1960 Bentley S2

Saloon 4dr Saloon 6.2 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Condition 2
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Condition 1
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1960 Bentley S2 Saloon 4dr Saloon 6230
valued at £30,400
£186.34 / year*

History of the 1959 - 1962 Bentley S2


The Bentley S is a four-door five-seater saloon with a front engine driving the rear wheels. It was built from 1955 to 1965, during which time it was widely regarded as a symbol of success, both social and economic.

Rolls-Royce announced the Bentley S in April 1955 as a car that would combine the marque's traditional virtues with performance for a new age. The standard steel body was mounted on a separate box chassis with aluminium-based alloy boot lid, bonnet and doors. The engine was a six-cylinder OHV unit with GM-sourced Hydramatic transmission. the braking was via servo-assisted hydraulic drums fore and aft with front independent coils and rear semi-elliptic springs.

At £4,944, the Bentley was slightly cheaper than the £5,079 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud but, grille and badging aside, it was identical. Power steering and air conditioning were available as optional extras in 1956 (export models in March and the home market in October) and in the following year, the engine was fitted with twin carburettors. September 1957 saw the introduction of the LWB version, which offered greater accommodation for the rear passengers.

The Bentley S was replaced by the S2 in October 1959, with Rolls-Royce's first V8 engine and such improvements as fascia-mounted fresh air vents. PAS was now standard and electric windows were available as extras. The Paris Salon of 1962 marked the debut of the S3, as immediately identifiable by its four headlamps, new indicator/side lamp units and lowered radiator grille. The price was now £6,126 and the interior was further refined with sperate front seats replacing the earlier bench. There were also larger carburettors, a higher compression ratio, the PAS was lighter and there was a slight reduction in overall weight. The S3 was replaced by the Bentley T1 in October 1965.

The S was powered by a 4,887cc S6 OHV engine with twin SU carburettors from 1957 onwards. Power for the S2 and S3 was from a 6,320cc V8 OHV unit with twin SU carburettors. The transmission for the S range was a four-speed automatic with no manual option.

The Bentley S was, initially at least, marketed slightly differently to its Rolls-Royce counterpart - the car for the ambitious MD as opposed to the Lord of the Manor - but its virtues are the same. Some drivers prefer the six-cylinder to the V8 plant in terms of overall smoothness although the latter was famously advertised as 'at 60 mph the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock' An early car sans power steering can build character and upper body strength during town driving. The long wheelbase versions are exceptionally rare, Crewe building 35 examples of the S, 57 of the S2 and 32 of the S3 and several of those were fitted with coach-built bodywork.

The vices of the Bentley are also largely identical to the Silver Cloud, especially those of corrosion - pay special attention to the body mounts, rear frames and front wings. Further challenges are worn braking systems and tired suspension while the cost of refurbishing a poorly maintained interior can prove vast. Some owners do opt for replacing the front drum brakes with discs and fitting anti-roll bars.

Alternatives to the Bentley S included the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire and Star Sapphire, the Bristol 405, the Daimler 104 and Majestic Major, the Lagonda 3-litre and Rapide and the Mercedes-Benz 300c and 300d "Adenauer'.

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