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Sunday, September 19, 2010

1961 Bentley SII Drophead Coupe


Registration Number: 7 FGT Chassis Number: B402CU 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 6¼ 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. The S2 is especially significant in really being the final opportunity for coachbuilders to show their full creative ability, as shortly afterwards H J Mulliner and Park Ward amalgamated and with the exception of the Flying Spur, coach-built bodies available on the S3 model were rather bland and featureless compared with what had gone before Featuring an attractive original drophead body style, chassis B402CU was originally delivered in 1961 to Sir John Moores, who at the time was one of the wealthiest men in Britain after founding the Littlewoods chain of clothing stores. Moores originally founded Littlewoods in 1932 as a mail-order store, with the first high street branch appearing in 1937. A lifelong resident of Liverpool, Moores became Chairman of Everton Football Club in June 1960, and the next year famously sacked then-manager Johnny Carey in the back of a taxi. In 1970, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool, and ten years later he was to receive a knighthood. Moore’s influence in the area remains strong to this day, and just a year before he passed away in 1993, Liverpool Polytechnic was renamed Liverpool John Moores University in his honour after being awarded University status. Special options included in the car’s original specification included a radio, Rolls-Royce electric windows, Dunlop tubeless tyres, electric aerial and a heavy-gauge frame. Restored some ten years, ago, the car resided in the USA until recently, and is in excellent running order. Resplendent in Shell Grey with a matching grey leather interior, this stunning Bentley has a very special heritage and would make a fine addition to any collection.


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