1955 BENTLEY S1 CONTINENTAL FASTBACK
COACHWORK BY H.J.MULLINER
Registration No. RYV 474
Chassis No. BC 18 AF
Engine No. BC 17 A
Grey over black with red coachline and red leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, overhead inlet valves, side exhaust, twin SU carburettors, 4,887cc; Gearbox: Hydramatic four speed automatic; Suspension: independent by coil springs and wishbones to front: live axle with semi-elliptic springs to rear. Brakes: four wheels drum; Right hand drive
In an Autocar roadtest at the time of its introduction, the S1 was quoted as: 'offering a degree of safety, comfort and performance that is beyond the experience and imagination of the world's motorists..' They went on to describe it as '..a modern magic carpet annihilating great distances'
The Continental version further compounded their enthusiasm as it offered 120 mph performance thanks to its tuned engine and carefully chosen back axle ratio. The highly esteemed coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner, went on to clothe this tremendous chassis with their sensational two-door 'Fastback' coachwork, setting the model apart from all other great cars. The design is one which will never date, and even today the Bentley S1 Continental 'Fastback' remains one of the most stylish and glamorous cars in the world.
The Fastback on offer was the 18th of 101 built and was originally supplied to R.M. Harris Esq. of Horselunges Manor, Hellingly, West Sussex, in November 1955 through area retailer Caffyns. Specific details to this car included a bench type front seat with divided adjustable squab, GB letters to the numberplate surround and a radio. It was registered RYV 474 new.
Mr Harris kept the car for two years, after which it was purchased by a Walthamstow based company, Holmes Bros. Subsequent history is not recorded on the factory build sheets, but it is known that the car underwent restoration work totalling £60,000 in the workshops of renowned Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists Frank Dale and Stepsons during the early 1990s, and was at around this time owned by an important Japanese collector. This work included repainting to the current livery and full refurbishment of the interior, as well as fitting of air-conditioning.
The restoration has today aged slightly, but the quality of the work is still evident and the car is presentable in all major respects. Its subtle two tone paintwork with coachline to match the interior, is an attractive scheme, which suits the flowing Continental lines.
With a current MoT and road tax, the Bentley is ready to use, and is sold complete with copies of the factory records.