Combining boulevard elegance with Bentley's sporting tradition, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur was the world's ultimate Grand Tourer, a fine piece of engineering that can transport you between cities in an effortless and elegant way. The Bentley S3 which succeeded the similar S2 that was introduced in Autumn 1962, with the most notable difference being the four headlamps design, lower bonnet lines, and interior layout.
The underpinnings of the Continental Flying Spur were determined by the "S" type Bentley Saloon of the mid-fifties. The model had already astounded the world's press with its level of refinement, ride, and its ability to "annihilate great distances".
The S3 Continental Flying Spur by HJ Mulliner presented here is the rarer, more expensive, more sporty and most elegant version of the S3 Saloon. The S3 Continental Flying Spur by HJ Mulliner is strictly coach-built and was the last Bentley to be built on a separate chassis, this sportier Continental body was made of aluminum while the S3 saloon was made with heavier steel. In addition to the lighter body, it also has a higher gearing and a better compression ratio which made it a faster car than the saloon.
Originally, the Bentley Continental was exclusively made as a two-door coupe but in 1957, a decision was collectively made by Rolls-Royce and HJ Mulliner to sign off production of a four-door Flying Spur variant. This would now give the Continental the practicality of a four-dour world-class tourer. The S3 Continental Flying Spur was therefore the perfect mixture of pace and elegance. It also became synonymous with the very rich and famous.
Powered by a smooth 6.2 litre V8 mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with slight engine upgrades for 1963 the Flying Spur also gained the four headlight front-end. This elegant coach-built Bentley is finished in Astral Blue with off white hide interior. The example offered here is presented in an elegant shade of Astral Blue interior over off-white interior hide. The car is very well kept mechanically and cosmetically where the paint and wooden trim still appear to be perfect.
Accompanying the car are two large history files with various documentation and MoT certificates dating back to its 1966 delivery date. The production number of S3 Continental by HJ Mulliner is incredibly low as it is only one of only 68 rare right-hand drive examples ever built and is one of only 82 chassis bodied by HJ Mulliner. It is a rare occasion to see one up for sale as most of them are still kept within the wealthy family.
Having now covered a believed genuine 55,880 miles from new, chassis number BC114XE appears to benefit from the original seats and carpets, whilst the wood has been preserved nicely. The raft of service and maintenance invoices on file also confirms that she has been maintained regardless of cost and as such behaves as one would expect on the road. Complete with air conditioning and electric windows, the last owner has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the car and describes the car as generally an excellent example, which will serve its next owner with grace and style.
The S3 Continental was the last hurrah for separate chassis, coach-built Bentleys. Impossibly expensive new, one had to rule a Gulf state, run a film studio or a member of a dynasty to purchase one new. “Even thirty years on, few cars are as ideally suited to fast, fatigue-free, long-distance motoring as a Bentley S3, particularly in Continental guise... The beautifully finished interior furnishings… excellent handling and roadholding… smooth but firm ride and effortless, long-legged power all contribute to the pleasure of driving.” – Bentley expert Martin Bennett in his 1998 standard on the model, Bentley Continental, Corniche & Azure
Body: 4 Doors Saloon
Exterior: Astral Blue
Interior: Off White Leather
Driver's Sider: RHD
Indicated Mileage: 55,880 Miles
Location: Hong Kong
Registration: Hong Kong Registered
History: Chassis # BC.114.XE was first delivered and registered to Sir Alfred McAlpine in February 1966 by J Barclay Ltd, London. The car was manufactured by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited in Crewe Cheshire in the UK, Coachbuilder was HJM/Park Ward Ltd with an official letter stating the authenticity. First registered to a notable Hong Kong Classic Car Collector and Concourse Judge in Hong Kong in September 1993, changed hand to the current owner in 2011, self ownership changed again in 2020 therefore now showing 2 previous owners on VRD. The car is in a near perfect condition, carefully used since an earlier full restoration by Beacham in New Zealand. Showing an incredibly low mileage of 55,800 Miles for its age. The car comes with all books, tool, and 2 box file full of service records. Available for viewing by appointment from serious interest only.
One of 68 right-hand drive S3 Continental Flying Spur by HJM ever built.
Sporty bodywork coach built by HJM. A perfect balance of grace and pace.
