2021 Shannons '40th Anniversary' Timed Online Auction
Lot
159

1964 Bentley S3 'Cloud III Conversion' Saloon

PASSED IN

Melbourne

Passed In

Specifications

Engine 6230cc V8
Gearbox Four-speed automatic
Body Work Saloon
Colour Black
Interior Blue-grey
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel with hubcaps
Brakes Disc/disc

Vehicle Report

Description

Bentley’s S3 is the sister car to Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III, the two built alongside one another at the Crewe (Cheshire, UK) works. Produced from late 1962 until 1965, the S3 was very similar to the earlier S2, save and except for four-headlamp frontal treatment reflecting that introduced on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III the same year. The Bentley’s interior was modified with individual seats for front passengers and increased leg room in the rear, while the 6.2 litre V8 engine continued with minor modifications and the power steering improved. Like the Bentley S3, the Silver Cloud III upon which the Bentley was based enjoyed a short production run of three years, until the arrival of the Silver Shadow in 1965. Based on an entirely new chassis, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud/Bentley S2 featured independent front suspension and semi-elliptic rear springs to provide excellent roadholding and ride characteristics. Although the Cloud initially retained the earlier Silver Dawn’s six-cylinder engine, the capacity was raised to 4.9-litres and power transmitted via a new four-speed automatic gearbox, originally developed by General Motors. Styled by John Blatchley and Ivan Evernden, the standard steel coachwork had a graceful beauty that has withstood the test of time. The interior was superbly appointed, with the finest quality Connolly leather upholstery, timber facia and door cappings and rear picnic tables. Although the original Silver Cloud/Bentley sold in good numbers, Rolls-Royce was already hard at work on a light alloy V8. With 6.2-litres capacity, the new unit was both smoother and more powerful than the in-line six it replaced. The Silver Cloud II/Bentley S2 was visually indistinguishable from its six-cylinder predecessor but just three years later Rolls-Royce updated the styling to become the Cloud III/Bentley S3, adding twin headlamps either side of a revised radiator shell, plus combined sidelamp/indicators on the leading edge of the front wings. The front and rear seats were redesigned, while changes to the carburettors and a higher compression ratio raised the power output as well. Rolls-Royce built just 2555 Silver Cloud IIIs and a further 1286 Bentley S3 variants between 1962 and 1965. 

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