23/01/2024 General News
A unique 1960 Bentley S2 Continental, formerly owned by Peter Sellers, one of the greatest comic actors of all time, is expected to fetch between £120,000 - £150,000 when it heads to auction on 13 March.
Being offered for sale by H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, the car which boasts a fascinating history, was owned by Sellers from November 1961 until July 1966. During that time, the fastidious Sellers entrusted the Bentley’s maintenance to Jack Barclay Ltd who, it is believed, he commissioned to carry out work to reprofile the front wings with the addition of two further headlights.
This distinctive personalisation was just one of a series of modifications to the car which remain in situ today, including a ‘smoke glass mirror with longer arm, allowing you full movement of the sun visor’.
“Sellers was a man who changed his cars so often, his fellow star of The Goon Show, Spike Milligan, referred to them as ‘metal underwear’, so to have retained this Bentley for so long, shows how much he cherished it,” remarks Damian Jones, senior motorcar specialist, H&H Classics.
“Yet to undergo a major restoration and still retaining much originality including its original upholstery, the car is now in need of recommissioning or restoration. However, given the car’s history and the list of 1960s celebrities who may have accompanied Sellers on journeys in the car, we expect there to be significant interest in the vehicle.”
Indeed, included in the car’s history file are several works invoices that specifically mention returning the car to the film set of The Wrong Arm of the Law, of which an original 1963 poster promoting the film is included within the car’s sale.
One of just 60 right-hand drive S2 Continental chassis to be clothed with its style of Drophead Coupe coachwork by Park Ward, the Bentley was one of the most expensive cars available at the time. Priced at £8,246 2s 6d, it cost more than a Ferrari 250GT Pininfarina Berlinetta and a Jaguar Mk2 3.8 litre saloon combined.
The car comes to market from one of the world’s largest collections of Bentley Continentals and is offered with an extensive history file and an assortment of memorabilia including a signed photograph of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, an original movie poster, a vinyl Goons LP and more than two dozen original press cuttings about Sellers’ various acting roles.
Viewing of the car is available in person at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on the afternoon of Tuesday 12 March as well as the following morning on the sale day itself. Parties interested in acquiring this unique piece of motoring and celebrity history can bid in person, online, by phone or by leaving a commission bid.
About H&H Classics
Established in 1993, H&H Classics is the only employee owned, and longest continually trading auction house in the UK and Europe. With centuries of collective market expertise in the automotive and classic vehicle industry, H&H Classics prides itself on delivering the highest levels of commitment and service to its buyers and sellers, ensuring an experience which is easy and enjoyable.
Over the past 30 years, H&H Classics has achieved world record prices for classic motorcycles, cars, and competition cars such as a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB, 1968 Lotus 49B, 1996 Subaru Impreza WRC, as well as royal cars including Queen Elizabeth II’s Daimler, Prince Phillip’s Lagonda and Princess Anne’s Bentley.
To find out more about H&H Classics, upcoming auctions or for enquiries, please visit www.handh.co.uk.
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For a full selection of high-resolution images which accompany this release, please visit the following Dropbox:
Peter Sellers owned the car between 1961 and 1966