Lot 158

Arizona 2024

1958 Bentley S1 Continental 'Flying Spur' Sports Saloon by H.J. Mulliner

Offered From The Dr. Gail Reingold Estate

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$204,400 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Phoenix, Arizona

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Chassis No.
BC34LEL
Body No.
6106
Documents
US Title
  • Offered from the Dr. Gail Reingold Estate
  • Delivered new to legendary director Alfred Hitchcock
  • Original left-hand-drive example with air conditioning and power steering
  • Velvet Green paint and biscuit tan interior
  • One of the finest examples on the most desirable S1 Continental chassis
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1957.

Forerunner of the modern trend for sporty “four-door coupes,” H.J. Mulliner’s Sports Saloon on the Bentley S-type Continental chassis was exactly that: an extended version of the sleek fixed-head-coupe design. Close-coupled with aluminum bodywork, it wrung maximum performance out of the chassis beneath and rapidly became one of the most iconic coachbuilt bodies on the Continental, favored by wealthy and famous personages on both sides of the Atlantic and popularly known as the “Flying Spur.”

Chassis BC34LEL was one of 54 cars built to the “six-light” Flying Spur design, style number 7443, distinguished by its full rear quarter windows, and is one of 16 original left-hand-drive models. It was destined for a very special buyer indeed, the renowned director Alfred Hitchcock, known as the “Master of Suspense” for his classic thrillers including Psycho, Rear Window, and The Birds, as well as the long-running television anthology series ,i>Alfred Hitchcock Presents. His public persona was as a droll, staid Englishman, dripping with dark humor, and his numerous interviews and cameo appearances made him as famous in his time as any actor who appeared in his pictures.

The Bentley’s build record lists the customer as “Rolls-Royce Inc. for Mr. Alfred Hitchcock,” with specification of left-hand-drive, power steering, complete increased-capacity air conditioning, and speedometer in miles per hour. The ownership cards held by the Rolls-Royce Foundation, show that the car arrived in Los Angeles on 27 August 1958 for delivery to Mr. Hitchcock. All indications are that the original owner was utterly enamored with his new Flying Spur. According to Sarah Holibaugh of the Rolls-Royce Foundation, at the time of its delivery he was working on the sixth season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and it is said that Cash Bentley, central character of the episode “O Youth and Beauty,” was named for its producer’s automobile.

Subsequent to Mr. Hitchcock’s ownership, BC34LEL was enjoyed by John Silla, then John L. Ballen, and finally Gerard R. Martel of Fitchburg, Oregon, who possessed it from 1997 to 2006. It was then acquired by avowed Bentley connoisseur Dr. Gail Reingold and underwent cosmetic restoration in the care of D&D Classic Automobile Restoration of Covington, Ohio, and well-known Michigan upholsterer Mark Larder. Further cosmetic improvements were undertaken in 2011 following minor damage sustained in transport. Today the car remains in splendid overall condition, with its Velvet Green paint and biscuit tan interior, both in fine order.

Alfred Hitchcock was, first and foremost, an artist, and it is not surprising that he favored the superb craftsmanship and fine engineering of the S1 Continental, in one of its most desired, finely tailored styles—the Flying Spur. Lovingly kept in Dr. Gail Reingold’s ownership, the great director’s car is still worthy of his larger-than-life legacy and would look right at home arriving at a premiere or cruising up to the valet stand at Chasen’s.