The 1955-1965 Bentley
S-Type was essentially a "grille-engineered" version of the concurrent
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud of these years, sharing the same all-new
chassis, suspension design, and styling of the standard sedan body.
Most of those built were the "factory" four-doors, but a few limousine
types were also built on a 4-inch-longer wheelbase.
As before, chassis were supplied to approved coachbuilders, who created custom sedan and convertible bodies. The S-Type was powered by the carryover 4.9-liter straight six from the R-Type through the fall of 1959 (Series I or S1), after which Rolls-Royce's new light-alloy, short-stroke 6.2-liter V-8 (said to have been cribbed from the 1949 Cadillac design) took over for the Series II (S2).
1957 Bentley S1 coupe. See more pictures of Bentley cars.
A restyled Series III (S3) was announced in the autumn of 1962 and was mostly unchanged mechanically. It was marked by quad headlamps and a lower hoodline -- as was the parallel Cloud III, much to the consternation of traditionalists. It was replaced in 1965 by the unit-construction Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and its T-Type Bentley equivalent.
Pluses of the 1955-1965 Bentley S-Type:
- Superb luxury
- Rolls construction quality
- Dignified styling with loads of snob appeal
- Excellent club support
- Body and mechanical parts still available
- Good V-8 performance
- Many had GM automatic transmission
- Cheaper than a new one
Minuses of the 1955-1965 Bentley S-Type:
- Not very fast with the six
- Costly to maintain and restore
- Low mpg
Production of the 1955-1965 Bentley S-Type:
- S1: 3,107 (including 35 limousines)
- S2 V-8: 1,954
- S3 V-8: 1,286 (S2/S3, including 89 limousines)
Specifications of the 1955-1965 Bentley S-Type:
Wheelbase, inches: 123.0 (limo: 127.0)
Length, inches: 212.0 (limo: 216.0)
Weight, pounds: 4,480-4,650 (limo: 4,650-4,815)
Price, new: NA
Engines for the 1955-1965 Bentley S-Type:
Type Size Horsepower Years F I-6 4,887 cc (298 cid) NA* 1955-1959 ohv V-8 6,230 cc (380 cid) NA* 1959-1965
*Rolls-Royce/Bentley did not quote horsepower
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