Introduced in 1959, the Bentley S2 and its Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II counterpart represented a significant advancement in both performance and refinement for the iconic British brands. Replacing the ageing 4.9-litre straight-six of the earlier generation, each model benefitted from the addition of the all-new L-Series V-8 engine, an all-aluminum 6.2-litre design that brought not only the power necessary for all its luxury appointments but a much-welcomed improvement in performance.
The S2 was one of Bentley’s most successful models. A total of 1,863 were produced by the time production ceased in 1962. Nearly all S2s were finished with the factory’s Standard Steel Saloon bodywork, though 15 examples benefitted from the beautifully proportioned and hugely expensive Drophead Coupé coachwork of H.J. Mulliner & Co., Ltd. Of those special cars, just seven would be fitted with left-hand-drive, the first of which is featured here: chassis B75LBR.
H.J. Mulliner’s design was striking. Wanting to promote their latest creation, chassis B75LBR was built with promotional purposes in mind and was designated for display at the 1960 New York International Auto Show. This glamorous early history is noted on the car’s factory build sheet, which also details its original color combination of two-tone Sand over Sable coachwork with a Tan interior and elegant whitewall tires. Comfort and convenience options included electrically operated windows and a convertible roof, a larger brake pedal, and a four-piece fitted luggage set. A beautiful original Smiths His Master’s Voice radio adds to the charm of the interior, filled with sumptuous Connolly leather and highly polished wood that includes lovely fold-down picnic trays.
Delivered new through the famous New York Bentley and Rolls-Royce distributor J.S. Inskip, chassis B75LBR was shipped from London to New York via the SS Alsatia in March of 1960 in time for its starring appearance at the New York International Auto Show. The car was subsequently delivered to its first owner, New York-based Wall Street securities analyst George P. Edgar, in late April. Edgar’s obituary in the New York Times suggests a colorful personality, having emigrated from Tbilisi, in present-day Georgia, to the United States at a young age and going on to obtain a master’s degree in economics at Columbia University. Not only was he successful in his professional life, but he was also a committed supporter of the New York theatre.
Bentley’s records show that the S2 moved westward with its second owner, Danny Howard of Tarzana, California, who retained the Bentley until 1995 when it was sold to Richard Gilleland, also of southern California. The car passed through the hands of at least one other owner before being sold to a collector through Vantage Motorworks of Miami, Florida, in 2021. The Bentley was serviced by the dealership prior to sale, which included rectifying a number of cosmetic and mechanical issues, ranging from the fabrication of new door panels and the removal of aftermarket speakers to re-trimming the boot. The period add-on air-conditioning system with an interesting and attractive pushbutton control panel was recharged at this time as well. The engine bay was refreshed, while all four shock absorbers, the brake master cylinders, and the fuel pump were all replaced, alongside an overhaul of the brake servo and the fitting of a new stainless steel exhaust system. The sum total of this work amounted to more than $83,000. An impressive level of attention and detail to the engine and undercarriage indicates the time and effort bestowed upon this Bentley to create the highly-polished jewel it is today. The Bentley has been driven sparingly since and remains in superb condition. The correct jack and tools are in place as well.
An exquisite example of a post-war, coachbuilt Bentley, these strikingly attractive H.J. Mulliner S2 Drophead Coupes are highly coveted, sought-after, and seldom offered for sale, presenting a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest Bentleys of the period.
Offers welcome, and trades considered
Stock number 7566
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