(BC28LCZ) Park Ward drophead coupe.

I bought this car in 2000, did significant restoration, and sold it in 2004.

  • Click here for the story of how I bought it.

  • Click here for a roster of all the other S2 Bentley Continental drophead coupes.

  • Click here for a press kit on this and other models from the 1962 New York Auto Show.

  • Click here for a page on the design of this car.

  • Click here for the website of the fellow I sold it to.

  • Click here to see a profile of this car in a well-known Rolls-Royce and Bentley website!

Here is everything about this particular car. I compiled this information as part of the effort to sell it:

Rare and beautiful, one of 125 ever made and one of 20 left drive cars delivered to USA. Painted silver mink with scarlet interior and top. This car was in wonderful condition with most of the expensive (and correct) mechanical restorations completed between 2000 and 2004, including steering and suspension, transmission and differential, tires and brakes, exhaust, starter and wiring, carburetion and ignition, cooling, air conditioning, and top. It is great to drive (especially at 90 mph) and to show (Best in Class at Concours d'Elegance). The next custodian will have the opportunity to finish the restoration to their own taste (leather refinishing, paint color, etc.) and enjoy the car as much as I have.

Click to jump to Cavalcade of Photos!


  • 6.2L aluminum Bentley V8
  • power steering
  • power brakes
  • automatic transmission
  • power top
  • power driver and passenger windows
  • AM/FM cassette (modern)
  • power antenna
  • 121,000 miles


  • Custom-fitted car cover
  • All tools and books
  • Service records since 1980
  • Photocopy of original build sheets

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The Bentley Continental series has a long history, from the original experimental chassis in 1951 to today's breathtaking turbocharged models.

Both W.O. Bentley and Rolls-Royce had a special interest in long distance Continental motoring, the latter having produced ‘Continental’ models since 1912. It was therefore only natural that the Bentley Continental model should be produced.

Rolls-Royce asked H J Mulliner to collaborate on producing the coachwork for what was to become the ‘R’ Type Continental. The prototype (right) was registered OLG490 and nicknamed ‘Olga’. The lightweight streamlined aluminum body gave Olga an official 5 lap average at the Montlhéry circuit of 119.75 mph. The Bentley ‘R’ Type Continental was the fastest and most refined production 4 seater of its time and set the standard for all Bentley Continentals that were to follow.

The prototype Bentley Continental, known as "Olga".
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In general, the Bentley Continental models (including the Corniche and Azure, which are Continentals in all but the name) are distinguished from their "ordinary" Bentley brethren by higher-than-standard performance and a special coach-built body. Continentals reached higher performance levels through lightweight body construction, powerful engines, higher gear ratios, or some combination of the three.

All Continentals are sports saloons or drophead coupes, with the exception of the four-door "Flying Spur".

(The British have several automobile terms that need translation: a "sports saloon" is a high-performance two- or four-door enclosed automobile with a front and back seat; a "drophead coupé" is a two-door convertible; the "hood" is the convertible top; the "bonnet" is the hood; the "boot" is the trunk. Who says there isn't a language barrier between the Americans and the British?)

Only 388 S2 Continentals of any style were ever built so there appears to be a greater likelihood that these cars will hold value over time.

Because there were so few of these beautiful drophead coupes made, the history of each car tends to be fairly well-documented - thanks to complete records from Rolls Royce and a cadre of Bentley enthusiasts around the world. Copies of the original build records for BC28LCZ have been obtained and are included with this vehicle.

The original Bentley S2 Continental models: Sedan by James Young, Coupe by HJ Mulliner, Flying Spur by HJ Mulliner, and Drophead Coupe by Park Ward.

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BC28LCZ, was originally shipped to Ruth Greenewald in Palm Springs, California. While all Bentley Continentals were built to order and could be delivered in any color imaginable, Ms. Greenewald chose a standard Porcelain White with scarlet interior.

Somewhere along the line the color was changed to "silver mink," which is a later Bentley color that is essentially a silver blue with a hint of green.

By 1980, BC28LCZ ended up in a collector car dealership in New York, where it was purchased by a Florida businessman, Edward Mestre. This owner rebuilt the engine, refinished the woods, restored some of the leather, and installed a modern stereo.

When he died in 1990, his mechanic, Victor Wilbur, purchased the car from the estate and used it rarely, logging only 1200 miles in 10 years.

The present custodian, John Sweney, CEO of a marketing firm, bought the car from the mechanic in the summer of 2000 and brought it to Houston, logging thousand of miles in local pleasure travel, shows, parades, and even daily commutes to the office.

Like all British cars, the Bentley Continental is built to be driven, not stored away. When left alone in the garage, it has been known to call out to go for a drive in the countryside!

When acquired by its present custodian in 2000, the car ran quite well considering its age. It had been lovingly cared for and well-maintained, but never fully restored.

Between 2000 and 2003, most of the major mechanical assemblies were restored by Houston-area Bentley specialists, including Sport & Classic Car Company and Post Oak Motors.

These restorations are detailed below, but they included:

  • steering and suspension
  • transmission and differential
  • tires and brakes
  • exhaust
  • starter and wiring
  • carburetion and ignition
  • cooling
  • air conditioning
  • top

All in all, the car has traveled 121,000 miles since new.

BC28LCZ in 1999.
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BC28LCZ in 2001.
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This $24,000 restoration is among the most important because it allows the car to drive and handle much as it did in 1962.

