1955-1965 Bentley S-Type

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.

This 1957 Bentley S1 coupe was part of the 1955-65 Bentley S-Type series.
1957 Bentley S1 coupe.  See more pictures of Bentley cars.

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).

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
  • Rust-prone
  • 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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