Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward

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S2 Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward





The Continental version of the Bentley remained, as ever, exclusively a coachbuilt automobile. The firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young and Hooper (with a solitary example) all offered hand crafted bodies on the Continental S2 chassis, which differed from the standard version by virtue of its four-leading-shoe front brakes, shorter radiator and, up to chassis number 'BC99BY', higher gearing. Of these four, James Young and Hooper would soon cease coachbuilding, leaving only Mulliner and Park Ward to carry on a noble tradition. Consolidating its in-house coachbuilding capability, Rolls-Royce purchased H J Mulliner in 1959 and two years later the firm was merged with Park Ward, which had been acquired in 1939. Of the 388 S2 Continentals made, 222 were bodied in styles that originated with H J Mulliner and 125 with those of Park Ward and James Young 41.

S Continental Flying Spur 1957 – 1962

S1 1957-59 55Gab 7443 (14.Gab 7443B 3.Gab LH)

S2 1960-62 125Gab RH 71Gab. LH 52Gab.

Rolls-Royce had envisaged the Bentley Continental as exclusively a two-door car, but late in 1957 the decision was taken to sanction the production of a four-door variation by H J Mulliner. Introduced on the S1 Continental and known as the 'Flying Spur', this design was a collaborative effort by Rolls-Royce's in-house styling department and H J Mulliner, and bore a strong resemblance both to the two-door Continental and to existing coachbuilt four-door styles on Rolls-Royce and (non-Continental) Bentley chassis. To the Continental's existing qualities of pace and elegance, the Flying Spur added four-door practicality, a more spacious interior and generously proportioned boot. The Flying Spur body style continued on the V8-engined S2 Continental and was revised to incorporate the S3's four-headlamp front end following the latter's introduction in 1962.

The Bentley Flying Spur was offered in two models, with either four or six side windows; the “Four Light” variant, style number 7443/B, was the most rare, as it was used on only fourteen S1 Continental chassis, of which only three were factory left-hand-drive examples, the vast majority of those produced (55 cars) being completed in the six-light style ('7443'), while two other six-lights featured smaller rear quarter lights.   Mulliner produced 128 examples of the Flying Spur on the S2 Continental chassis, of which a mere 52 were left-hand drive examples.

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