1959 was an important year in the history of Rolls-Royce and Bentley when looking at the mechanical development of the companies. The series one engine had effectively run its course by this point and could not be developed any further. The approximate 160bhp output was more than sufficient but due to pressures and competition elsewhere Rolls-Royce sought out an improved power unit to deliver more speed whilst retaining the refined performance. The answer was a complete move away from the six cylinder inline engine configuration to an all new V8 unit boasting 6,230cc and an estimated 200bhp. The new V8 engine was constructed almost entirely in aluminium and was of a very similar weight to its predecessor, but featured hydraulic tappets to ensure quiet running. A few other mechanical aspects were modified including the braking and lubrication systems, with automatic transmission and power steering now standard fittings. The new second generation Silver Cloud and S series cars were capable of speeds comfortably in excess of 100mph whilst retaining the feel and performance Rolls-Royce and Bentley owners had become accustomed to. Coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner had enjoyed significant success during the 1950s with their iconic R Type Continental Fastback and subsequent S1 Continental Fastback designs. As the launch of the all new Bentley S2 Continental chassis and engine drew closer the design team at H.J. Mulliner also looked to the future and began to make some small amendments to their S1 Continentals Fastback design by re-positioning of the front spot lights on to the top of the wing line. They also listened to their customers requests for a new two door design which allowed greater luggage capacity in the boot. The result was design number 7500, built in very limited numbers which was fitted with a wraparound rear screen and fins on the front and rear wings. Design number 7500 was arguably improved further for the S2 Continental chassis with the removal of the fins to allow a more graceful line. The result was design number 7514, considered by many including ourselves to be the most attractive of all coachwork designs fitted to the S2 Continental chassis between 1959 and 1962.
Chassis No BC51AR is one of just 71 examples built to design number 7514 in right hand drive by H.J. Mulliner. The coachwork was constructed entirely of aluminium at their west London works, completed to order for each individual customer in the bespoke fashion that Bentley owners were accustomed to. The car was originally completed in April of 1960, finished in velvet green with beige leather as it still is today. It was supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd to its first owner, Mr Ivan Couper Sanderson of west London. Later in life between 1989 and 1992 Chassis No BC51AR benefited from a three year, body off, ground up restoration by Broughtons. The work was completed to the highest standards and some twenty five years on from the completion of the works, the car is still in excellent condition in every respect. A photographic record of the works is complete with the car, as are the service and maintenance records. Chassis No BC51AR was first acquired by Frank Dale & Stepsons approximately five years ago when supplied by us to a noted Bentley enthusiast who has enjoyed the car on numerous rallies and events across Europe ever since. It has been serviced and maintained during this period in our workshops, regardless of cost. This beautiful example is fitted with air conditioning on the rear parcel shelf and is complete with copy chassis cards, handbook and history file. In our opinion it should be driven and seen in person to be truly appreciated.
Four speed automatic gearbox, power steering, 8 cylinder 90 degree V-configuration engine, 6.2 litres displacement, 6230cc capacity. Drum brakes servo-assisted.