Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Graber
Introduced in 1955, the Bentley S-Type followed the successful R-Type, incorporating significant improvements and serving as the firm’s sole offering for the next decade. Of the 3,072 S1 chassis produced, less than 5% were equipped with custom coachwork, most often by British coachbuilders. Offered here is a rare Drophead Coupe example, featuring coachwork by Graber of Switzerland.
The accompanying chassis card for B462LAN shows a chassis delivery date of August 8, 1955, destined for Bern, Switzerland where Graber fitted distinctive drophead coupe coachwork. The completed car was delivered May 5, 1956 with its first owner listed as Mme. Richepin-Meeking of Montreux. This body was one of only two built to this design, and as a Swiss delivery, it employed a left-hand-drive chassis equipped with a speedometer reading in kilometers.
Egon Schäfer acquired the Bentley in 1985 in Vevey, Switzerland, a short distance from Montreux. Mr. Schäfer imported the car to Stuttgart, Germany and the extensive file of service receipts document the care it received during his nearly three decades of ownership. It then made its way to England after being acquired by its current owner in 2014, who treated the rare drophead to an extensive restoration by Paulo Centazzo of Rome between 2017 to 2019. It is currently finished in elegant and appropriate tones of light oyster metallic paintwork with a beige canvas top. The interior of light olive leather and matching carpets provide the perfect accent.
The modern Graber design provides a clean, uncluttered presence featuring a straight-line profile complemented by a convertible top which folds neatly behind the rear seat with minimal bulk. When raised, the absence of rear quarter windows suggests a most intimate, private passenger compartment. The vertical chrome molding aft of the door is a trademark Graber touch frequently found on the firm’s designs of this era. Inside, the dashboard contains a full array of Smith’s gauges with separate power window switches placed outboard of the radio.
Complementing the coachwork are proven mechanicals, pairing the Bentley’s stout 4.9-liter inline six-cylinder engine with the General Motors sourced four-speed automatic transmission. Facilitating driving ease, this example is also now equipped with power steering.
Just two S1s of this striking Graber design were produced, with this example being the sole left-hand-drive version. Its stance perfects an unmatched combination of style and elegance that is well suited to the concours field, while its on-road prowess promises both driver and passengers a delightful grand touring experience, top up or down.
*Please note that this lot is currently located in the UK. A new DVLA-issued V5C is being processed and should be available shortly following the auction. For further information, please contact email@example.com. Please note that the Seller of this Lot is a private individual.
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