Lot 217 - 1964 Bentley S3 Continental Drophead MPW
- 1 of only 27 Right hand drive examples
- First owner the Earl of Ballantrae
At the London Motor Show in 1959, Rolls-Royce Bentley Motors introduced their all-new 6.2-litre V8 engine with the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 models. A classic configuration of pushrod overhead valves, central camshaft and crossflow heads, the block and cylinder heads were alloy, and the fuel mixture was delivered through two horizontal SU HD6 carburettors. A new development of the engine arrived in 1962 with the third generation S series, mounted on the Silver Cloud III and S3.
The headlight styling of S3 Continentals earned them the sobriquet of 'Chinese Eye' models, or ‘Chinese Lanterns’, as referred to by Sir Elton John, one of the most famous owners of the model. Except for the adoption of quadruple headlights, it was difficult to differentiate at first glance between the S3 and previous models; however, there were numerous minor changes, one being a lower radiator shell resulting in a more pronounced shape in the bonnet line. The improved engine of the S3 delivered a compression ratio of 9:1, which resulted in 220 bhp and a top speed close to 120 mph. Yet the car still afforded four luxuriously upholstered seats and a power-operated top that was as shapely as any fixed head coupé on the market. Once lowered, the hood disappeared behind the rear seats; and the electric power windows and rear quarter-lights retracted to create the most elegant of open-top four-seaters. This is a car that glides effortlessly and with considerable grace wherever you choose to point it.
To bring the design into full production, Park Ward relied heavily on the methods that they had used in aviation work with extensive use of welded steel for the frame and panels, thereby creating an extremely strong, single bodywork structure. The S3 Continental chassis was the swansong for the finest creative efforts of the specialist coachbuilders and was the last Bentley to have a separate chassis. The final chassis rolled off the production line in 1966 and the term ‘Continental’ was not then used on any subsequent Bentley model for decades. The Bentley S3 Continental drophead coupé is indeed a very rare vehicle. From a total production run of just 58, only 27 were made in right hand drive form.
We are delighted to offer this extremely rare Bentley. Originally registered on 1st January 1964, the buff log book that is the file for this car, shows that the first owner was The Earl of Inchcape and was registered to his family home of Glenapp castle, Ballantrae, Ayrshire. Copies of the original build schedule show that this impressive car was ordered with a power hood, electric windows and luggage straps. Following several different owners, the car was purchased by enthusiast Mr. Peter Sayer in March 1993. The car is offered for sale following the unfortunate passing of Mr. Sayer. We are informed that although dry stored, the car has not been driven for several years and will require restoration, therefore buyers please be aware that this fabulous British classic is not able to be driven away from the auction and transport will be needed to take the car to its next destination. Offered without reserve and with a file that contains earlier sales invoices, bills of work and a V5C registration document 905 GYV is a rare opportunity to own such an important piece of automotive history. Consigned by Dominic Lake
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.