick, which took delivery on 1st July 1960. First registered as '9 BOP' the Bentley was ordered finished in black with a grey leather interior, it also being stipulated that the mascot should be supplied loose and a tin of polish included.
    The Continental was kept by GKN for less than a year, passing to second owner Messrs Cole and Kirby of Kingsbury, London for the use of one F W Lowrey, while the third owner listed on the build-sheets is one Percy Sutton of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The car was purchased in Norfolk in the 1970s by Elton John, so it seems likely that he was the fourth owner.

    Subsequently, the Bentley was comprehensively restored by Weybridge Automobiles, undergoing a bare metal re-spray and complete interior re-trim, and receiving mechanical attention as necessary. The car continued to be maintained by Weybridge, during which time it was fitted with air conditioning. A record player had been fitted to the car but during the restoration this was removed and replaced with more modern stereo system. Forming part of Sir Elton's collection from its early days, the Flying Spur was one of the most regularly driven cars, being used on numerous occasions to transport his many guests.

    In 2001, Sir Elton decided to part with the Bentley, which was purchased at a UK auction by the current (French) owner that same year. Accompanying documentation consists of a photocopy of the UK V5 Registration Certificate, a condition report (in German), German correspondence, copies of old V5s and MoT certificates, various magazine articles, sundry invoices from British and German specialists, and a copy of a letter signed by Elton John confirming his purchase in the 1970s. Also included is a copy of the programme for the 2017 Chantilly Concours Élégance where this beautiful Flying Spur was exhibited and much admired.
Contacts
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
The ex-Sir Elton John,1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Sports Saloon
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