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Lot 430: Bentley S3 Continental Four-Door Saloon

Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia, Bonhams (19 June 2010)

In the twilight of their coachbuilding years, James Young had with these cars reached the pinnacle of excellence.' - Martin Bennett, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Despite the popularity of the 'standard steel' bodywork, introduced when production of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars resumed after WW2, a steadily declining number of independent coachbuilders continued to offer alternatives. Arguably the most stylish were those produced to clothe the Bentley Continental which, of course, was only ever available with bespoke coachwork. One of the most prominent of these surviving firms was James Young, a company that had established itself among the foremost coachbuilders for upmarket chassis by the end of the 1930s. The Bromley-based carriage-maker had bodied its first automobile in 1908, affiliating itself with a succession of quality marques throughout the 1920s and 1930s before being acquired by the Jack Barclay Group in 1937. Its factory devastated by wartime bombing, the company did not resume exhibiting at the London Motor Shows until 1948, continuing to offer coachbuilt designs of distinction on (mainly) Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis until the arrival of the unitary construction Silver Shadow/T-Series range in the 1960s. A lack of suitable chassis would force the firm's closure before the 'Sixties decade ended, but in its declining years James Young produced what are widely recognised as its finest creations, this beautiful four-door Bentley Continental among them. The Continental had begun life exclusively as a two-door car, but in 1957 H J Mulliner was sanctioned to build a four-door design on the S1 Continental chassis, this elegant six-light model being known as the 'Flying Spur'. James Young responded with its own equally elegant four-light, four-door saloon design, which was later revised in six-light style, continuing on the V8-engined S2 and S3 Continental chassis virtually unaltered apart from changes made to accommodate the latter's quartet of headlamps. First registered in May 1963, right-hand drive chassis number 'BC76XA' was supplied new via Jack Barclay to Relgan Ltd, of Grosvenor Street, London W1 for the use of one A J Hines. The last word in coachbuilt elegance, this beautiful car is one of only 20 of this model bodied by James Young, which ceased coachbuilding a few years later. In December 1965 the Bentley passed to its next owner, Victor Freed, of Cardiff, staying within the Freed family until 1985 when it was sold to a Peter Harper (at 71,708 miles). A little under 1,400 miles had been added to the total when Mr Harper sold the car in 1986 to a Mr I F C Beswick. The next owner, a Mr James Corrigan, kept the Bentley until 1996 when it was purchased by the current vendor (at 84,258 miles). While in the present ownership the car has been serviced and maintained by Broughton's of Cheltenham and is described as in generally good condition, though both the paintwork and interior would benefit from some refurbishment. Finished in blue with pale blue leather upholstery, 'BC76XA' is offered with sundry invoices, MoT to March 2011 and Swansea V5 registration document.

Lot Details
Auction Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motor Cars and Automobilia
Bonhams, Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire
TypeCar
Lot Number430
Estimate£38000-£46000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£35500
Hammer Price (inc premium)£40550
Year1963
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberBC76XA
Engine number38ABC
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors