At the 1959 London Motor Show, Rolls-Royce and Bentley introduced their first all-alloy V8 engine. It was housed in the Bentley S2 and its cousin, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. This new powerplant offered about 200 bhp and due to its lightweight construction, offered tremendous performance in comparison to the 4.8-liter six-cylinder engine it replaced. Other new mechanical features included the Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and upgraded power assisted brakes. Inside, the S2 was given an updated dashboard which included improved gauges.
The S2 was available in 'Continental' form, the highest specification of the line-up. It had upgraded brakes and a higher rear axle ratio to cope with high speed cruising on the modern motorways. The Continentals were more comfortable, quieter, and faster than the standard production cars, making them more desirable and sought after.
Most of the S2 models were given 'Standard Steel Saloon' coachwork. For the more discriminating customers who sought something more exclusive, Bentley and Rolls offered custom coachwork. H.J. Mulliner created coachwork for the standard S2 models. Park Ward was given responsibility of creating an open Continental, known as a drop head coupe. There were only 125 S2 Continental Park Ward Drop Head Coupes produced with only 62 being left-hand drive models.
This example is one of those rare models fitted with left-hand drive Park Ward open coachwork. It was delivered new in September of 1961 to Mr. D. Cunningham and later purchased in 1996 by a prominent New England-based collector, who has owned it ever since. It is finished in champagne metallic with a burgundy leather interior. It has been well taken care of and properly maintained since new.
In 2009, this Bentley S2 Continental Drop Head Coupe was offered for sale at the Sports & Classics of Monterey auction in Monterey, California presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $175,000-$225,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $130,000 including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :