Cars of 1998
Cars of 1999
Cars of 2000
Cars of 2001
Cars of 2002
Cars of 2003
Cars of 2004
Cars of 2005
Cars of 2006
Cars of 2007
Cars of 2008
Cars of 2009
Cars of 2010
Cars of 2011
Car of the Month
More on Bentley
in these books:
Car of the Month - December 2016
Bentley S1 Continental, 1956, #BC29LAF
Fixed Head Coupé by Park Ward
The basic design of the 1955 launched Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and
Bentley S1 had been finished by John Polwhele Blatchley already by 1950.
This is documented from an interview by Davide Bassoli (author of what
on these models are recognised as Standard Reference Books) with John P.
Blatchley. From 1950 onward the chief stylist at the factory at Crewe
had merely added minor improvements. When in 1954 from Blatchley’s
design for the Bentley R-Continental six cars were built that happened
during the last year of the Bentley R Continental’s production period.
Such coachwork had been designed by an 'insider' who was perfectly well
informed that during 1955 the new model Bentley S1 would be unveiled
and that model’s sport variation in the form of Bentley S Continental,
A logical conclusion is that Blatchley did not create the design merely
for a microscopically small number of Bentley R Continental, but with the
intention of such coachwork to be made in higher numbers on the chassis
of the future Bentley S Continental. And so it did happen.
The early series of bodies by Park Ward on chassis Bentley S Continental
showed the 'anomaly' of different designs as regards rear wings and tail
lamp units. That is true for both body-styles, i.e. Drophead Coupé and
2-Door Saloon (of which the latter nowadays usually is described with
the term Fixed Head Coupé / fhc). “Three separate lenses” were
reminiscent of what had been found on the rare Bentley R Continental
which had received coachwork by Park Ward to almost identical lines
(though adapted to a 3 inches shorter wheelbase).
It was reported in literature - if that certain aspect was mentioned at
all – that clients were offered the choice to opt for either the “old
pattern” or for the later variant, i.e. tail lamps identical to those
found on the mainstream model Bentley S1 with standard coachwork
ex-factory. However there were neither “production-figures” given for
the separate variants nor were any dates stated as to when the “First”
was made and the “Last” or information provided as regards the period
during which the variants were made “parallel”.
It had been reported, too, that only during production of the first
chassis-series of Bentley S1 Continental that ended on letters “AF” had
existed the choice as regards separate variants of Park Ward’s Drophead
Coupés or Fixed Head Coupés respectively. The last one as per Park
Ward’s Drawing-No. 700, Issue-No. 1 was considered to have been #BC86AF
and from then onward the coachbuilder only fitted the rear wing/tail
lamp combination as per their Drawing-No. 700, Issue-No. 2. However such
information perhaps is not correct! Several photos reportedly showing
#BC59BG, delivered in June 1957, are an indication the client had opted
on Park Ward coachwork to Design as per Drawing-No. 700, Issue-No. 1.
Both drawings are in
The Early Days by Davide Bassoli, pages 60 and 61.