Arguably the most beautiful postwar Bentley, the Flying Spur was the first four-door Continental. Initially, Rolls-Royce would not allow builder H. J. Mulliner to use the name Continental, insisting it should only apply to two-door cars.
After months of pressure from Mulliner, R.R. relented and allowed the shapely car to be known as a proper Continental. More than worthy of the hallowed name, the Flying Spur was launched in 1957, using the standard S1 chassis. In 1959 it inherited R.R.’s 220 bhp, oversquare, light-alloy V8, and by July 1962 the body shell was given the double headlight treatment and upgraded into what some consider to be the best of the breed—the S3 Flying Spur.
Subtle, understated, and elegant, Flying Spurs are rare, and in their day were among the most admired and refined machines in the world. Although sharing much with the contemporary Standard Steel Bentley, the Spur’s list price was half as much more as the stock item.
Builder H. J. Mulliner would receive the chassis from Rolls-Royce and clothe it with a hand-built body. Although customers would often have to wait up to 18 months for their cars to be completed, the finished product was considered the zenith of good taste and refinement.
Tapering tail and swooping roof line managed to lend an air of performance.
The Flying Spur’s four-headlight nose was shared with the standard steel Bentley S3, along with a lowered radiator and hood line. The body was constructed from hand-rolled aluminum.
V8 had aluminum cylinder heads, block, and pistons.
Interior includes carefully detailed switchgear, the finest leather and walnut, and West of England cloth.
The large, spindly steering wheel was power-assisted.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL S3 Bentley Continental H. J. Mulliner Flying Spur (1962–66)
BODY STYLE Four-door, five-seater.
CONSTRUCTION Aluminum body, separate steel cross-braced box section chassis.
ENGINE V8, 6230cc.
POWER OUTPUT Never officially declared.
TRANSMISSION Four-speed automatic.
SUSPENSION Front: independent coil springs and wishbones; Rear: semi-elliptic leaf springs.
BRAKES Four-wheel Girling drums.
MAXIMUM SPEED 115 mph (185 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 10.8 sec