The Bentley S2 Saloon and its coupe counterpart, the S3 Continental were first released in the August of 1959.

As had been the case with all of the Bentleys " duos" released during the Fifties, the Continental version more rapidly captured the eye,  thanks to its stunningly flowing, almost sporting lines, coming from the Park Ward design studio.

Available as either a  two-door drophead or fixed-head coupe, with either version emanating speed and opulence thanks to its long and flowing shape with a high, straight-through wing crown line. 

The S2 Continental  and Saloon were among first  to be fitted with Rolls Royce's newly developed  6230-cc overhead valve V8 engine, the same engine that would  go on to power all Bentley and Rolls-Royces for the next four decades

Ideal for such " heavyweights" as the S2s, the engine was produced largely using light alloy castings, allowing it to weigh in the same as its predecessor,  the 4887-cc six-cylinder, which it replaced.

With push-rod-operated inclined overhead valves and twin horizontal SU carburettors, the S2 came with power steering and automatic transmission as standard, a must for a car of its size and weight.

Virtually identical to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, the new Bentley had a lowered bonnet line improving forward vision, and dual sealed-beam headlight units were mounted in the broad flared wings, flanking the traditional radiator design.

Fog-lights beneath the external sealed-beam units were retained, but these no longer did double duty as indicators, with separate lights being added to the leading edges of the curved wing styling.

The launch of the S3 version of the  Saloon and Continental in 1963  brought with it very little in the way of mechanical updates, with the chief innovation being the car's highly unusual front end styling emphasised by angled headlights combining to earn the nickname 'Chinese Eye' from the press.

Despite their size and weight,  both the S2 and the S3 series were remarkably sporting in performance belying their high levels of passenger comfort and appearance.

Their massive tires generated a lot of grips, meaning that the Bentley S2s could be cornered at remarkably high speeds.

From October 1963 Mulliner and Park Ward, principal car body fabricators for Rolls Royce/Bentley combined to form 'H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward', at the same time becoming a Rolls-Royce subsidiary.

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