1957 Bentley S1Continental 'Flying Spur' Sports Saloon
Year of manufacture1957
The graceful Flying Spur with its unique sculpted rear fenders was Design Number 7443 and is credited to George Moseley, Chief Designer at H.J. Mulliner. While standard bodies were produced by Pressed Steel for the Series I cars, a limited number of factory saloon chassis were sent directly to coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner in London. The elegant styling and superb quality of the coachbuilder’s hand-built aluminium bodies was made available at considerably greater cost than the standard S1 Saloon assuring exclusivity to Bentley’s discerning clientele. The aluminium coachwork, a raised compression ratio, and a longer final drive made these coachbuilt Bentleys more sporting than the equivalent standard steel saloons.
This car is the first of just sixteen built in left-hand drive configuration by Mulliner. Finished in Shell Grey over Black Garnet, inside you’ll find understated Magnolia hides and classic book-matched burl walnut veneers. In addition, it was specified with optional power steering.
Chassis No. BC4LCH was originally ordered as a coupe through Rolls-Royce’s New York agent, J.S. Inskip. Impressed by the new Continental 4-door design, the purchaser changed his order to a Flying Spur, which was delivered to its first owner, Mr. Angus Ray Gross in October 1957 at his home in Baltimore, Maryland. Gross retained the car until June 1979 when it was sold to James O. Cason of New York. The Bentley remained in Cason’s possession until 2005 when it was shipped to Europe for a frame-off, nut and bolt restoration during the ensuing four years. Upon completion of the restoration, the car was purchased by the consigner from a Bentley/Rolls-Royce specialist in Holland.
During the time between August 2018 and April 2019, the rarest of the Bentley Flying Spurs was subject to a thorough technical and cosmetic refinement to concours standards prior to being exhibited at the Techno Classica Motor Show in Essen in April 2019. Receipts of $40,000 parts and labor for work completed by Frank Dale of marque specialists Gordon Dale Enterprises, Ltd. are available for inspection. Original factory documentation from H.J. Mulliner is also included in the sale.
Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this lot if the buyer is a resident of the United States.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.