Bentley’s engineers managed to combine beautiful design, effortless dynamics, and unrivaled modern technology to create a dynamic and sophisticated four-door sports sedan with sculpted rear fenders and attractive body lines, called S2 Continental. It was so fast that it received the nickname “Flying Spur”.
Source: Bentley Media
British high-class vehicles always combined luxury, aristocratic style, and excellent performance. Most recently (2019), one such British brand, Bentley, celebrated its 100th anniversary, a milestone that few automakers managed to achieve. In addition, to the centenary, the company celebrated the 60th anniversary of one of its iconic models, the S2 Continental “Flying Spur”. Introduced in 1959, the 4-door version of the Continental was an elegant sedan with six side windows where the resemblance to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II was minimal compared to the basic S2 sedans.
Like almost all British automakers, Bentley was engaged in military equipment production during World War II. Civilian automobile production resumed in the post-war period, and the company removed its factory from Derby to Crewe. The company introduced its first post-war model in 1952 and it was the R-Type Continental, which was released for three years, from June 1952 to April 1955. Later, the Continental S1 (1955–1959), S2 (1959–1962), and S3 (1962–1965) followed. The S series, particularly the S1 one, was very well received. Starting in July 1959, the new S2 series debuted equipped with their famous V8 engine and included previously optional specifications like air conditioning and power steering systems.
Source: Tom Harley Jnr
For 1959, the company chose a new and incredibly powerful aluminum V8 engine – a Rolls-Royce-designed 6230cc all-aluminum overhead valve powertrain with a single camshaft and twin SU carburetors. As most British automakers preferred, Bentley also traditionally indicated its models’ power as “sufficient”. However, taking into account its maximum speed of 180 km/h, the power of the automobile was estimated at a minimum of 200 hp. In addition, the vehicle was equipped with a standard Hydramatic automatic transmission, power steering, electric damper control, a revised instrument panel, air conditioning, and power windows. It also featured modified rear axle gear ratios and enhanced hydraulic brakes. Most Crew-produced S2s from 1959-1962 were factory sedans, except for 15 convertibles from Mulliner and 5 sedans from James Young. There were also more expensive and prestigious vehicles: 388 automobiles with aluminum bodies from Mulliner Park Ward or James Young. In 1959 the 4-door version of the Continental was an elegant “Flying Spur” sedan with six side windows. The increased performance of the 6.2-liter L-series engine significantly improved the performance receiving several advanced and high-end solutions for its time. The elegant body, created by H.J. Mulliner was powered by a lightweight aluminum V8 engine that replaced the 6-cylinder SI unit of the 1920s. The revolutionary L-series engine proved to be incredibly popular. It made this luxury vehicle’s ride smooth and comfortable, turning the car of the British manufacturer into a perfect Gran Turismo. Moreover, its modified version was installed on the current Bentley Mulsanne. The standard equipment of the model included power steering, electronic suspension adjustment, and an automatic transmission. The improved power unit allowed the use of a much more advanced air conditioning system, which had no analogs on the market in 1959. The exclusivity of the model was emphasized by a new design of the front panel and an improved steering wheel. From 1959 to 1962, more than 1900 S2 cars were produced.
Source: Auto Vercity
One of the first Bentley S2s was created by special order for the 35th US President John F. Kennedy’s family. The names of the first owners were even engraved on a plate inside the vehicle. After many years, it ended up in Odessa. The current owner invested $25,000 in its restoration. At the moment, its cost is $150 000.
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