- Exceptional history
- French origin, left-hand drive
- Restored by Lecoq
- Delivered new by the Franco-Britannic to Baron Bich
This car was sold new in France - a rare occurrence for a Bentley Continental - and is therefore a rare left-hand drive example. The first owner was none other than Baron Bich, who bought the Bentley in the name of his company, Bic, in September 1958. It then passed into the hands of Major Crampton, followed by Gérard Kapp. Kapp had the car restored at the Établissements Lecoq, a guarantee of quality that was officially recognised at the 1988 Bagatelle concours d'élégance, when the car won an award ! The following year, it was the subject of a major feature in the June 1989 issue of the magazine Auto Passion, written by Pierre Gary, who was full of praise for its comfort and sophistication. Since then, this splendid Bentley Continental has not been driven greatly. It was acquired by M. Borgel, an industrialist based in Bordeaux, who sold it to the current owner. The car has an automatic gearbox and - a rare feature - power steering. The all-aluminium body has recently been repainted to maintain its immaculate appearance and the brown leather upholstery is still in superb condition. An enthusiast curious to see what is in the boot will find a virtually complete case of tools, the jack, spare bulbs and a tailor-made cover.
The name of this car - Continental - is what dreams are made of, turning a Bentley into an exceptional automobile. It first appeared in 1952 on the Continental R coupé. For the well-to-do Englishman and touring enthusiasts on the continent, this classy car provided a top class service that combined comfort and power. Superfluous weight had been shed and the mechanics discreetly improved. The car was sleeker and lower, and at the back, the "fastback" styling gave it an elegant, sporty feel. Not only did the Continental become the fastest four-seater coupé in the world, capable of achieving the celebrated 120mph (190 km/h), it was also the most expensive: at 7,800,000 francs, it was worth eight DS Citroëns !
The appearance of the Bentley Type S in 1955 was followed a few months later by the Continental range, in the style of the R coupé. The S Type version was given a six-cylinder engine, increased in size to 4.9-litres, producing a level of power not advertised by the manufacturer who simply declared it was " sufficient " ! Without being overly powerful, its special arrangement of overhead valves and side exhaust made the engine versatile and powerful enough to ensure a top speed well above the majority of touring cars. While being part of the Rolls-Royce family, the Continental retained its own personality, offering a special mix of sportiness and sophistication. The coachwork created by Park Ward, following a re-design, featured a large area of glass at the rear. Sumptuously appointed, the car's silent running provided an impression of gliding effortlessly along the road.
We are delighted to offer a particularly interesting example of this rare model : originally French with a famous first owner, this Continental S1 is presented in superb condition.