1964 Bentley S3 Saloon

From the Zubi Mehta Collection

1964 Bentley S3 Saloon

Chassis no. B52CN

Facing increasing competition from faster rivals and with development of its aging six-cylinder engine nearing its end, Rolls-Royce and Bentley turned to V8 power as the 1960s approached. The V8 was, of course, the predominant power unit in the company’s most important export market – the USA – so it was only natural that the Crewe firm would study the best American designs – principally those of Chrysler and Cadillac – for inspiration. 

Introduced in the autumn of 1959, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2 appeared externally unchanged from their ‘Cloud and S-Type predecessors, though the duo’s performance was considerably enhanced by the new 6,230cc aluminum-alloy V8 engine. 

In 1962, the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III and its Bentley S3 equivalent debuted, with an increase in power and performance – through larger carburetors, new distributor and raised compression ratio – and came with a four-speed GM-derived automatic transmission as standard equipment. Most obvious among many changes from the preceding models was the adoption of four-headlamp lighting and a slightly lower radiator shell. Inside there was improved accommodation with separate front seats and increased room for rear passengers. Notable as the last mainstream Rolls-Royce/Bentley to employ a separate chassis, the Silver Cloud III and S3 proved immensely successful both at home and abroad, remaining in production until the autumn of 1965.

This Bentley S3 of the penultimate year of manufacture, 1964, has been in the collection of just two owners since at least the late 1960s. A receipt dating back to the 5th of January, 1970 for service work at Rolls-Royce Ltd., Willesden, NW10, in the name of the previous owner, Mr. Harold Edward Pope, of High Wycombe, Bucks, is where the provenance begins. In a very substantial file of receipts and correspondence, we are able to formulate the history of the car from that time. While in Mr. Pope’s ownership there are a number of receipts for service work at various specialists and a £10,000 paint job at Laurence Kayne of Berkeley Square where the top half of the car was painted to match the bottom half, in Rolls-Royce Garnet red. It stayed with Mr. Pope until sold to Mr. Zubin Mehta, Maestro of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in October of 1984. At that time, it was shipped to New York and stored at the Philharmonic premises. Through 1985, there are numerous receipts from Carriage House for service work to engine, gearbox, brakes, suspension, etc. In 1991, the car was transported to Mr. Mehta’s home in Brentwood, California, where it has been ever since. Used very sparingly, the car was stored with little papertrail until a major service to all systems at Bentley Beverly Hills for $6,200 and then a similar overhaul in October of 2014 at local specialists, Scott Motors, for $5,300.

Seeing very little use has led to the car being offered for sale. To ready the car for sale, it has had an overhaul and service at local specialists, Gran Turismo of Los Angeles, including attention to brakes, engine service, new battery, etc.

The car drives exceptionally well. It starts easily and idles smoothly. It has good, responsive power, and shifts perfectly through all gears. Brakes work as well as 1964 Bentley technology dictates and the suspension is smooth. All electrical systems work perfectly, and the Air Conditioning blows cold. The car sports an after-market stereo radio/CD player in the dash.

The paint on the car has generally help up well, with swirls and a few minor blemishes conducive with the age of the car and its last re-paint. Brightwork is all in very fine condition and the tires are relatively new. There is no rust on or under the car.

The interior of the car is excellent with fantastic wood accents and soft leather in a dark red colour to compliment the exterior. Carpets, panels and headliner are all in very good condition. The car features rear vanity mirrors and picnic tables. Under the bonnet, the engine bay is very tidy, and the trunk is showing its age and originality.

This wonderful S3, with its impeccable ownership history, has been lovingly taken care of and it shows. It is currently located in Brentwood, Los Angeles. Transportation of the car to the UK is included in the sale price of the car, inclusive of customs clearance. The buyer will be liable for import duty at 5% of the purchase price and VAT. I have many additional photos available upon request with an email address. I am more than happy to take additional photos or videos of specific areas upon request.

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