The advent of the Bentley Continental with modern styling made the contemporary R-Type look distinctly dated. Something beyond a facelift was required. The resulting S-Type was launched in 1955 to much acclaim, the standard Park Ward body being much greater in size and grandeur compared to the preceding car. There were three phases of this model resulting in the final S3 series and a number of mechanical changes were introduced over this period.
The S2 Continental was developed from the S1 on the same chassis, using the aluminium 61/4 litre V8 engine in place of the old 6 cylinder 4,887cc unit which had been phased out in 1959. Automatic transmission, power steering and servo brakes combined to make a superb grand touring car. As the launch of the all new Bentley S2 Continental chassis and engine drew closer the design team at H.J. Mulliner also looked to the future and began to make some small amendments to their S1 Continentals Fastback design by re-positioning of the front spot lights on to the top of the wing line.
They also listened to their customers’ requests for a new two door design which allowed greater luggage capacity in the boot. The result was design number 7500, built in very limited numbers which was fitted with a wraparound rear screen and fins on the front and rear wings. Design number 7500 was arguably improved further for the S2 Continental chassis with the removal of the fins to allow a more graceful line. The result was design number 7514, considered by many including ourselves to be the most attractive of all coachwork designs fitted to the S2 Continental chassis between 1959 and 1962
Chassis No BC71CZ is one of just 71 examples built to design number 7514 in right hand drive by H.J. Mulliner. The coachwork was constructed entirely of aluminium at their West London works, completed to order for each individual customer in the bespoke fashion that Bentley Continental owners had become accustomed to. BC71CZ was completed in February of 1962 and supplied by the Rolls-Royce agent in Geneva Garage L’Athenee to its first owner Mr Otto Streicher of Zurich.
According to the chassis records, it was ordered in a colour only described as Special Blue, with a green leather interior. The car is now presented in Pewter but retains its original green leather interior. Although early records beyond the car’s first few years are sparse, we understand that the car returned to England during the late 1960s where it remained until 1999. It was bought by a British collector on 1989 and then supplied by Frank Dale & Stepsons ten years later to a collector in Europe.
The car returned to their workshops in London periodically over the past sixteen years for servicing and general maintenance, being cared for on a no expense spared basis. Its most recent trip to the UK was for preparatory works prior to embarking on a rally, where the car performed beautifully. More recently and prior to be offered for sale, a number of improvements have been undertaken, including the fitting of air conditioning. New dark green Wilton carpets have been trimmed and fitted to both the cabin and the boot. The coachwork has been restored along with significant amounts of the brightwork. It is also important to note that air conditioning has been put in which makes this wonderful Coupe even more satisfying on a long tour. The result is a car in excellent condition, fully prepared and ready for its next trip. It comes complete with its small tools in its Mulliner box, an original handbook, copies of the original chassis cards and a good history file detailing the maintenance records and more recent improvements.