23 February 1998
1962 BENTLEY S3 CONTINENTAL DROPHEAD COUPE
COACHWORK BY H.J. MULLINER, PARK WARD
Registration No. French Registered
Chassis No. BC14XA
Engine No. tba
Ivory with red leather interior.
Engine: V8, pushrod overhead valve, 6230cc, twin SU carburettors, 220bhp (est) at 4000rpm; Gearbox: four-speed automatic; Suspension: independent front by wishbone and coil spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: hydro-mechanically operated drums with servo assistance; Steering: cam and roller with power assistance. Right hand drive.
The first Bentley Continental appeared in 1952, its sweeping, universally acclaimed lines making a comfortable 115mph maximum possible with the mildly breathed-upon six cylinder engine. In those days it was a remarkable pace for a well equipped four-seater luxury saloon. The Continental remained as Bentley's flagship, that original Mulliner fastback joined in 1954 by an all light-alloy drophead coupe from Park Ward. With the introduction of the Bentley S2 in 1952, the Continental gained Rolls-Royce's promising V8 6.3 litre engine. The final version, the last Bentley to have a separate chassis, was the S3 of 1962, provided with massive drum brakes boosted by that faithful gearbox-driven servo, and powered by a modestly uprated version of Rolls-Royce's supreme V8. At the London Show late in 1959 Park Ward had debuted their new Continental drophead coupe on the S2 chassis, as lovely as their 1954 effort, but even more pure of line. When quadruple headlights came in with the S3, Park Ward's styling response was notably successful. The Continental drophead still afforded four luxuriously upholstered seats whilst the power operated top was as shapely as any fixed head coupe. Lowered, the hood disappeared into a well behind the rear seats; the electrically powered windows and rear quarter-lights retracting at the owner's whim created the most elegant of open four-seaters. For all that, its maximum speed was close to 120mph and the standing quarter-mile took no more than 18.8 secs. Just 312 of the S3 Continentals were built.
This fine example has been owned by the vendor for well over 10 years and has been the subject of a complete restoration during this ownership. Although there are minor paintwork imperfections the hood, interior leatherwork, carpets and polished cappings are in superb condition. The engine was started upon inspection and ran beautifully. This attractive and usable Continental S3 should provide thousands of enjoyable miles to the purchaser.
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The brake system needs attention.
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