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Showroom Location: 1145 Park Avenue • Emeryville, California 94608 USA

1961 Bentley S2 Convertible

Cosmetically Magnificent Long time California Car

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Exterior Color Black
Interior Color Black Leather
Mileage 83322 Miles
Engine V8
Transmission Automatic
Status Sold
Stock FJ611


1961 Bentley Continental S2 Mulliner Park Ward Convertible
s/n BC17LAR
Black with Black Leather Interior

The Bentley S series represents the last of the coachbuilt cars, and while most examples featured the standard steel saloon bodies, a few were built with Mulliner Park Ward Continental bodywork. These cars are part of the legendary Continental line, and the second series cars combine the mechanical refinement of the later cars (including the recently introduced aluminum 6.2 litre V8), with the more coherent styling of the earlier cars. Thanks to their well-proportioned and comparatively modern bodies, and motivated by the new V8 engine, these cars were meant for owner-drivers, and not the more insular owners of the Rolls-Royce cousins who were used to being driven instead.

This particular example is a long time California left hand drive car that was in Southern California since at least the 1970`s. It has a thick sheaf of records dating back to 1977 indicating that the car has been properly maintained, and from 1980 to 2007, the car had one long term owner, a doctor from Los Angeles. The car received a comprehensive cosmetic restoration to the highest standards in the early 1990`s (less than 1000 miles ago) and remains stunning. The cost of the bodywork and paint was over $14,000, while a further $15,000 was spent on the interior, top, and chrome. The cylinder heads and carburetors were rebuilt 4,000 miles ago, and numerous other mechanical items replaced or repaired over the years to keep the car running properly. The has also had a comprehensive brake rebuild which included new shoes, hoses, and master cylinders. More recently (March-April 2008), the car received an inspection and light service (sparkplugs, reset distributor, adjust carburetors, new oil pressure sender) by respected Rolls-Royce and Bentley expert Laurence Anderson.

Cosmetically, this car is a knock-out example. Black paintwork is notorious for displaying blemishes and less than conscientious work, and this car stuns with its arrow-straight panels, excellent fit, and mirror-like finish. The chrome is very good, with light pitting and haze only. The glass and lights are very good as well, as are the hubcaps, aside from some light scraping on one. The top is made of the correct everflex material and fits very well, and the window remains clear.

The interior is similarly stunning. The upholstery, dashboard, carpets, and door panels are all excellent. The acres of leather are supple and the finish of the wood free from blemishes to the finish. The wool carpets and lambswool overmats are excellent and the interior provides a wonderfully hedonistic and commanding environment for the occupants.

The trunk was also restored with new carpet, and the engine compartment detailed. The engine compartment is very clean and tidy, and a modern alternator has been fitted. The firewall was repainted, though in grey rather than the original tan.

Mr. Anderson reports that the car is a pleasure to drive, with lots of power and correct gearbox and steering operation. He notes that the brakes are very good, that the engine runs cool and idles smoothly and quietly. The frame is straight (aside from minor jacking scars) and free of significant corrosion, however the body is showing corrosion in the sills. This is the result of the multi-layer sandwich construction employed by Mulliner Park Ward (which tends to trap dirt and moisture) and is common on these cars. It is non-structural in nature and can be seen only when the car is on a lift, ensuring that the car can be used and enjoyed as-is. The compression is fairly consistent, ranging from 135psi to 160psi, and there are a few small drips from the drivetrain.

This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire an open example of the last genuinely coach built Bentleys. Astronomically expensive when new, very few drophead Continentals were sold, and even fewer have survived, making these cars undervalued today, especially considering their uniqueness. This car, with its sparkling restoration and thorough documentation, is an attractive example that is perfect to be enjoyed. 

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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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