Lot Number
36
Coachwork by James Young
1961 Bentley S2 Continental


CHASSIS NO: BC41LBY
• 1 of only 6 LHD examples with James Young coachwork
• Elegantly presented with exclusive features
• Aluminum V-8 engine

6.2 litre aluminum V-8 engine, 197 HP, four-speed automatic transmission, front independent coil-spring suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension; wheelbase: 123”


Following World War II, the leaders of Rolls-Royce and Bentley recognized the changing needs of their clients, shifting away from chauffeur-driven cars to personal luxury cars driven by the owners themselves. That did not mean, however, that the demand for coach-built vehicles was over, and none of those were more cherished than those crafted by James Young.

Likewise, few cars can claim the presence and unmistakable quality of a vintage Bentley and, with the S2, Bentley claimed its rightful spot at the top of the international luxury car market. With just under 2,000 produced between 1959 and 1962, most with a factory body, finding the ultra-exclusive James Young coachwork on a clean S2 is a true opportunity for a discerning collector to own one of the most sophisticated vehicles with custom coachwork in the world.

Introduced at the 1959 London Motor Show, the Bentley S2 had an all-alloy 200-horsepower V-8 engine and, due to its alloy construction, weighed the same as the six-cylinder S1 it replaced. The engine made its debut in the new S2 and its cousin, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. The S2’s driving manners were much improved with a Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, upgraded power-assisted brakes, and power steering. Inside, the S2 had a new dashboard, incorporating updated gauges, and standard power window lifts and electric rear window demisters.

Certain customers, however, preferred more luxurious custom coachwork to the standard steel-bodied factory offerings. For these discerning individuals, James Young was one of the last coachbuilders employed by Bentley to build the four-door Saloon. The James Young coachbuilt S2 is among the most luxurious, stylish, and desirable of all the Bentley variants, and are considered to be the most exclusive and valuable of all S2s. This S2 by James Young is reported to be one of only six built in left-hand-drive configuration. Options selected by the first owner, who drove the car in Switzerland, included a Motorola radio, wool carpeting, and James Young luxury items such as reading lights, and leather quarter panels. In the 1990s, this Bentley was sold to an American enthusiast in California where it was well cared for.

The car has always been very well maintained and it has been refurbished as needed over the years to ensure it remains in proper condition. Notable features include the addition of air-conditioning, with the proper rear compartment cold air outlets. It is finished in a deep gloss black with a gorgeous Magnolia leather interior in excellent condition. It highlights the deep grain of the burled woodgrain interior trim and dashboard installed by James Young's talented craftsmen. The panel fit is excellent, the chrome as well, and the paint retains a deep quality finish. It runs and drives very well – almost silently - as Bentleys are well known for.

1960s Bentleys with James Young coachwork have always received tremendous interest from collectors as they represent the absolute pinnacle in quality, luxurious motor cars. This, combined with a sporty Continental chassis with left-hand drive, striking color combination and fantastic presentation, make this car the clear choice for acquisition and weekend jaunts to your favorite getaway.

1961 Bentley S2 Continental
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