The Bentley S-type and Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud represented important changes for Bentley and Rolls-Royce with an all new independent front suspension X-braced chassis, wider track, four-wheel hydraulic brakes (retaining mechanical actuation to the rear wheels), an increase to 4,887cc in engine displacement, new six-port cylinder head and dual SU carburetors. Most important, though, was a new coachwork design that de-emphasized the fenders. Custom coachbuilders like Harold Radford, James Young, Freestone & Webb and Hooper enthusiastically endorsed the new Rolls-Royce/Bentley design concept and continued to endow both Rolls-Royce and Bentley with distinctive, individual and graceful designs. Notably among them is this 1956 Bentley S1 sedan by H.J. Mulliner. Even more refined that the standard steel saloon bodies, it continued the tradition of bespoke British coachwork while incorporating features like the rear-hinged doors that facilitated graceful entry and exit, especially with the assistance of a chauffeur or footman.
This 1956 Bentley S1 sedan by H.J. Mulliner epitomizes the quality and refinement that Bentley automobiles had come to reflect. A righthand drive car, it is finished in subtle grey with matching grey leather upholstery and carpets. The interior is fitted with a radio and writing tables (no Grey Poupon in a Bentley). Paint, chrome and interior are very attractive and the Bentley runs and drives as a Bentley should: well. Bespoke bodied Bentley S1s are not only rare but also exhibit fine touches and details in their appointments and details that complement H.J. Mulliner's refined coachwork design and execution. This is quality motoring at its Fifties best, and even more luxurious, exclusive and refined today than it was six decades ago.