4 June 2006
1957 BENTLEY S1 FOUR DOOR SALOON
Chassis No. B330LEG
Engine No. BE165
Sage over velvet with beige leather upholstery
Engine: six cylinder, in-line, c.178bhp at 4,500rpm; Gearbox: four speed automatic; Suspension: front independent with unequal length wishbones and coil springs; Rear, semi-elliptic springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The final version of the classic six cylinder Bentley was the S1, produced between 1955 and 1959. The S1 and its Silver Cloud stablemate had a greatly strengthened chassis which provided 50 more torsional rigidity than the old Silver Dawn and MkVI. The suspension and triple line braking were also improved and many agree that this was the most stylish of all the standard Bentleys. The S1 was also a considerably more roomy car than its predecessor. The engine represented the final development of the B60 type, appearing in 4.9 liter form as pioneered in the Bentley R-Type Continental.
This particular car was delivered new to California and sold through Peter Satori Motors of Pasadena, and came equipped with the factory air conditioning (the ducts were factory installed and the York Compressor and Texas boot unit were fitted in the USA). Around 1987 this car was purchased by a former chief judge of the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club, Southern California region, who embarked on a very thorough and detailed restoration. The work included removing the engine, as well as the head, and a complete valve job with new main bearings being fitted. Both the interior and exterior of the car were stripped to bare metal and meticulously restored. The radiator, brakes, exhaust, generator, starter, instruments and electrical connections were among the items also restored. As an indication of the attention to detail even the ashtray springs were replaced! Christie's has a full list of the work carried out during the restoration available for inspection. Between 1988 and 1990 the car was shown at several Concours d'Elegance in Califonia and took four first place awards. In addition, it was the cover car on the July/August issue of The Flying Lady, the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club publication.
While the car has mellowed a little since its show days, it is reported that until recently the vehicle had covered less than 10,000 miles since the restoration. The car comes complete with a set of small and large tools and the original owners' handbook. It also was supplied new with the continental compression ratio of 8-00:1 and the Continental SU HD8 carburettors. This desirable S1 Bentley warrants close attention and is an extremly fine example of the marque.
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