Image credits: © Bentley.

1956 Bentley S1

When Bentley introduced their R-Type Continental in 1952, it had a top speed of 120-mph and was hailed as 'the fastest four-seat car in the world.' The R-Type was replaced in 1955 by the S-Series, which also had a Continental variant.

The S Series had a long chassis which many feared would degrade the cars performance. This was not so, as the engine received an increase in displacement and the rear-axle ratio was changed to provide performance levels on par with the model it replaced. The suspension was improved which gave the car a nicer ride while improving its performance.

H.J. Mulliner bodied the Rolls-Royce styled fastback coupe, also known as the Sports Saloon. There were a handful of coachbuilders that were tasked with performing their craft on the Continental models, with Park Ward probably being the most famous. Their firm produced both open and closed models for the Continental S Series. It is estimated that 431 S1 Continentals carried this Drophead Coupe body and only 69 are in existence in modern times.


by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2017

Related Reading : Bentley S1 and Continental History

The Bentley S1 was produced from 1955 through 1959 during which 3538 examples were created with 145 being outfitted with custom bodies. 431 examples were Bentley S1 Continentals. Thirty-five of the Bentley S1s sat atop a long wheelbase. Some of the notable coachbuilders who outfitted the S1s were Park Ward and H.J. Mulliner. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I and the Bentley S1 were nearly identical,....
Continue Reading >>

Related Reading : Bentley S1 and Continental History

When Bentley was purchased by the Volkswagen conglomerate in 1998, many fans of the marque feared the brand would lose its identity. With long time brother Rolls-Royce getting sold off to a different parent company, though, those worries were unwarranted. Prior to the 1930s, Rolls-Royce and Bentley were serious competitors. Both firms offered their unique interpretations on the English gentlemans....
Continue Reading >>

1956 Vehicle Profiles

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Sports Saloon
Coachwork: Hooper

Chassis Num: B460-AN
Engine Num: BA 230

In the post-World War II era, a new type of marketplace for the elite in society began to evolve; one that had owner, rather than chauffeur, driving the car. A new type of Bentley was needed. ....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Continental Cabriolet
Designer: Graber

The Bentley S Type or S1, as it was more commonly known, was produced from 1955 through 1959, during which time 432 examples were Continentals that featured the 4,887cc engine with the six-port cylinder head and other performance enhancements. Bentle....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Sports Saloon
Coachwork: Mulliner

Chassis Num: BC36LAF

The second of only 24 left-hand drive examples built between 1955 and 1959, this Bentley S1 Continental Mulliner Fastback Coupe was restored in 1971 by Steve Morton. He then drove it from Cincinnati to the Rolls-Royce Owners Club meeting in Newport, ....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC26LBG

From 1950 until 1959, all Bentley models featured the 6-cylinder engine, which was constantly upgraded and developed by the factory from its initial 4.5-liters to nearly 5 litres beginning in 1954. The later V8 engine, introduced in 1959, was stronge....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

This vehicle is a 1956 Bentley S1 Drophead Coupe with coachwork by H.J. Mulliner. It is finished in black with a red leather interior. It was on display at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC16LAF
Engine Num: BC15A

1956 Bentley S1 Continental Park Ward Coupe is the Ex Jack Warner Car and is one of the very early S1 Continentals built. The S1 had the six cylinder engine which was well proven and reliable. Coupled with styling and many interior amenities, this i....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC22LBG

Park Ward built this design on only 31 left-hand-drive S1 Continental chassis. This style was not an 'adaptation' from the factory design stampings, but rather a fully custom body, built from the ground-up by Park Ward, handcrafted in aluminum. ....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner

The Bentley S-Type or S1, as it is more commonly known, was produced from 1955 until 1959 and featured a 4887cc engine with six-port cylinder head and other performance enhancements. Bentley claimed that the eS1 Continental was the fastest four-seate....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC54LAF
Engine Num: BC53A

This Bentley Drophead Coupe wears coachwork by Park Ward. Many of the Bentley convertibles in this era were 'adaptations' however this example has a fully custom body built from the ground up by Park Ward's craftsmen. ....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC 23 LAF
Engine Num: BC 22 A

This S1 Continental Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Park Ward is one of only 31 original left-hand drive US delivery cars. It was delivered by New York City's Inskip Motors to Mr. R. L. Parish. It came equipped from the factory with a radio, sun vis....[continue reading]

1956 Bentley S1 vehicle information

Coupe
Coachwork: Park Ward & Co.

Chassis Num: BC8BG
Engine Num: BC8B

This Bentley S1 Continental Two-Door Saloon is one of 69 examples wearing coachwork by Park Ward. The car was delivered on July 31st of 1956 to its first owner, D. Mackinnon Esq. of England. It came optioned with one-piece taillights and subtle fins ....[continue reading]

Sports Saloon by Hooper
Chassis #: B460-AN 
Continental Cabriolet
 
Sports Saloon by Mulliner
Chassis #: BC36LAF 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC26LBG 
Drophead Coupe by Mulliner
 
Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC16LAF 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC22LBG 
Drophead Coupe by Mulliner
 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC54LAF 
Drophead Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC 23 LAF 
Coupe by Park Ward & Co.
Chassis #: BC8BG 


Concepts by Bentley



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bentley
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)Meteor (1,408,478)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)

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