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H.J. Mulliner Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur 'Six Light'
H.J. Mulliner Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur 'Six Light'
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Introduced in September 1959, the Bentley S2 was a cousin of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and it retained the basic body and chassis of its predecessor, the S1, but replaced the S1's six-cylinder engine with a new aluminium overhead-valve V8. Rolls-Royce, Ltd. disdained horsepower ratings, but the new V8 was estimated to develop some 230 bhp and, due also to its lighter weight, made the Silver Cloud II and S2 much faster than their immediate predecessors.

The 'Continental' name originally graced a flowing two-door coupe by H.J. Mulliner on the 1952-55 R-Type chassis. When the S1 was introduced, the Continental was given higher compression for better performance, and Park Ward and James Young were also enlisted as body suppliers. A four-door version, called 'Flying Spur', became available on the S1 in 1957. All these styles were continued on the S2, where Continental production totalled 388 cars.

The Flying Spur was available as 'six light', 'four light' and 'special six light'. These names were used to describe the number of side windows. 'Four light' is two side windows at either side and 'six light' is three side windows. 'Special six light' is a specific H.J. Mulliner designation for a Flying Spur with three side windows of which the last has been shortened to provide more privacy than the regular 'six light'.

The specific 'Six light' Flying Spur in this gallery (chassis BC98AR) was purchased by Elton John in the 1970s and is believed to have had three prior owners. It was delivered new on 1st July 1960 to Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds of Smethwick, the engineering company now known as GKN plc. As ordered, it was painted in black with grey leather interior and with the special requests that it be delivered with a tin of polish and that the mascot was to be unattached and separate from the car. It was kept by the company for just short of a year and then sold to Messrs. Cole and Kirby of Kingsbury, London. The third owner was a Percy Sutton of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and it was in Norfolk that the famed, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Elton John bought it about a decade later.

He committed it to Weybridge Automobiles for a bare-metal respray and complete refurbishment of the interior and mechanical systems. It was completed in Brewster Green with harmonising green leather interior. Weybridge Automobiles continued to maintain the car, and it was during this period that air conditioning was fitted.

The Flying Spur was one of Sir Elton's favorite automobiles during its tenure in his collection, and it is reported by John Newman, his fleet manager, that it was used frequently to transport the singer's many guests.

Sir Elton sold his automobile collection at auction in June 2001. BC98AR was offered as part of the collection and almost doubled its pre-sale estimate, selling for £67,500. Since that time, the car has been carefully stored and sparingly used. The car is accompanied with a copy of a letter from Sir Elton John, confirming he purchased the car in the mid-1970s. The car was recently put up for auction with RM Auctions with an estimate of £40,000 to £50,000, but the car sold for a bit more: £77,000.- / 85,000.- Euros / over 127,000.- USD. 


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