1962 Bentley S2


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Property of a deceased's estate
1962 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur Saloon
Coachwork by H J Mulliner
Registration no. AOT 284A
Chassis no. BC82CZ

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 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.

One of the last of its type built by H J Mulliner, this Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur comes with extensive historical documentation dating back to 1976. There is no record of any major restoration work but annual servicing has been impeccable. Apparently resident in the UK all its life, the Bentley was acquired by the vendor circa 2011 having previously belonged to the Rt Hon Michael W L Morris (Lord Naseby) from 1994 and Mr Peter King before him.

There are invoices on file dating from the 1980s and 1990s for general servicing and maintenance issued by P&A Wood and Haines & Haines, and others for the period 2004-2008 from JK Engineering for an engine rebuild, full service, stainless steel exhaust system, seals, brakes overhaul, wiring, spark plugs, etc. Alan Carrington appears to have been entrusted with the Bentley's upkeep in more recent years, there being bills on file for the period 2010-2011 totalling £14,000 for works and parts including re-trimming the boot in red St James Wilton Carpet; full new headlining in beige West of England cloth; fitting classic seatbelts with chrome buckles; refurbishing the interior woodwork; re-spray in dark blue; detailing the engine bay; and a new steering ram kit. A modern ignition system, electric windows, and the aforementioned seatbelts are the only notified deviations from factory specification.

The history file contains the aforementioned bills; copies of the original specification and delivery paperwork; assorted DoT correspondence; old/current V5C Registration Certificates; a Bentley Continental S2 booklet (hardback); a parts list; and a substantial quantity of expired MoTs and tax disks. A wonderful opportunity to own a fastidiously maintained and exceptionally well documented example of this rare and sought-after Bentley.