Bentley came back into the post-war luxury car market with the Mark VI, basically a refined and modernised version of the 4 1/4 litre of the 1930s; it was the first model to be offered with standardised steel coachwork direct from the factory as well as in coachbuilt versions, and was remarkably successful even in those straitened times, and even made an impact on the all-important export market, especially the USA. However, by the mid 1950s the design was starting to show its age. Automotive fashion was changing, cars were growing larger, and accordingly in 1955 Bentley introduced the splendid S type. Longer and arguably more elegant than its predecessor, the car was powered by a version of the magnificent straight six, but in a 4.9 litre twin carburettor form, and a four-speed automatic gearbox was fitted as standard. Of course the car retained the traditional luxurious leather-and-walnut ‘drawing room’ interior, and the Company made maintained its established policy of continuous improvement, so that by the time the time B218FA was built, in the summer of1958, the engine tune had been refined to increase output, and power steering was fitted as standard, a most desirable improvement on this very large car.
Today’s example is a fine example of the breed, from finished in the classic period livery of Smoke Green and Sage, with the interior still upholstered for the most part in what seems to be the original matching green hide. The history file contains both the original folding buff logbook showing the ownership history to the mid 1970s, and a V5 registration document, together with some invoices and documentation relating to the car’s maintenance and refurbishment. These cars are remarkably satisfying to own, offering comfort and craftsmanship, as is shown by their continuing popularity in the owners clubs, and yet still offer truly surprising value in today’s market.