Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Bentley – S2 (1961)


Vehicle Type:
Drophead Coupé
Coach Builder:
H.J. Mulliner
Engine CC:
Jörg Wolle (CH)

Class F


Bentley - S2
Class F70

The Bentley S2 was presented at the beginning of 1959. Although the exterior appeared visually unchanged from its S1 predecessor, new developments had actually been implemented under the metal skin. The S2 was fitted with a larger 6.2 litre V8 engine that had been developed anew. The engine block and cylinder heads were fashioned in cast aluminium and the overhead valves were controlled by the camshaft and operated by hydraulic tappets. The performance was considerably enhanced and the engine generated approximately 25 percent more power than the original six-cylinder engine fitted in the S1. The new engine also provided sufficient power reserves to drive the multifarious auxiliary units like the air conditioning system. This engine was used – and further enlarged – by Bentley until well into the year 2020. Power steering was now fitted as standard and the dashboard had undergone a redesign facelift. The S2 was offered with a short wheelbase (312 cm) and a long wheelbase (323 cm), and these luxury cars were delivered with the factory body as standard. However, there was still an option to purchase only the chassis, and the S2 Continental sports version was indeed only offered as a chassis. Out of the 1,920 S2 chassis (SWB and LWB) produced between 1959 and 1962, most were delivered as complete vehicles with the standard factory bodywork, while the remainder were fitted with coachwork styled by Mulliner, James Young, Park Ward or Hooper. This example was bodied by H.J. Mulliner & Co. as a four-seater two-door drophead coupé and delivered new in 1961 to Walter B. Devereux in New York. Since 1993, this elegant and rare open-top Bentley has been in the custodianship of a Swiss private collection. Altogether some 1,863 Bentley S2 cars were built originally, but only 15 were clothed in the drophead coupé body by H.J. Mulliner.

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