<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC

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Lot 128
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

Sold for US$ 95,200 inc. premium
1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur
Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

Chassis no. BC70LBY
Engine no. B69BC

6,230cc V8 Engine
Twin S.U. HD6 Carburetors
Approximately 200bhp
4-Speed Hydra-Matic Automatic Gearbox
Coil Spring Front Suspension, Semi-Elliptic Rear Leaf Springs
Hydraulic Front Brakes, Hydraulic and Mechanical Rear Drum Brakes

*High-Specification Continental Model
*One of only 388 S2 Continentals Produced
*Delivered new to Malibu, California
*Dashing Lightweight Alloy Coachwork


A cousin of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II, the Bentley S2 debuted in September 1959. While retaining the basic body design and chassis of its predecessor, the S1, the new S2 replaced the F-head 6-cylinder engine of the S1 with an all-new aluminium overhead-valve V8 engine, under design and development for the previous decade by the engineers at Crewe. While Rolls-Royce, Bentley's parent firm, had long disdained publication of horsepower ratings, the new V8 engine was estimated to develop over 200 brake horsepower and, due also to its lighter-weight all-alloy construction, made both the Silver Cloud II and S2 faster and quicker than their immediate predecessors. Remarkably, this basic V8 engine design would remain in use for nearly 40 years, until the advent of the Bentley Arnage in 1998. The S2 also introduced standard power-assisted steering and shared its GM/Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic gearbox with the Silver Cloud II. A manual gearbox was no longer available.

Recalling the "Continental" name first used in the 1930s, a flowing two-door coupé by H.J. Mulliner bearing that revered nameplate returned on Bentley's 1952-55 R-Type chassis. When the S1 debuted, the Continental was given higher compression for improved performance. Park Ward and James Young were also enlisted as body suppliers, with Park Ward supplying Drophead Coupé bodies, while James Young provided four-door Saloon coachwork. H.J. Mulliner introduced the four-door "Flying Spur" body for the S1 in 1957, which joined their two-door Saloon. All these body styles were applied to the S2, which continued into 1962 when its successor, the S3 debuted.

The higher-specification Continental variant of the S2 chassis carried on in the tradition established by the R-Type Continental of the early 1950s by offering distinctive stylistic and performance-oriented upgrades to discerning buyers. Among them were lightweight alloy body panels, a lower-profile radiator, upgraded braking with four-leading-shoe drum brakes up front, special high-speed tires and a higher rear-axle ratio applied to the Continental chassis up to 'B-Series' Chassis BC99BY. Of total Bentley S2 production numbering 2,308 cars, just 388 H.J. Mulliner-bodied Continental Coupes were ultimately produced. Today, each surviving example remains particularly coveted by astute marque enthusiasts today by virtue of their robust V8 power and stylistic excellence.


If you lived in Malibu, California in the dawn of the 1960s and life was good, you bought yourself a Bentley S2. If you lived in a modernist masterpiece of a mansion by Desert Mid-Century architectural genius Arthur Elrod situated on the Pacific Coast Highway with a wide expanse of private beach front space, you bought yourself a Bentley S2 Continental. Mr. H. Barkley Johnson was just such a fellow, ordering his H.J. Mulliner coachbuilt S2 Continental through the local SoCal dealer Peter Satori at the end of 1960. Specifying the car to be finished in understated and elegant Tobacco Brown over Tan Connolly hides, power windows, air conditioning, rear picnic tables, and seat belts with leather roll pads were optioned on this U.S. market example. Delivered in the mid-summer of 1961 to Mr. Johnson's home at 22400 Cabrillo (now Pacific Coast) Highway in Malibu, the Bentley no doubt stood out in even the nice, quiet little beach community that is Malibu.

The Bentley appears to have remained in Southern California for the bulk of its life in largely original condition up until it eventually came to the East Coast in the collection of New York Rolls-Royce and Bentley enthusiast Arnold Penner in the late 1990s. It was said to have been mechanically refreshed and enjoyed for a few years before being acquired by the current owner in the early 2000s. Today, the car shows nicely but with evidence of various improvements over the years including a CD stereo, Nardi-style steering wheel, and Bentley winged B badges on the bottom of the front quarter panels just aft of the front wheels.

Minimally driven and carefully stored since acquired, a touch of fettling is recommended before blasting up the Pacific Coast Highway to one of Jackie Treehorn's legendary parties in Malibu. Bentley took inspiration of both the style—and the name—of this model when reintroducing the Continental Flying Spur sedan in 2005. As evidenced by the sporting elegance embodied in this rare, left-hand drive, U.S. delivery from new model, it is easy to see why Bentley of today chose to hang the hat of the brand on a car like this.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, title will be in transit
<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC
<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC
<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC
<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC
<b>1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur  </b><br />Chassis no. BC70LBY <br />Engine no. B69BC
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