Registration Number: FSV 701
Chassis Number: BC105AR

- One of only 41 James Young-bodied S2 Continentals
- First registered to bandleader Edmundo Ros

In the 1950s and 1960s the Bentley Continental was the world's ultimate Grand Tourer, a car in which you could set off from any European capital in the morning and arrive at Monte Carlo fresh enough to play the tables that same evening. 

Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their Silver Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though their performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminium-alloy engine, which produced approximately 25% more power than the old six. 'The Bentley S2, with its sister Rolls-Royce models, gives high-speed travel in silence and luxury, while the driver and passengers enjoy the sense of well-being that only British craftsmanship can give,' enthused Autosport. 'The V8 engine, with its flashing acceleration, certainly contributes to the result and is a definite step forward in Rolls-Royce technique.' There were few significant changes to the running gear, though power-assisted steering was now standard and the manual gearbox had been dropped, Rolls-Royce's own four-speed automatic transmission being the sole offering.

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. 

Bromley-based James Young had bodied its first automobile in 1908, affiliating itself with a succession of quality marques throughout the 1920s and 1930s before being acquired by the Jack Barclay Group in 1937. Post-war, James Young continued to offer coachbuilt designs until the unitary construction Silver Shadow/T-Series range, evaporated the supply of Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis for the basis of coachbuild bodies. In the firm's twilight years of the late 1950s and early 1960s, James Young produced arguably its best creations.

Only 41 S2 Continental chassis were bodied by James Young in period, a handful survive to this day. BC105AR, a four-door, six light saloon (design reference CV.100), was ordered by Edmundo Ros, a notable band leader of the early post-war period, and owner of the famous Coconut Grove club in London's Regent Street (later to become known as Edmundo Ros' Dinner and Supper Club). The club regularly hosted the cream of British high society, including members of the Royal Family.

According to copies of the original chassis records, the Continental was ordered on1st April 1960, finished in two-tone James Young Opal over James Young Dark Opal, with a matching red leather interior, and optioned with power steering, “white-sided” tyres, electric windows and aerial. Assigned the registration number ‘EWR 1’, for some reason the Bentley was not first registered until September of 1962. 

In 2008 the Bentley’s coachwork was stripped to bare metal, and minor repairs undertaken as required, and refinished in an attractive shade of metallic blue. The red leather rim was renewed the following year, and the carpeting replaced in 2015. At the time the vehicle was serviced by specialist Hillier Hill, and in current ownership by local Bristol technicians PLG Auto Services. In 2016, and in addition to scheduled maintenance, the Bentley received a new fuel tank, brake pipes and other remedial work as required, such as a replacement rear screen and bumper over-riders. Whilst cosmetically in very good order, we note the Bentley will now benefit from very minor attention to localised areas of the paintwork.   

The history file contains original build records, later invoices for maintenance and other works, and images of Bentley during the refinishing of the coachwork and trimming, older and current MoT certificate to Feb 2024.

A true Gentleman’s Express in the traditional sense, this wonderful rare James Young-bodied Bentley Continental is ready to be enjoyed by its next custodian.

Auction Date: 23rd Sep 2023 at 2pm

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Sale Dates:
23rd Sep 2023 2pm (Lots 1 to 39)