The tremendous success Bentley enjoyed with the R Type Continental continued onto the S Series chassis in late 1955 with a range of new bodies available to collectors. The Park Ward drophead coupe was originally the brainchild of legendary coachwork designer John Blatchley who had been involved in the styling of the R Type Continental by H.J. Mulliner. Six R Type Continental chassis were delivered to the Park Ward works, which were then owned by Rolls-Royce. Blatchley was given the task of styling the four drophead coupes and the two further fixed head coupes on the R Type Continental chassis, a design which was later slightly adapted for the marginally longer S1 Continental chassis.
Chassis number BC98BG is the twenty-seventh of just fifty-eight right hand drive all aluminium bodied drophead coupes by Park Ward for the S1 Continental chassis built to Design No 700. This design is widely regarded to be the most attractive post war Bentley with open coachwork and one that is highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts alike.
It was originally completed in February of 1957, finished in pearl grey metallic with a red leather interior and was taken to and from Switzerland via Dover and Dunkirk to be displayed as the Geneva show car. Upon its return to London, it was supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd to its first owner, Mr John G Gibson of Sterling Street in London SW7. It was retained by the Gibson family until April of 1967 when it was sold to Nems Enterprises Ltd of Argyll Street in London W1.
Following this, at a time unknown, Chassis No BC98BG was exported to America where it remained until late 2009 when it was purchased by Frank Dale & Stepsons from a collector in the northwest of the US. At this point the car was finished in silver over blue with a blue leather interior. The car was in sound but tired condition.
The car was repatriated to the UK and then supplied by us to its present owner in January 2010. He instructed us to carry out a comprehensive restoration of the car. The subsequent works included but were not limited to a detailed mechanical review and overhaul process, complete restoration of the coachwork and a bare metal repaint, woodwork restoration, chrome restoration, a complete new interior, a new hood and headlining, hood frame restoration and an upgrade to a power hood, all gauges overhauled and detail cosmetic work carried out in the cabin, a re-wire, chassis cosmetics, engine bay cosmetics, modern music system fitted but hidden, the instillation of period looking colour matched seat belts and finally the fitting of air conditioning. The completed car is one of the best in the world and thirteen years on from when the restoration was completed it remains in superb condition.
The car is built to the later, superior mechanical S1 Continental specification which includes factory power steering and the larger carburettors. The upgrade to a power hood which we carried out in 2010 brings this car up to the best specification in our opinion.
Chassis No BC98BG has been reviewed and prepared in our workshops as per our normal policy to ensure continued correct performance, reliability and the next owners enjoyment. A superb and complete example ready to be shown at concours level or simply to be driven and enjoyed.
Excellent in every respect
Four speed automatic gearbox, power steering, power hood, air conditioning, 6 cylinder in-line configuration engine, 4.9 litres displacement, 4887cc capacity. Drum brakes servo-assisted.