Lot 249


1963 Bentley S3 Continental Drophead Coupé by Mulliner Park Ward


€280,625 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monaco, Monaco



Chassis No.
French Certificat d’Immatriculation
  • One of the most famous modern Bentley designs; one of 26 left-hand-drive examples
  • Well-known history with prior enthusiast owners
  • Beautifully kept, attractive restoration in superb colours
  • An exceptional grand tourer of iconic style

Continuing Bentley’s trend towards more audacious modern designs in the 1960s, Vilhelm Koren drew up a literal new face for the third-generation S-type Continental. The S3 Continental fixed head and drophead coupés were a more aggressive version of Koren’s previous S2 design, with even more crisply tailored, unadorned flanks, nearly flared rear wings with more than a hint of a tailfin, and, most dramatically, quad headlamps mounted without rakishly angled nacelles. It was an automobile that spoke to the new Bentley buyer, a type of man or woman who liked aggressive styling to go with their smooth, ready performance. A total of 75 S3 Continental drophead coupés were made to this design, of which 26 were left-hand drive.

The example offered here, an original left-hand-drive model, was originally finished in Opal with Beige interior and power-operated hood, Koln Blue Spot radio with Radiomobile electric aerial, and power windows with Sundym glass. It was shipped across the Atlantic and supplied in March 1963 to the original owner, Mrs. Bertha Wilkes of Fort Worth, Texas. An ownership card from the Rolls-Royce Owners Club later attributes the car as "ex-Rod Taylor", presumably the American film star known for his appearances in The Time Machine, The Birds, and other classic motion pictures. It was then acquired in late-1985 by Steven Kay of Los Angeles, California, by which time it had been restored in the present livery. Mr. Kay exhibited the car at the 1987 Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club National Meet, receiving 3rd in the Bentley S class.

Today the car remains in beautiful overall condition, with its magnificent blue finish still having a fine, deep luster, and the interior remaining quite presentable with only minor creasing to the surfaces of the seats and light age to some of the dashboard finishes. The dashboard itself now contains a later Becker Mexico radio, nonetheless quite appropriate-looking, as well as tasteful air conditioning which will be much-appreciated on summer days.

Overall the car is still a superb machine for either regional concours competition or perhaps for simply enjoying touring, as its former owners undoubtedly did—few automobiles are better-suited to sun-kissed roads of the South of France.