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Lot 163: Bentley S1 Coupé

Goodwood Revival Sale, Bonhams (15 September 2012)

Conceived as replacements for the ageing Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and Bentley R-Type, the all-new Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type were introduced early in 1955. The duo sported sleeker bodywork on a new box-section separate chassis - Rolls-Royce eschewing unitary construction for the time being - incorporating improved brakes and suspension, the latter featuring electrically controlled damping. Enlargement to 4,887cc and the adoption of a six-port cylinder head boosted the traditionally undisclosed power output of the dependable inlet-over-exhaust six-cylinder engine, which for the first time was identical in specification in its Rolls and Bentley forms. Automatic transmission was now standard equipment, with manual transmission a Bentley-only option up to 1957. Fast - 100mph-plus - relatively economical and cheaper to maintain than the successor V8-engined versions, the classically elegant S1 is arguably the most user-friendly of all post-war Bentleys. Despite the popularity of Rolls-Royce's 'standard steel' bodywork, discerning customers continued to patronise the handful of coachbuilding firms that remained in business after WW2. Following the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and Bentley S-Type in the spring of 1955, production of coachbuilt cars increasingly favoured the Bentley Continental chassis, 1,131 of which were delivered up to the conclusion of S-Series production in 1965 compared with a mere 162 on the standard Bentley chassis. 'Luxury clothed in aluminium', chassis number 'B207CM' carries James Young's elegant, two-door coupé coachwork (design number 'B20SR'). 'B207CM' is one of only three subtly different cars completed with this particular body style and in 1957 cost £6,476, which was around 50 percent above the 'standard steel' S-Type and virtually the same price as the Continental model. One of these cars - possibly 'B207CM' - is pictured on page 116 of Graham Robson's 'The Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Volume 2: Coachbuilt Models', being described as 'neat and understated'. It certainly appealed to first owner Percy Henderson of Warley, Essex who had ordered a four-door model via Jack Barclay but changed his mind when he saw the more graceful two-door alternative. The finished car was delivered in July 1957 finished in Glasso Green Grey with matching hide interior and complete with various options including a sunroof, power steering, Reutter reclining front seats and extra-large pipe ashtrays front and rear. After two years in Percy Henderson's ownership the Bentley was sold to Colonel A B McGhee of Wimbledon, while its next owner, from 1961, was one J F Howes of Howes & Jackman Architects of Grays Inn, London WC1. 'B207CM' subsequently went to the USA from whence it returned to the UK in December 1979. Since then its owners have included Richard John Edwards of Telford (1989), John C Brown of Letchworth (1991) and Ian Dixon Potter of London W9. Currently registered 'TYW 480', the Bentley currently displays a total of some 79,000 miles on the odometer and drives in a manner commensurate with that relatively low mileage. The car has recently received a full bare metal re-spray in its original colour of Glasso Green resulting in a flawless and beautiful finish, while all brightwork is in good order. The interior is trimmed in pale blue/green leather, all of which is said to be excellent. The seats have been re-covered, the backs recently and the bases a little earlier. The burr walnut woodwork is highly figured and polished to a deep mirror shine. On the road the car pulls strongly with silent gear changes and soft supple suspension. This rare and collectible coachbuilt Bentley S-Type is offered with owner's manual, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Revival Sale
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood
Lot Number163
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating1
Registration numberTYW 480
Chassis numberB207CM
Engine numberBC353
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors