A Passion for Elegance | Lot 103
1963 Bentley S3 Saloon
CHF80,500 | Sold
| Eschen, Liechtenstein
19 June 2021
- A significant model in Bentley history
- Wonderful specification; finished in the original paint colors
- Accompanied by copies of its build documentation
The Bentley S3 and its Rolls-Royce sibling, the Silver Cloud III, represented the last of this generation from Crewe. They were, in retrospect, much more ground-shaking in their time than they may appear today. Features such as quad headlamps and a slightly lower radiator shell attracted tremendous attention, with the press taking umbrage but buyers accepting the changes for what they were: attractive steps towards the future. In fact, the models were very well-received by traditional clientele and sold strongly, on the basis of new comfort features such as a standard automatic gearbox and the manufacturer’s first standard divided front seats.
The S3 offered here was ordered from City Motors Ltd. of Cardiff, Wales, by Alexander D. Thomson, of Duckworth’s, then a prominent British manufacturer of “Heart Brand” food colourings and essences. It was specified as a right-hand-drive model, finished in the unusual and attractive two-tone livery of Shell Grey over Caribbean Blue with Deep Blue fine lines and Blue leather upholstery, and equipped with automatic gearbox, radio, and electric windows. Delivery was made to the dealer on 29 August 1963, with the guarantee issued to the original owner that same date.
Today the S3 retains its original engine and registration, and remains in very fine overall condition, with the only issue noted as a paint crack on the left front wing. The body is correctly finished in the original colors, while the interior has been lightly updated with Grey leather upholstery and a modern radio, in addition to the correct original unit. Further, the car is outfitted with air conditioning. The Bentley has been very well-maintained, typical of the care given this collection by their fastidious custodian. Accompanying the automobile are copies of its build documentation and a FIVA Identity Card.
An S3 is a wonderful, luxurious automobile to drive, and this would be a superb example for just that use in continental touring. It is the essence, one might say, of fine motoring.