Excellent condition with all the functions of the car working fine and come with full documents of all service records and vehicle history.
Classic Insider condition score: 90 points out of 100
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- Brakes Service
- New Steering Ram
- Carburetor Rebuilt, Gasket change (Inlet Manifold, Bypass, Thermostat)
- Changed 3 engine mount
- Spark Plug changed
- Rebuild Intake parts
- Annual Service and MOT
- Minor bodywork and paint for door, truck and rear fender
- Annual Service and MOT
- New Starter Motor
- Annual Service and MOT
- New Fuel Pump and Lines
- Annual Service and MOT
- Annual Service and MOT
- New Fog lights
- Repair Left Front Window motor
Previous Service records from Bentley Hong Kong and other marque specialist available upon request
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:
Introduced in 1955, the Bentley S-Type and equivalent Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud saloons were thoroughly modern, spacious, comfortable, quiet and powerful. In production for 10 years, they were the final series-production coachbuilt cars from Crewe.
Building on the legendary status of the ground-breaking R-Type Continental, Bentley soon announced a two-door S-Type to be available as a stunning drophead coupé by Park Ward and a desirable and sporting ‘fastback’ by H.J. Mulliner.
These cars were fast – thanks to aluminium coachwork, a raised compression ratio and longer final drive – and once again found favour with the super-rich of the day. It took two years before the company relented to customer demand for the pace and exclusivity of the Continental combined with the practicality of four doors. H.J. Mulliner of NW London created a superlative Continental saloon, subsequently titled ‘Flying Spur’ after the Clan Johnstone crest of Mulliner’s then managing director, Harry Talbot Johnstone.
Facing competition from across the Atlantic, in August 1959 Rolls-Royce announced a new, 6,230cc V8. The light alloy unit weighed the same as the outgoing ’six but produced significantly more power, perhaps as much as 25%. The new S2 Continentals – only ever fitted with automatic gearboxes – were faster and even more refined than ever. At the same time, making use of the more compact profile of the new engine, the distinctive radiator shell was lowered and slightly raked forward.
In 1959, Rolls-Royce acquired H. J. Mulliner & Co., coachbuilders (HJM). In 1961, HJM was merged with Park Ward, which had been in the possession of Rolls-Royce since 1939, to form Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd. (MPW). When production of the S3 Continentals commenced there were more differences than the adaption of the previous HJM design by Mulliner Park Ward: The cars were built at the former Park Ward premises in Willesden, North London. The HJM facilities were abandoned.
The Bentley S3, introduced in October 1962, took this process of modernisation one step further. More than simply a twin-headlamp face-lift, S3s featured a raft of other changes including another 1.5in taken off the height of the radiator, which was raked further to aid visibility. All S3 engines had bigger, 2in SU carburettors and this modification, together with raised compression, gave the cars an edge in performance, particularly above 60mph. For the first time as standard the front seats were individual, rather than a single bench.
Production of the magnificent S3 finished mid-1965 just as the all-new Silver Shadow was announced. A total of 310 S3 Continentals had been sold, only 68 of them are RHD four-door Flying Spurs.
The S3 Continental was strictly coachbuilt. Most bodies were of the altered HJM style, available in fixed head or drop head coupe form. Of the 328 coachbuilt S3 (Continentals included here), nearly 100 were by MPW. Again, fixed head or a drop head coupe configurations were available. The most prominent visual difference from the S2 configuration was the four canted headlights.
For the first time, this body was offered on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, as well as the S3 chassis. The final S3 was delivered in 1966, when the new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-series were readily available. Like earlier Continentals, the sportier S3 bodywork was manufactured entirely from aluminum, unlike the heavier, steel-bodied S3 saloon. This, combined with higher gearing and better compression ratios made for a markedly faster car.
Four-doored Continentals bodied by H. J. Mulliner were known as the "Flying Spur", although four-door Continentals by other coachbuilders are sometimes erroneously referred to as "Flying Spurs" as well; the term only correctly refers to Mulliner's versions. Another elegant four-door saloon for the S3 Continental came from James Young.
This Bentley Continental features the elegant, H J Mulliner-designed, ‘Flying Spur’ four-door coachwork and is one of only 86 S3 models completed in this style.
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