Bentley S1

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Bentley was created by Walter Owen Bentley (1888-1971). founded in 1919. After the First World War, the brand was known for its sports cars that competed very successfully in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bentley was taken over by Rolls-Royce in 1931, after which production was discontinued for two years. During the rebirth of the brand, it was decided that it would become the sporting arm of Rolls-Royce. But the management was not very conscientious about that. We see the Bentley S1 that we did not see in a brave four-wheel drift sweeping through turns.

The 1 Bentley S1957 which is our fashion model is a beautiful old lady. Such a car is the identical sister of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, and came on the market in 1955. Production ceased in 1959. In those four years, 3538 S1s were made; 3072 'normal' S1's, 35 LWB S1's (long wheelbase) and 431 S1's Continentals with some more power under the hood. Only about 5% were treated to a 'coach-built body'. The rest got the Standard Steel bodywork, criticized by elite Rolls and Bentley enthusiasts, which was consistently referred to as 'Standard Rust' body by those same critical enthusiasts.

The Bentley S1 has a six-in-line

After all, a six-in-line is much more civilized than a V8. Certainly if it is rumored in the background that the driveline of the Bentley and Rolls V8's models actually comes from GM. It cannot be much more ordinary. The General Motors link is only limited true.

These stylish cars were therefore built between 1955-1959

De Bentley S1 was the last standard production car of the brand that still had an independent chassis. As with the previous Bentley from Mark VI and R, there was almost no difference between the standard Bentley and Rolls-Royce models; this Bentley S only differs in the form of the radiator grille and the badging of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I.

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Yet for quite a few people the Bentley was a conscious choice, a nicer car. And that mainly because of the sporting reputation that the brand had. Ettore Bugatti must have once said that the truly authentic Bentleys were extremely fast for the trucks they were.

De Bentley S1 had already exchanged all his sportiness for style and relaxation. It is a large, luxury automobile.

Still impressive

We found this S1 after a tip in Zelhem. The Bentley S1 from 1957 has had a Dutch registration since 1996 and now comes not from an oil state or India, but from England. The history of the car is not 100% documented, but is known from tradition. The machine makes it a smoothly sliding ship. In the rural area around Zelhem, the Bentley drives just as sovereignly over the secondary roads as it must have ever done in England. And on a small piece of highway, the passengers move in an island of silence. A passing driver photographs us with his smartphone. And in the meantime, the six-cylinder is nice and warm and runs silky smooth.

Driving Bentley is feasible

Owning a Bentley or Rolls has never been intended for long-term minimums. But it is feasible. Certainly also because old Bentleys and Rolls-Royces generally did not go directly to the local blast furnaces: More than 90% of all parts can still be delivered without any problems. Some technical parts are 'reference', but the quality of the brand is worth it. Technically, the brake system with its servo is sometimes a thing. Certainly if the adjustment has been worked on improperly. The operation of the heater valves is a point of attention.

They are more expensive

A powerful version, the S Continental (chassis only) became six months after the introduction of the Bentley S1 introduced. Lighter closed and drophead coupé bodies were supplied on special order (at an approximately 50% higher price) by HJ Mulliner & Co., Park Ward, James Young and Freestone & Webb. A pre-production 2-seater coupé on the new chassis was designed and built for the Bentley factory by Pininfarina. In 1959, auto correspondent Archie Vicar described the car as "a comfortable big saloon with decent speed".

In his days it cost one Bentley S1 around 50.000 guilders.

The price idea

A mobile with work can be found with some searching for amounts around € 25.000. But that is only the beginning. For toppers, amounts up to a ton in euros are asked. And we are talking about the Standard Bodies. For a Continental Fastback by HJ Mulliner, more than € 500.000 can be asked.

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2 comments

  1. I remember that in the early 70s a supplier of jewelry and watches drove this model. Every month he visited the Klinkhamer jeweler, at the top of Spijkerlaan.
    A few years later it turned out that one E. Ratelband also drove the same type of car. There was then a restaurant in Oisterwijk where Cas Spijkers put the pans on the fire. In the Rolls-Royce of E. we went there with him and two others to 'go for it'.

  2. I remember that in the early 70s a supplier of jewelry and watches drove this model. Every month he visited the Klinkhamer jeweler, at the top of Spijkerlaan.
    A few years later it turned out that one E. Ratelband also drove the same type of car. There was then a restaurant in Oisterwijk where Cas Spijkers put the pans on the fire. In the Rolls-Royce of E. we went there with him and two others to 'go for it'.

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