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Year: 1958

Manufacturer: Bentley

Model: S Type Continental

Country: United Kingdom

Owner(s):
Graeme Hunt

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1958 Bentley S Type Continental

The success of Bentley’s R-type Continental between 1952-’55 led to the creation of the S-type Continental chassis, which was released in April 1955. This 1958 car was one of only 13 examples created in right-hand-drive form by James Young. The coachbuilder’s designs are widely considered to be some of the most beautiful examples of post-war coachwork, regardless of marque, and its quality was without doubt the ‘best of the rest’ in Rolls-Royce and Bentley circles.

Built to Design No CT29 on the S1 Continental chassis, chassis no. BC26CH was completed in June 1958 under the auspices of chief designer AF McNeill. It was supplied by Jack Barclay Ltd – which owned Bromley, Kent-based James Young – to a Mr William P Harrower of Edinburgh. He kept the car until 1960, when it was sold to LM Van Moppes of Basingstoke, Hampshire. It was then shipped to the US for a period, before being acquired and repatriated in 1988 by Bentley specialist PJ Fischer. It next went to France to a Monsieur Ferrary-Berthlot, who kept the car for 29 years during which he drove it only a further 3000 miles. It has been in further private ownership since, covering a further 1200 miles. Its current custodian says the engine starts on the button and purrs along quietly, while the chassis and body have no shudder at all. The body is beautifully painted in light green metallic (Mistletoe or Pewter).

The tan leather-trimmed interior is so original as to be virtually unheard of, and we’re told the cockpit smells like only an old Bentley in good condition can: “Lovely.” Meanwhile, the attention to detail is equally impressive, and indicative of the standard to which these cars were originally designed and built – not to mention reflective of their premium pricing in period. The perfect wood veneers were a James Young feature, as were the beautifully crafted door handles, and this car features a period 1970s air-conditioning unit, which is in keeping with the normal fascia.

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