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.
1962 saw the introduction of the S3 variant. The introduction of the twin headlamps was clearly the most obvious change, but the differences did not end there. Mechanically speaking the S3 was issued with larger 9:1 compression ratio carburettors, improved power steering to aid smoother movement at parking speed and a Lucas vacuum-advance distributor to aid fuel consumption.
Coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner had enjoyed significant success during the 1950’s 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.
At the point where the S2 Continental production ceased and the S3 Continental began this design was carried forward on a very limited number of cars, eleven to be exact, built to Design No 2012. Although this was absolutely an H.J.Mulliner design through and through, it was now badged as a “Mulliner/ParkWard” design following the amalgamation of the two companies.
Chassis No BC58XA which we are currently offering for sale is the fourth of eight cars produced to this design in right hand drive. It was originally completed and delivered in January 1963 to Mr Edmundo Ros, the 1940’s musician. It was finished in opal with a grey leather interior and supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd. It was retained by Mr Ros until 1967 when supplied to Ernest Holmes Ltd of Camden Town in London, via Hadley Green Garage Ltd. In 1985 Mr James Oldroyd of Walton on Thames acquired the car. The history file contains numerous invoices and letter of correspondence during the 1980’s and 1990’s when Mr Oldroyd used the car most frequently.
In 2008 the car was purchased by Frank Dale& Stepsons from Mr Oldroyd’s family following his passing. The car had been garaged and unused for several years and was showing numerous signs of neglect. It was then supplied to the fourth and current owner who instructed a comprehensive restoration program to the car over several years, on a no expense spared basis, both mechanically and cosmetically.
He chose to have the car restored with a tan interior to complement the new exterior appearance of sable over sand, very appropriate for a car of this era. The works were completed to the very highest standard with no stone unturned. Air conditioning was added, along with period looking seat belts and an upgraded in car entertainment system.
The completed car is beautiful to drive and cosmetically excellent throughout. It comes complete with all of its original tools plus its S2 Continental handbook with S3 Continental supplement book. A true collectors item, this car should be seen and driven 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.