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Lot 106

2019   |   Pebble Beach 2019

1961 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur

Coachwork by H.J. Mulliner

SOLD $168,000

Estimate

$275,000 - $350,000

Chassis

BC73LBY

Engine

B72BC

Car Highlights

One of 55 Left-Hand-Drive Flying Spur Saloons by H.J. Mulliner
Bentley’s First Model Equipped with a V-8 Engine
Original Color Combination of Regal Red over Black
Restored by Renowned Marque Specialists Including P & A Wood
Well Documented with Original Manual and Tool Kit

Technical Specs

6,230 CC OHV V-8 Engine
Twin SU HD6 Carburetors
Estimated 180 BHP at 4,500 RPM
4-Speed Automatic Transmission
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Wishbones and Coil Springs
Rear Live Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs
Register to Bid

Mrs. N. Reisini, London, UK (acquired new in 1961)Robert Maxwell, New York, New York (acquired by 1981)P.J. Fischer, London, UK (acquired from the above in 1988)Private Collector, Switzerland (acquired from the above in 1990)Dieter Rickert, Munich, Germany (acquired from the above in 1994)Private Collection, Germany (acquired from the above in 2010)Jürgen Reinold, Cologne, Germany (acquired from the above in 2011)Current Owner (reacquired from the above in 2015)

Schloss Bensberg Classics, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, 2013

The now legendary Bentley S Series cars and their counterpart Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds were the final models offered by these vaunted companies that allowed for the option of custom coachbuilding in addition to factory bodies. Much more expensive and exclusive than the standard cars, the bespoke coachbuilt examples were built in far fewer numbers.

The arrival of the S2 represented a major and welcome revision of the venerable S1 model, as its all-new Rolls-Royce-developed aluminum V-8, L-Series engine provided additional horsepower and better acceleration than the outgoing straight six.

Separate from the Rolls-Royce models, Bentley exclusively offered the Continental series, which included a sport-tuned suspension, higher gear ratios, and a dash-mounted tachometer. In the case of the Bentley S2, of the 2,300-plus cars produced, a scant 390 Continentals were built, and each received custom coachwork. Of these, 128 were the elegant H.J. Mulliner-bodied Flying Spur, with just 55 completed in left-hand drive.

This Bentley Continental Flying Spur is one of the 43 highly desirable and beautifully proportioned six-light (window), left-hand-drive S2 saloons produced. This example, chassis BC73LBY, was delivered to H.J. Mulliner on December 15, 1960, to receive its coachwork. Finished in Regal Red over a black Connolly leather interior with a rear-mounted air-conditioning unit, it was delivered to its first owner, Mrs. N. Reisini of London, on June 14, 1961. Mrs. Reisini had her car built in left-hand drive, as she planned to use it extensively on the European continent. Documents on file note that by 1981, the Bentley was owned by Robert Maxwell in the US. A resident of multiple states, Mr. Maxwell regularly had the Flying Spur shipped to and from his homes in New York, Missouri, and Bel Air, California. By 1990, the Continental had been exported to the UK, and eventually Switzerland. There, a private collector treated the car to a thorough restoration in the early 1990s, lavishing approximately $100,000 on the Bentley, which was the recipient of new Regal Red paint, black leather upholstery, and extensive mechanical renewal. The S2 then would pass among several European owners before being reacquired in 2015 by the Swiss collector, who has spent an additional $6,000 within the past year to freshen the S2 in preparation for this auction.

The Bentley is offered with a copy of its factory build sheet, extensive historical and restoration documents as well as the original owner’s manual, tool and bulb kits, jack, tire pump, trouble light, and spare. A superb example of bespoke British craftsmanship, the S2 Continental Flying Spur presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate Bentley Motors’ 100th anniversary with the acquisition of a coachbuilt icon.