Lot 176

1963 Bentley S3 Continental Drophead Coupé By Mulliner Park Ward

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€280,625 EUR | Sold

Monaco | Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Chassis No.
BC48LXA
Engine No.
S3108
Documents
Irish Vehicle Registration
  • One of just 75 S3 Continental DHCs produced, and one of only 26 configured in left-hand-drive form
  • Delivered new to its first owner in Brussels, and retained until 1991
  • Full body restoration and bare metal respray by Teves Costa Classics of Lisbon, Portugal in 2014
  • Benefitting from £10,500 of maintenance work by marque specialist Balmoral Ltd in 2018

Following on from the considerable success of their R-Type series, Bentley introduced its new S-type range in 1955 and the revised S2—the first Bentley to feature the company’s new 6.2-litre V-8 L-series engine—in 1959. The updated S3 of 1962 offered a seven per cent power increase over the S2 and a distinctive new four-headlamp layout, and was available in a variety of body styles; the most desirable, as with previous post-war Bentleys, being the high-performance Continental variants.

Originally ordered by a Mr Alexandre Devis of Brussels, this magnificent Mulliner, Park Ward-bodied car is one of just 26 S3 Continental Dropheads configured in left-hand-drive form, and one of only 75 produced in total. Evidently, Mr Devis was so attached to the car that he kept it for the next 25 years, with ownership of the vehicle only passing to a Mr Ado Blaton, also of Brussels, in 1991.

A wealthy construction magnate, Mr Blaton’s younger brother, Jean—better known by his alias of “Beurlys”—had enjoyed an accomplished motor racing career in the 1960s and 1970s, finishing on the podium at 24 Hours of Le Mans on no fewer than five occasions, including finishing 2nd overall in 1963. Indeed, motor racing talent apparently abounded elsewhere in the family; his erstwhile son-in-law, Jacky Ickx, winning the race six times and granddaughter Vanina also competing on seven occasions.

It would appear that chassis number BC48LXA remained in Belgium until 2012, when it was purchased by the vendor. In current ownership, the car has benefited from a full body restoration and bare metal respray by Teves Costa Classics of Lisbon, Portugal to its original colour combination of metallic grey with contrasting red leather interior, as well as further expenditure of some £10,500 in 2018 with marque specialist Balmoral Limited. The latter performed a wide variety of work on the car, including a conversion to electronic ignition, brake system overhaul, tachometer repair, carburettor service, and rectification of myriad minor electrical faults and fluid leaks. The car has been used only sparingly since, and at the time of cataloguing displays 46,898 miles.

Impossibly stylish, yet offering brisk performance and unbridled luxury in equal measure, the appeal of the S3 Continental DHC remains undimmed even after the passage of six decades. Possessing a fascinating and illustrious early history, an enviable recent maintenance record, and appropriately offered in its natural environment of the Côte d'Azur, this magnificent example is ready to afford its fortunate new owner unrivalled open top motoring with immediate effect and considerable panache.