Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 141

1958 Bentley S1 Continental Fixed Head Coupe by Park Ward

  • Chassis no. BC48LCH
  • Engine no. BC47C

Sold for $561,000

Body Style 701. Est. 178 bhp, 4,887 cc F-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and vacuum-assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123 in.

  • The last of 24 factory left-hand-drive examples built
  • Numbers-matching original engine
  • Originally delivered via Peter Satori to longstanding Bentley client, C.H. Matthiessen Jr.
  • Lovely, beautifully maintained restoration by marque specialists
  • Offered with complete sets of hand and road tools

Most of the coachbuilt body styles available on the Bentley S1 Continental chassis were evolutions of the attractive designs created for the previous R-Type Continental. Among them was Park Ward’s fixed head coupe or sports saloon, style 701, which featured elegant styling with curving fenders with a “kick” in the rear “hips,” and a glassy roofline with large rear quarter pillars. As ever, the bodies were hand-crafted from aluminum panels. The result was simple, uncluttered elegance at its finest, and a lovely, subtle sporting automobile. Sixty-nine were produced, of which just 24 were originally fitted with left-hand drive.

The car offered here, chassis number BC48LCH, was the final left-hand-drive Park Ward fixed head coupe built. Interestingly, the order for the car was placed by and through the fabled Southern California salesrooms of Peter Satori, although delivery was made to the Brenner’s Park Hotel, one of the world’s most famous spas, in Baden-Baden, Germany. Sugar heir Conrad Henry Matthiessen Jr. was in residence there, “taking the cure” at the time; his version of the “cure” seemed to include ordering a new S1 Continental. It succeeded in his stable an 8-Litre Bentley, number YR5085, the sole example produced with American coachwork.

Mr. Matthiessen’s specifications for his new car included a steering column two inches longer than standard, U.S. instrumentation, dual horns, and fitting of a summer thermostat, with a winter thermostat made available for installation later; Park Ward fitted their own electric radio aerial. The rear fenders feature small fins with individual three-piece tail lamps, one of the two variations offered for this design. Interestingly, the car was specified to be subject to a 1,000-mile road test, prior to delivery, indicating Mr. Matthiessen’s intentions to use and enjoy it in Europe before bringing it back to the United States.

Following long-term ownership by enthusiast Allan Tweddle, the car was restored by the noted marque specialists Vantage Motorworks of Miami, Florida, in its present elegant livery of Bronze over Chocolate, an elegant and period-correct choice. The interior was finished in proper pleated tan leather with dark brown piping, and the seats are properly thinner than a standard S1 or Silver Cloud, as was correct for this coachbuilt, sporting model. An era-correct radio with medium- and long-wave reception is fitted in the dashboard, which, as with the rest of the veneers, has just the right amount of factory-correct gloss to its finish. The sealed-beam headlamps are correct, as are the Lucas fog lamps, while the engine compartment is tidy and authentically finished. As part of the restoration, Vantage Motorworks installed their well-regarded upgraded factory-style air conditioning, which blends nicely into the stock interior and is much appreciated on a Florida summer day! Opening the boot reveals complete sets of both road and hand tools, in their proper compartments, and a boot lid lined in proper leatherette, rather than being incorrectly carpeted, as is so often seen.

Seldom seen even compared to their drophead brethren, the Park Ward fixed head coupe is recognized as one of the styling high points on the S1 Continental chassis. This superlative example, a well-maintained restoration that is authentic, correct, and utterly lovely in all regards, stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is fit for either continued showing or for a summer road trip, to spa or beach house.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more