Bentley S1

The Bentley S was a luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited from 1955 until 1959. In my recent visit to Westminster I discovered one sitting outside Westminster Abbey.

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This was Bentley (and Rolls-Royce)’s first true complete redesign of their standard production car after World War II and their last standard production car with an independent chassis.

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This shape remained in production with modifications until late 1965 when it was replaced with the completely new chassisless monocoque T series.

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These cars, by modern standards, were no great shakes in the performance department. A standard wheelbase car tested by the British magazine “The Motor” in 1957 had a top speed of 103 mph (166 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 13.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of 16.1 miles per imperial gallon (17.5 L/100 km; 13.4 mpg-US) was recorded (!). The test car, which had the optional power steering, cost £6305 including taxes of £1803.

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Despite all of this, the car is simply beautiful IMO and I have to say I have rarely seen a car garner so much attention from passers by.

Taken with my X-pro1 14mm and 35mm lenses.

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