19th Oct, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 8

1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe
No Reserve

Sold for £180,000

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: IOM Registered
Chassis No: BC36BG
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of just 45 RHD S1 Continental chassis bodied by Park Ward to its Design Number 701
  • Subject to an extensive restoration by a Rolls-Royce/Bentley factory agent in Washington D.C during 1989/1990
  • The beneficiary of over £34,000 worth of expenditure with Frank Dale & Stepsons in 2019
  • Supplied new to Mrs. Dermot Daly of Little Compton Manor (who had previously been part of the Singer Sewing machine family)
  • Offered at ‘No Reserve’ from the late Robert Riding’s Estate, the vast majority of which has been left to charity with the RNLI as the predominant beneficiary

Unveiled in Autumn 1955 some six months after its Bentley S1 Standard Steel Saloon sibling, the Continental version was only available to coach-built special order. Featuring a higher compression ratio and taller back axle ratio, the newcomer was found capable of over 120mph. Underpinned by the same cruciform-braced box-section chassis as the ‘basic’ S1 complete with independent front suspension, a well-located ‘live’ rear axle and servo-assisted four-wheel drum brakes, most of the coachbuilders that clothed it favoured aluminium over steel. Lighter and nimbler than the standard factory offering, Continentals were typically some fifty percent more expensive too. Long considered among the best engines Bentley ever made, the S1’s 4.9 litre straight-six was famed for its blend of torque, refinement and durability and was thus well-suited to the standard fit four-speed automatic transmission. Among the era's fastest and most exclusive four-seaters, the last of 431 S1 Continentals was completed in 1959.

Mentored by A.F. McNeil at J. Gurney Nutting & Co Ltd during the mid-1930s and subsequently promoted to Chief Designer there, John Polwhele Blatchley joined Rolls-Royce during World War Two. A stylistic influence on every generation of Bentley from the MKVI through to the T-Series, he took control of in-house coachbuilder Park Ward’s designs from 1952 onwards and was later credited with penning the Rolls-Royce Corniche. Decidedly elegant but with various a la mode twists such as its subtly integrated vestigial tail finds, Park Ward’s Design Number 701 for the Bentley S1 Continental chassis was typical of Blatchley’s creative ethos. Evolving through issues one and two, later versions of the sleek, two-door Fixed Head utilised the same taillights as the Standard Steel Saloon integrating them into the base of the tailfins. Park Ward bodied a total of sixty-nine Bentley S1 Continental chassis to its Design Number 701 (with forty-five being to right-hand drive specification).

Originally finished in Shell Grey with Red leather upholstery – the same combination it sports today – chassis BC36BG was supplied new via K.D.M. & Cherrington of London W1 to Mrs Dermot Daly of Little Compton Manor in the Cotswolds on 28th September 1956. Mrs Daly who had been widowed when her previous husband Captain Singer of the Singer Sewing Machine family died during WW2 kept the Bentley for ten years. Thereafter it is known to have passed through the hands of A.D. Allen Esq of Cirencester and Broughtons of Cheltenham (whose kickplate still adorns the driver’s door aperture) before migrating to America. Accompanying invoices show that the S1 Continental was treated to an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration by Euro Motors of Washington DC (a factory Rolls-Royce Bentley agent at the time). The work totalled over $50,000 and was completed in 1990. Repatriated three years later and UK road registered as ‘XYJ 405’, the two-door Fixed Head was purchased by its previous keeper from Porters of Kensington. Obviously in rude mechanical health, the Bentley finished second in class on the 1998 Louis Vuitton Rally of China. Fettled by marque specialist P.J. Fischer Classic Automobile (their sticker is still visible in the rear windscreen), chassis BC36BG joined the late Robert Furniss Riding’s collection via a Christie’s auction in March 2001.

Entrusted to English Automotive Services later that same year, the Bentley had attention paid to its bodywork, paintwork, interior and exhaust plus general servicing at a cost of £13,022. The braking system and suspension dampers were refreshed / improved during 2015-2016 with new tyres being fitted too (the associated bills totalling £9,375). Uprated with power steering using factory reconditioned parts by Frank Dale & Stepsons in 2019, the renowned marque specialists were also responsible for installing electronic ignition and a Kenlowe fan; overhauling the differential and renewing the rear wheel bearings / brake master cylinders / fuel pumps and spark plugs etc (all of which amounted to £34,000).

Accompanied by a large documentation file which includes (but is not limited to) some pictures from the S1’s life; a very large quantity of invoices relating to work and servicing completed; copies of factory records; an original handbook; Louis Vuitton Rally literature; the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club chassis cards; a good number of Isle of Man tax discs; copies of previous UK logbooks and the Isle of Man registration document. A great opportunity to acquire an iconic post-war performance Bentley at no reserve.

PLEASE NOTE: We have been advised that vehicles registered on, and imported from, the Isle of Man are not subject to Import Duty. Nor is a NOVA application required for their re-registration in the United Kingdom.

