1997 Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Annual Rally Class-winning
1961 BENTLEY S2 CONTINENTAL DROPHEAD COUPE
Registration No. 635 LRO
Chassis No. BC 120 CZ
Engine No. C119 BC
Balmoral green with magnolia interior
Engine: V8, overhead valve, 6,230cc 200bhp at 4500rpm; Gearbox: four speed automatic; Suspension: front, independent with coil springs and wishbones, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: front, hydraulic and mechanical rear with servo. Right hand drive
On earlier Bentley Continentals, the coachwork of both the Fastback and Flying Spur was to designs by H.J.Mulliner, an entirely separate entity, but alongside these from the firm of Park Ward, who Rolls-Royce had purchased in 1939, a two door version was also offered. This all changed in 1959, when the company also acquired H.J. Mulliner, and adopted a policy of allowing Mulliner to continue with building the excellent closed bodywork that it had always produced, leaving Park Ward to focus on the Drophead derivative.
Under this arrangement the first convertible S2 coachwork design was penned by Norwegian Vilhelm Koren featuring a straight-through wing line and hooded headlamps, at the rear the wing line extended in a finned style over a cluster of tail lights. To bring this design into full production, Park Ward relied heavily on the methods that they had used in aviation work, with extensive use of welded steel for the frame and panels, creating an extremely strong single bodywork structure. From the advancement in coachbuilding practices, retrospectively it is clear to see how this led to the first unitary construction cars five years later. Only 388 Continentals were built between 1959-62.
Originally sold to G.W. Saunders in June 1962, this car later found its way to America, where it was acquired by the present owner in the late 1980s. Today it must be one of the finest in existence owing to its subsequent comprehensive restoration, which was completed with the intention of creating the very best example.
The bodywork and interior refurbishment were carried out by Wildae Restorations, while the mechanical aspect was entrusted to P & A Wood of Essex. The total cost of the work, has amounted to over £90,000, aside from the purchase cost of the car. The work is charted through invoices and photographic record.
After 6/7 years the car was back on the road. Its first outing was at the 1997 Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club Annual Rally, where it won its class and events which it has attended since restoration have included the Louis Vuitton Classic at Bagatelle in 1997 as well as the launch of the Bentley Arnage in 1998. This cataloguer first saw the car when it had just completed its rebuild, yet 6 years and some 5,000 miles later it still remains in very fine order throughout.
A regretted sale, this immaculate car is ready to use with current road fund licence, V5 registration document and MoT and comes with a detailed history file.