1960 Bentley S2
Year of manufacture1960
Sidney L. Brody, Los Angeles, California (acquired new in 1960)
Arthur Schifrin, Hewlett Harbor, New York
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 1979)
Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance, Seabrook, Texas, May 2017
Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Greenwich, Connecticut, June 2017 (Chairman’s Choice)
The Elegance at Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania, June 2017
Concours d’Elegance of America, Plymouth, Michigan, July 2017
Scarsdale Concours d’Elegance, Scarsdale, New York, October 2017 (Best in Show)
Davide Bassoli, Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, listed on p. 277
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, The Flying Lady, listed on p. 18,444
Bentley’s “Continental” moniker originated with an H.J. Mulliner two-door coupe built on a 1952 Bentley R-Type chassis, promoted as an unparalleled high-speed touring car. It quickly refreshed the company’s image, rapidly achieving an almost cult-like reputation, and when the Bentley S series was launched in 1955, the Continental specifications continued with a select few cars. The S2 retained the basic chassis of its predecessor, but became powered by an aluminum OHV V-8, and was available with custom coachwork.
Coachbuilder Park Ward & Co. offered Bentley Motors an innovative new design by Vilhelm Koren. It featured straight-through wing lines and an aggressively stylish front end. The body employed steel-and-alloy construction, and it was the first with a fully lined power-operated convertible top with a zipped PVC rear window. The distinctive Bentley radiator shell was lowered, leaned slightly forward, and was mounted 2" further forward than that of the S1 Continental, giving the car its long and sweeping lines. The Drophead Coupe met with great success, especially in the US.
Famed Southern California philanthropist and art collector Sidney L. Brody ordered this S2 Continental new via Jack Barclay, the London Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer. Constructed on a special heavy-gauge frame, it was built for use in the US; the “L” in the chassis number, BC108LAR, indicates a left-hand-drive specification. It was equipped with an impressive list of special features, special features, including a radio, dual mirrors, power steering, Sundym windscreen, a Lucas anti-dazzle mirror, and elegant French-made Marchal headlamps. When Mr. Brody took delivery, he had the Bentley shipped from Dover, England, to Boulogne, France, aboard the HMS Lord Warden. Mr. Brody used the car when residing at his home in France, and later shipped it to his main residence in Los Angeles.
The current owner acquired this S2 Continental in 1979 and used it regularly for several decades, still in its original livery and trim. About 10 years ago, Kanter Auto Restoration, a Bentley specialist in New Jersey, performed a bare-metal respray in Rolls-Royce Regal Red, a re-trim in tan leather, replated the brightwork, and refinished the wood trim to show standards. Kanter then carried out mechanical work, which included installing a new stainless exhaust system and rebuilding the brake hydraulics. A rare Royal Automobile Club badge is fitted, as specified on the build sheet. Remarkably, the original wide-whitewall spare tire is still in place.
The Bentley Continental is considered by many to be a cornerstone of any important postwar Bentley collection. This lovely Drophead Coupe, with fascinating provenance and coming from nearly 40-year ownership, deserves strong consideration from discerning collectors.