Bentley S2 and Continental
Total Production: 2,308 1959 - 1963
The Bentley S2 was introduced in 1959 and produced until 1962. The S2 replaced the S1 and would later be replaced by the S3. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I and the Bentley S1 had been nearly identical. This tradition continued with the Bentley S2 and the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II also being nearly identical. Most of the bodies were constructed by Bentley but few custom coachbuilders, such as Hooper, James Young, Park Ward, and H.J. Mulliner were commissioned to body the vehicles.
Under the hood was an all-aluminum 6230 cc V-8 engine with dual SU carburetors that would be used by Bentley until the 1998 Arnage. Servo-assisted drum brakes were used to provide stopping power. The front suspension was independent with coil springs while the rear was semi-elliptic springs.
The S2, by many, was considered to be the greatest of the S-series. These four-door touring automobiles were well known for their ample room for four passengers and their luggage.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006A ride oozing pure luxury, the extravagant S2 Continental was a high-performance variant of the Bentley S2, which was produced from 1959 through 1962. The S2 designation stood for the new V8 engine and the designation 'Continental' had been previously used from 1912 by Rolls Royce. Standard on S2 models was power steering, a new dashboard and steering wheel, though some early models came with the earlier S1 dashboard.
The S2 was the replacement for the Bentley S1 and brought with it an all-new aluminum V8 engine that displaced 6.2 L over the previous straight-six engine from the S1. The new engine was a vast improvement over previous models. Fitted with twin carbs with automatic choke, the V8 engine in the S2 had a compression ratio of 8 to 1. Operating the overhead valves were hydraulic tappets while the cylinder blocks and heads were cast in aluminum alloys. To keep up with high-speed cruising on modern roads the S2 had a higher rear axle ratio and upgraded brakes.
A total of three hundred and eighty-eight luxurious S2 Continental's were produced during its brief production span. All models were drophead coupes or sports saloons with the exception of the 4-door 'Flying Spur'. Drophead coupes are two-door convertibles while a sports saloon is a high-performance two or four-door enclosed automobile with a front and back seat. The Continental line included the H.J Mulliner Coupé, H.J. Mulliner Flying Spur, the James Young Sports Saloon and Park Ward Drophead Coupé. Original to the Bentley line, the open Drophead Coupé was designed by Vilhelm Koren of Norway for Park Ward and featured an exclusive straight fender line. Out of the 388 S2 Continentals, only 125 models were built with this Drophead Coupé design
The 'Continental' form was the highest trim level available in the lineup and offered a much more luxurious and faster ride than standard production vehicles. Today the Bentley Continental S2 is a highly desirable collectible. Their special coach-built frame and 'higher-than-standard' performance levels thanks to lightweight body construction, robust engines and high gear ratios easily distinguish continental models from 'regular' Bentley models. They included lavish upgrades like press button window lifts, electric rear window demisters, electrically operated ride control, power-assisted steering, updated and more flexible AC and fully automatic transmission.
Famed coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner produced 128 examples of the four-door sport saloon 'Flying Spur'. Of these exclusive 128 models only 52 were left-hand drive models.
By Jessica DonaldsonA CENTURY OF INNOVATION: THE BENTLEY S2 CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR•Elegant S2 Continental Flying Spur a landmark car in Bentley history
•Flagship four-door saloon launched 60 years ago to great acclaim
•Ground-breaking 6.2-litre aluminium V8 vastly improved performance
•Luxury features included press button window lifts, enhanced air conditioning and window demisters
•Electrically-operated ride control offered luxurious Grand Touring
•Bentley's drive for innovation still synonymous with brand in 2019
(Crewe, 29 March 2019) Bentley's centenary celebrations continue in 2019 with the anniversary of another landmark model in the company's history.
The S2 Continental Flying Spur was launched 60 years ago to great acclaim and is a timely reminder of the luxury British car maker's ongoing quest to extend the limits of innovation.
The elegant S2 featured an all-new aluminium V8 that afforded a significant boost in power. The increased output from the L Series 6.2-litre engine dramatically enhanced performance, while other exclusive features available in the 1959 car included electrically-operated ride control, electric rear window demisters and press button window lifts.
S2 Continental Flying Spur – Innovation & Elegance
The new Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur was hailed as one of the most luxurious and innovative saloons in the world at its launch in 1959.
A number of advanced features in the S2 were state-of-the-art for the time. The sleek saloon, handcrafted by coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner, utilised a lightweight aluminium V8 engine, replacing a six-cylinder unit from the S1 that dated back to the 1920s.
The ground-breaking L Series engine proved so successful it was later used in the Bentley Arnage and Brooklands models. A highly modified version is still fitted in the Bentley Mulsanne today.
Innovative Luxury Personified
The all-new V8 engine installed in the Continental S2 Flying Spur made Bentley's luxurious saloon even smoother to drive. The muscular unit transformed the British-built car into the ultimate Grand Tourer.
Power steering, electrically-operated ride control and fully automatic transmission were standard, while the boost in engine output ensured dramatically improved and more flexible air conditioning, the ultimate luxury in 1959.
The S2 Flying Spur was so advanced it featured electric rear window demisters and press button window lifts. A new dashboard and steering wheel design added to the exclusivity. In all, more than 1,900 S2 cars were hand-built between 1959 and 1962.
The Continental Flying Spur was launched in 2005, heralding a new era of luxurious, high performance models to the Bentley stable. It was the fastest four-seat car in the world at the time. Now, as Bentley celebrates its centenary in 2019, the Flying Spur remains very much a part of the company's future plans.
Bentley's Centenary Year
July 10, 2019 marks Bentley's 100th year – an extraordinary milestone achieved by only a few companies. To celebrate the occasion, a year-long series of special activities has been planned, with celebrations at events around the world.
Like the anniversary of the S2 Continental Flying Spur, they will showcase Bentley's motoring evolution over the last 100 years, highlighting its global success today and the exciting future of innovation ahead.Source - Bentley