1961 Bentley S2

The Bentley S2, introduced in September of 1959, was the stablemate to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and retained the basic body design and chassis of its predecessor, the S1. The F-head six-cylinder engine of the S1 was replaced with an all-new overhead-valve V-8 engine, under design and development for the previous decade by the engineers at Crewe. Breaking from the tradition of its parent firm, Rolls-Royce, long disdained publication of horsepower ratings, the new 6230cc V-8 engine was estimated to develop over 200 brake horsepower, approximately 25% more than the old six. With the light-weight all-alloy construction, the Silver Cloud II and S2 were faster and quicker than their immediate predecessors. Significant changes were made to the running gear, with power-assisted steering offered as standard equipment and the manual gearbox was no longer offered, with the Rolls-Royce four-speed automatic being the sole offering.

Continuing the tradition established by the R-Type Continental of the early 1950s, a higher-specification Continental variant with distinctive styling was offered on the S2 chassis to discerning buyers. Upgrades included four-leading-shoe drum brakes in the front, special highs-peed tires, a higher rear axle ratio applied up to 'B-Series' Chassis BC99BY, lightweight alloy body panels, and a lower-profile radiator.

The Continental was exclusively a coachbuilt automobiles. The firms of H J Mulliner, Park Ward, James Young and Hooper (with a solitary example) all offered handcrafted bodies on the Continental S2 chassis. James Young and Hooper would soon cease coachbuilding, leaving only Mulliner and Park Ward to carry on a tradition. Consolidating its in-house coachbuilding capability, Rolls-Royce had purchased H J Mulliner in 1959 and two years later the firm was merged with Park Ward, which had been acquired in 1939.

Bentley produced 2,308 examples of the S2 with 388 being Continentals, 222 were bodied in styles that originated with H J Mulliner and 125 with those of Park Ward.


by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2020

Related Reading : Bentley S2 and Continental History

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,....
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Related Reading : Bentley S2 and Continental History

A 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....
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A CENTURY OF INNOVATION: THE BENTLEY S2 CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR

Bentleys centenary celebrations continue in 2019 with the anniversary of another landmark model in the companys history. The S2 Continental Flying Spur was launched 60 years ago to great acclaim and is a timely reminder of the luxury British car makers ongoing quest to extend the limits of innovation. The elegant S2 featured an all-new aluminium V8 that afforded a significant boost in power.....
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1961 Vehicle Profiles

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC32LCZ

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 c....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Flying Spur Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC96LBY

Most of the Bentley S series models featured the standard steel saloon body, with a few receiving light alloy Continental coachwork from Mulliner Park Ward. In this guise, the cars had lighter weight and a reduced frontal area permitting higher speed....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

The introduction of the S-2 model brought with it several improvements on what was already considered one of the world's finest motorcars. It now sported a 6.2 liter alloy V8 engine and rides on a chassis that sported forged front suspension pieces, ....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Saloon

Most of the S2 models produced were given the Bentley Standard Steel Saloon coachwork. ....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Flying Spur Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC102LAR
Engine Num: A101BC

Coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner produced 128 examples of the Flying Spur on the S2 Continental chassis. Just 52 of these were left-hand drive. Design number 7443 was a four-door sport saloon with sculpted rear fenders and close-coupled lines. The design w....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Flying Spur Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

The current owner has paperwork that indicates this vehicle was ordered and purchased by Herbert L. Shuttleworth II, third generation of Mohawk Carpet Mills. The chassis delivery date was October 9, 1959 and the car delivery date was August 31, 1960.....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

The Bentley S series represents the last of the coach built cars and while most examples featured the standard steel saloon bodies, a few were built with Mulliner Park Ward Continental body work in light alloy. The lighter weight and reduced frontal ....[continue reading]

1961 Bentley S2 vehicle information

Continental Saloon
Coachwork: James Young

Chassis Num: BC41LBY

The automotive industry has continually evolved and following World War II, Rolls-Royce clientele shifted away from chauffeur-driven cars to personal luxury cars driven by the owners themselves. The demand for coach-built vehicles, however, was still....[continue reading]

Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC32LCZ 
Continental Flying Spur Saloon by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC96LBY 
Drophead Coupe by Mulliner
 
Saloon
 
Continental Flying Spur Saloon by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC102LAR 
Continental Flying Spur Saloon by Mulliner
 
Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
 
Continental Saloon by James Young
Chassis #: BC41LBY 


Concepts by Bentley



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1-$14,595
1961 S2
$14,595-$22,755

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bentley
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)

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