1963 Bentley S3 Continental Drop Head Coupe

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Location: United Kingdom

A completely fabulous example, as you would expect when described as in Concours condition

Many use this expression too easily, here in Radley Mews we certainly do not and this S3 is a pure delight to behold

The chassis was completed at Bentley Motors in September 1965, then delivered to the coachbuilders whereupon the motorcar was completed in November 1965 with a guarantee issue date of 23 / 11 / 1965, making this one of the very last S3 Bentley's to be produced before the T series was introduced

Originally finished in dark green, with a dark green hood and black leather interior

Special features included Hirschmann Electric aerial, luggage straps, lockable cubby doors to the door pockets, fog lamps, hood bag & cover, electric windows to doors, mirrors to both vent frames and a power operated hood

The lucky first owner, J R Charlesworth Esq had his initials monogramed to the front doors and his personal registration, BOB 1 was assigned to the Bentley

So for the princely sum of nearly £8.500 he was able to pur around Edgbaston (the Hampstead of Birmingham) in complete comfort

He soon changed her for the latest model and so BC 86XE was offered for sale again, where upon our intrepid second owner purchased her from London and took her across the pond to his home in West Palm Beach, Florida

There she stayed under his care for almost the next 40 years - our third and most recent owner spotted her in the workshops of Vantage Motor Works, where she was being cared for in her usual manner - they had carried out a part restoration in the 1990's

He contacted the owner, by now a rather elderly gentleman, and was able, after considerable negotiation, to persuade him to release her

He had hardly used the Bentley over the years, as his motor house contained 6 or 7 fancy cars from which to chose, nevertheless he was initially an unwilling seller, having owned and enjoyed her for so many years

So after monies had been transferred BC 86XE found herself yet again on her way to the new owners comfy home, this time in Nassau, Bahamas - he had organised further works in Florida before shipment to ensure he would enjoy trouble free cruising when she arrived at his home

There she wafted gently along the glorious seashore of Paradise Island for the next 7 years until in Spring 2009 it was decided that the time was right to give her a good going over

As Michaelian Restoration, of Stuart Florida, had handled 7 other restorations for the owner, it was decided that they should restore the Bentley too

They are renowned for Pebble Beach quality works on various red Italian sports cars from the 1950' & 60' so were well equipped technically to address the Bentley too

So after another journey in a sea container she was unwrapped (literally) in Florida and over the next 28 or so months the Bentley was carefully completely dismantled, and just as carefully repaired and rebuilt where necessary and then put back together

There are all invoices (as you would expect for hundreds of thousands of dollars) for the works carried out for as works were invoiced on a weekly basis there are simply reams of them and they go into the most minute detail - quite charming really

The benefit of this being a relatively recent restoration is that we also have all photo's kept digitally on a dongle. There are too many to list, but you name it and yes it has been photographed

Also there is a delightful 54 page 'Apple' book detailing the restoration too, all within a nice sleeve & clear case

Since the restoration very little mileage has been covered and she remains almost as she was upon completion of the intensive works

Our friends at Cars Europe were in charge of shipment to us here in Kensington and as always they ensured that she arrived here, just as she had left Nassau - ie in spic and span order so all we have had to do was dust her down and she is simply splendid

She really is just the most elegant vehicle, finished to impeccable standards - the attention to detail to make sure all is as it was when she originally left the factory is amazing

Ready for the next owner to enjoy some suitable Continental touring, or alternatively to use her for events like the Villa d'Este, this surely must be one of, if not the, very best Bentley of this type anywhere