1962 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Saloon Coachwork by H J Mulliner Registration no. 883 XVB Chassis no. BC132CZ
This Bentley S2 Continental features the elegant, H J Mulliner-designed, 'Flying Spur' four-door coachwork, and is one of 71 with right-hand drive out of a total of 125 completed in this style on the S2 chassis.
Eulogising about Bentley's new 'S'-series cars, introduced in April 1955, The Autocar wrote, 'the latest Bentley model offers a degree of safety, comfort and performance that is beyond the experience and perhaps even the imagination of the majority of the world's motorists.' Later, in October that same year, the Bentley Continental became available on the 'S' chassis, the model having been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising in the grand manner since its introduction in R-Type form in 1952.
Having relied exclusively on six-cylinder engines since civilian production resumed at the war's end, Rolls-Royce secured its long-term future by turning to V8 power as the 1960s approached. Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their Silver Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though their performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminium-alloy engine. Power-assisted steering was now standard and there was no longer the option of a manual gearbox, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering. The S2 Continental chassis differed by virtue of its shorter radiator, four-leading-shoe front drum brakes and - up to chassis number 'BC99BY' - higher gearing.
Independent coachbuilders continued to offer alternatives to the factory's 'standard steel' bodywork, perhaps the most stylish being those produced to cloth the Bentley Continental which was, of course, only ever available with bespoke coachwork. Rolls-Royce had envisaged the Bentley Continental as exclusively a two-door car, but late in 1957 the decision was taken to sanction the production of a four-door variation by H J Mulliner. Introduced on the 'S1' Continental and known as the 'Flying Spur', this design was a collaborative effort by Rolls-Royce's in-house styling department and H J Mulliner, and bore a strong resemblance both to the two-door Continental and to existing coachbuilt four-door styles on Rolls-Royce and (non-Continental) Bentley chassis. To the Continental's existing qualities of pace and elegance, the Flying Spur added four-door practicality, a more spacious interior, and a generously proportioned boot. The Flying Spur body style continued on the V8-engined S2 Continental and was revised to incorporate the S3's four-headlamp front end following the latter's introduction in 1962.
Records show that chassis number 'BC132CZ' was sold new to in June 1962 to one A Sherman and was first registered as '877 ELH'. The current vendor - Clive Richards OBE, KSG, DL - acquired the Bentley from renowned marque specialists P&A Wood on 15th February 1983, paying for it out of his company's account (copy invoice on file). At that time, one of the vendor's companies - Micro Business Systems plc - floated on the London Stock Exchange; he was Chairman, and before the floatation, MBS bought the Bentley for him. Several years later, when the vendor retired from MBS, he bought the Continental back via his own company and has since transferred ownership into his name.
Offered with a substantial history file, 'BC132CZ' represents a rare opportunity to acquire a fine example of this peerless Bentley Grande Routière.