The Bentley S1 was an important car for the British marque. It was launched in 1955 with production running up to 1959. The standard steel model before it had created an appetite for fully factory built cars (rather than the coachbuilt offerings of inter and pre-war times). The R Type, which the S1 replaced, left some big shoes to fill.
The S1 needed to be bigger, faster and even more luxurious. Happily, as you can see here, it was.
The S1 was launched in 1955 with production running up to 1959. The car we have here, resplendent in red over cream, is a 1958 model. The current owner hasn’t had the car long, and is only selling due to a need to thin his collection. Looking at it though, it’s clear to see why he had to have it. It’s in exceptional mechanical condition, the body is largely excellent and the interior is a sumptuous work of art. This is classic luxury motoring at its finest.
It’s had six owners over the course of its life, and looking through the history file it’s clear to see that no end of care and attention has been lavished upon it. The interior is all-new, the mechanics have been maintained and serviced by specialists and the repaint while now older work, is still in outstanding condition.
There is a full file of paperwork to go with this beautiful old Bentley. There is the requisite V5 in the current owner’s name, of course. And there is also a collection of past MOT certificates, which show little in the way of advisories or the like. In fact, the current MOT runs until May 2022 and has no advisories. Looking back, the only advisories to be seen are rear brake binding and a leaking power steering ram in 2013.
However, also within the paperwork we can see that the brakes have been extensively overhauled in the past in response to this. Furthermore, the power steering was overhauled, too. This included a new ram at great expense. O\ther works have included servicing, a renewed dynamo and belts, new battery, new brakes, tyres and other wear and tear parts. \it has been, make no mistake, very well looked after indeed.
Exquisite, frankly. Just pore over the pictures and you’ll see what we mean. The seller tells us that the interior ewas re-trimmed a few years back, and it’s evident that no expense was spared. The red leather with cream piping is all in excellent condition. There is no wear or damage to be observed at all. The padding within the seats is excellent, with no undue undulations or dips to cause discomfort. Arguably, the seats are better now than they were when new.
The rich, deep pile red carpets are all in good condition, with no marking, wear or rips. The sill plates are clean and free of any signs of neglect, as are all the door trims and surrounds. The door cards, which have again been retrimmed, are all in perfect condition. No damage, no wear.
The dash is bright and clear, the wood veneer has a rich, deep gloss and is free from any milky spots or cracks. The dails are all original, and all seemed to function as expected when we inspected the car. There is even a period radio fitted, which we’re told works as it should.
The boot is in good order, too. You will see a custom-made seat bolster that matches the rest of the interior. Perfect for smaller, younger passengers. The boot carpet is all in good condition, as are carpeted sides and boot lid liner. There is a spare wheel in place fitted with a new tyre that has yet to see the road, and there is a full set of tools should they ever be needed.
As you can see, this big old Bentley presents very well indeed. There are a few small things to sort, but we’ll get to those in a bit. Firstly, we should observe the fact the bodywork is straight and free of any obvious sign of past repair. It’s obviously been repainted at some point, and this has been done to a high standard. Both the cream and the red are gloss colours, and both suit the car very well indeed.
The doors all open and close without issue, and looking into the pillars, everything looks to be solid and free from any worrying corrosion. The doors, boot and bonnet are aluminium, so no corrosion concerns to worry about.
The glass is all in excellent condition, as is the rubber and chrome surrounding it all. In fact, the chrome across the car is in excellent condition and will require nothing more than further coats of polish. The lights are all in excellent condition, with no hazing or cracks to be observed.
All four wheels wear the correct pressed metal trims, which have been painted in part to match the upper half of the car’s body - it serves to tie everything in nicely. All four wheels wear brand new tyres.
Being a car from 1958, there are some areas to tend to. The most significant being the offside front wing, which has bubbling under the paint in places. This will require some attention. There is also a small chip above the offside front headlight, and some further small bubbling at the front of that wing. As for the nearside wing, there is a 5p sized imperfection/bubble that will need treating. We have photographed these imperfections as best possible, so please do study the pictures carefully.
The old Bentley starts on the button and settles into a happy idle quickly. Having not been driven for a short while, there was a bit of smoke on startup, but this soon cleared. Once up to temperature, the big straight-six engine revs freely and without hesitation. We’re told by the seller that is pulls well, and that the transmission shifts smoothly and without fuss.
The brakes have been overhauled, and we’re told by the seller they function as they should and are more than capable of keeping the heft of this big car in check. The power steering, which has benefitted from a reconditioned ram and fluid, is remarkably light and as such, serves to make driving this car no more taxing than a modern car.
Looking through the paperwork, it’s evident this car has wanted for nothing. The last MOT was passed with no advisories. It’s in excellent mechanical health, and will be glad of a new owner who can get more use out of it. The history and the condition of the car and in particular, the engine and engine bay, would suggest the mileage is accurate. It’s a very healthy machine.
It’s a standout car, this Bentley. A pure example of why the S1 was so great. Beautiful lines, exceptional build quality, a silky smooth engine and more on-board luxury than some stately homes, this car is a true statement piece. Helped in no small part by the bold, unusual but ultimately captivating colour combination and matching interior.
It needs a little attention to make it perfect, but there is nothing to stop you bidding and driving it as it is now. It will still turn heads, it will still be an utter joy to drive and it will still be one of the finest cars ever made. If you’ve always fancied an S1 Bentley, this is it.
Notice to bidders
Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.
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