About Robert Furniss Riding:

Born in 1940, the only child of only children parents, Bob was educated at Stockport Grammar School then read natural sciences at Christ Church, Oxford. He joined William Deacon’s Bank, and had a stellar ascent through it and its subsequent iterations ending up as Group Treasurer of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He grasped the opportunity of early retirement in 1990 and moved to the Isle of Man where he had been left a house by an aunt. But Bob was far from being inactive, throwing himself into the local community and taking on the turnaround of a local private bank as its Executive Chairman.

Sailing had been a preoccupation during his time in the City, but on coming to the Isle of Man, Bob switched his energies and focus to collecting “quality cars” – principally the products of Cricklewood, Derby and Crewe, but with some maverick exceptions such as Maserati and Caterham. Daimlers and Lanchesters also featured, and he had to move to a large country house to find garaging for the ever-growing collection. His cars were regularly campaigned at rallies for the appropriate marque and were often deserved winners of various trophies. He also got involved in the relevant enthusiast clubs, usually ending up as Chairman – and his list of appointments included the Chairmanship of the Manx Classic Car Club and the Manx Motor Racing Club.

Bob was always a keen supporter of local charities, particularly maritime and those involving young people, and many will have cause to remember with gratitude his generosity and his apparently bottomless well of technical knowledge on “quality cars”, so freely shared. Bob left his Estate predominantly to Charity with the RNLI being the Residuary Beneficiary. Thus, in effect, the entire proceeds of the car collection sale will be received by the RNLI.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 19th Oct, 2022

An auction of classic & collector motorcars


Tuesday 18th October 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 19th October 2022 from 9am
Additional viewing for lots 200-254 on Thursday 20th October 2022 from 9am

To take part in the auction please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page

Click To View Catalogue


View all lots in this sale

Do you have an item to sell?

If so, contact one of our friendly specialists for your free valuation by completing the form below and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

Contact Us Today!



Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.

Cars from the 1910s to the 2010s head to auction for Buxton sale
H&H’s motorcycle sales off to a flying start in 2024 with market-leading 88 percent sales rate
Turning the Page: A New Chapter for H&H Classics
Goon, Goon, Gone: Unique Peter Sellers 1960 Bentley heads to auction
Eclectic 150-plus classic car auction helps round out H&H’s milestone 30th year celebrations
One of the UK’s best driving Aston Martin DB5s heads to auction
Mid-century sports car icons race to Buxton auction
Former front cover ‘star’ heads to auction
Classic British motorcycles shine as 230 lots head to the National Motorcycle Museum auction
Racing legend Patsy Burt's Jaguar XK120 speeds to Buxton auction
22-strong single owner classic motorcycle collection heads to auction
Norton's racing heritage set to ignite the auction stage
Rare Frazer-Nash BMW with rich racing history to be auctioned
“The Rolls-Royce” of the motorcycle world, heads to      auction
Martini inspired Porsche 911 ‘RSR’ Tribute to head under the hammer
Rare ‘Car on Two Wheels’ heads to auction for the first time in 30 years
More than 100 classics sold in H&H’s 30th anniversary sale
Stunning classics worth more than £9 million offered in 30th anniversary auction
Rare Aston Martin DB1 heads to anniversary auction from long-term ownership
Rare Bentleys to star in 30th celebration auction
H&H Classics 30th Anniversary Auction
H&H unveils details of its 30th anniversary celebrations
Classic car owners handed ULEZ lifeline
H&H Classics auction Hurricane X-75 Prototype to National Motorcycle Museum
Vintage and modern classics lead the way at latest H&H sale
H&H offers exceptional range of vehicles spanning 11 individual decades
Pavilion Gardens. Wednesday 26th July 2023
A whimsical blast from the past: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recreation heads to auction
From Italy with love: auction showcasing the essence of Italian design and sprezzatura
250 Motorcycles & Vintage Scooters Set To Go Under The Hammer!
March of the Mods: Lambretta owned by Paul Weller heads to auction
Lawbreakers to law enforcers: historic scooters with infamous connections up for sale
Jaguar SS100 among £2¼  million worth of classics sold at the Imperial War Museum
British classics to shine at H&H Classics’ sale
Historic Guinness Collection heads to auction
Browse The Catalogue Now! 135 Classic & Performance Cars To Go Under The Hammer.
Robbie Savage’s Ferrari F430 to be sold at H&H Classics
RAC Rally winning ‘Jaguar’ to be sold at auction
Former MP’s Bentley and Facel Vega ‘garage find’ among £1.3m worth of classics hammered away by H&H
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Auction Preview Video
Genuine ‘matching numbers’ 1967 Shelby GT500 Fastback among 89 strong classic car auction
Rare Facel Vega ‘garage find’ heads to auction
Indian 4 and Lambretta DL200
Golden opportunity to acquire famous limited edition Italjet scooter
H&H Classics commences landmark year with sale of 121 cars
‘Brand new’ Porsche 911 heading to auction after 21 years
Brooklands race winning Bentley to go under the hammer
Actor, Sir Michael Caine’s first car, heads to auction. £100,000 - £150,000