New rear springs are no longer available for this car, and "retensioned" springs may be stressed beyond their limit, so we removed the rear springs and rebuilt them using low mileage leaves from another car. To assure proper height and road feel, we added an additional leaf to each spring, packed well with grease and installed custom leather gaiters. We also replaced all the spring bushings and mounts, save one rear shackle bushing that was impossible to access without removing the body from the frame.

For the front suspension, The coil springs were replaced with new old stock that was (amazingly) found to be available.

We completely disassembled all the steering components except the steering box (which is reasonably tight), replaced all grease seals, rebuilt the steering pins and replaced the idler bearings. All components were bead blasted and refinished. We also rebuilt the power steering ram.

While in the neighborhood, we strengthened a sub-frame mounting hole and replaced a lower motor mount.


BC28LCZ prior to suspension restoration.
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After suspension restoration.
Notice that the chassis is at the
proper height

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This $11,000 restoration returned the car to the "smooth operator" it had been in its prime.

The transmission was removed and rebuilt by one of those "aging" craftsmen who still knows how to work on these transmissions. As part of this process, the valve body was replaced with a unit with lower mileage.

The differential assembly was removed and replaced with a new unit that we rebuilt, serviced and refinished.

The drive shaft assembly was replaced with a tight, refinished part to assure silent running.

Finally, the transmission was fine-tuned and all linkages adjusted for smooth operation!


New differential.
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This $13,000 restoration enables the Bentley to stop sure and straight on brakes that are surprisingly complex for a 40-year-old car.

We restored the brake servo and replaced one of the servo gears with a newly-machined duplicate.

We replaced all the brake master cylinders with properly remanufactured units (not merely resleeved) and installed new brake lines all around. We relined the brake shoes and sorted out the brake linkage and master cylinder rods. We also replaced the front brake drums with NEW drums and used hubs to match.

We also bead-blasted all brake mounting hardware and brake adjusters, then cleaned and painted the wheel cylinder mounting plates.

As an added touch, we replaced all the bushings and seals around the brake pedal to assure quiet operation of the pedal itself.




This $11,000 restoration includes not only the visible top and headliner, but also proper attention to areas that will never be seen by any judge.

We removed the old top and headliner and disassembled the top frame. All frame parts were bead blasted and refinished, then reassembled with proper lubrication. All original ash wood strips were replaced with new hand-carved mahogany.

We removed the lining of the "top box" and welded in new metal where ancient top leaks had allowed water to collect. (The fuel tank was removed, inspected and replaced as part of this process.) The box was sealed (except for new drain holes) and relined in new gray Everflex.

To replace the original ash "tack wood" (the wood at the back of the top to which everything is attached), we had to reverse the original installation process and pop the 40-year-old nails out of the steel body work. We then hand carved a new mahogany tack strip and built it up higher with marine-grade plywood. Finally, we restored the body around the tack strip and refinished and blended the paint to match.

We installed all new top padding and a red Everflex top to match the interior. We constructed a custom English wool headliner which adds about one inch of additional headroom compared to the original. (As this was a coachbuilt car, proper modifications are permissible as long as they are done to Bentley standards.)


During restoration, old ash is
shown at right for comparison.

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After restoration.
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Detail of work hidden by new top.
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This $3,000 restoration allows the Bentley to run as cool as a cucumber, even in Texas summers at parade speed with the air conditioner on full.

We removed the original radiator, rebuilt and re-cored with a modern high-efficiency radiator core that resembles original equipment, then refinished in proper matte black. A new thermostat was installed, as well as a new temperature gauge sending unit.

Finally, we installed a quiet auxiliary fan forward of the radiator to draw additional air while the A/C is running.




This $7,000 restoration provides the power and pickup that merits the Bentley nameplate. After all, WO Bentley, the company founder, was a racing man.

We first removed and machined the intake manifold to assure proper vacuum. Then we installed NEW twin SU carburettors with proper jet needles and fine-tuned the fuel mixture for performance.

We rebuilt the distributor and installed an astounding high-voltage ignition hidden within the original distributor. This, matched with the original-look high-voltage coil, new spark plugs and wires, provides a smooth performance boost that can only be understood whilst driving.




This $4,000 addition, much better than the original Bentley air conditioning, allows the driver to survive the Texas summers.

We installed the latest air conditioning technology that uses the current environmentally acceptable refrigerant, a high-efficiency condenser, and a complementary under-dash evaporator and fan combination.

We reused the existing compressor, which is in fine shape, but installed many new hoses to assure that the refrigerant stays put.




It is surprising that the $4,000 restoration of much of the wiring and cables can make such a profound difference to the overall reliability of the car.

We removed and rebuilt the Bentley starter, and upgraded to a modern starter relay. We also replaced most of the cables running from the new battery in the rear.

In the engine compartment, we detailed all the wiring harness connections and soldered on new connectors and terminals for solid electrical reliability.


Restored starter and new relay.
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This $3,000 service item is one less thing to deal with.

The entire exhaust system from the manifold to the tailpipe was replaced with factory Bentley parts.



What's Next?

The car was offered for sales "as is". At the time, the following cosmetics were justifiable as part of a complete restoration:

  • restore underbody rockers (under sills)
  • recolor leather seats and doors (old leather is very good and has real character)
  • restore leather dash (all new leather is required here)
  • revarnish woods (veneers are excellent; only the varnish needs attention)
  • rechrome (chrome is very good, but with a dent or two in the overriders)
  • strip and respray paint

While most of the mechanical work was done, the following mechanics were also justifiable as part of a complete restoration:

  • attend to sticky hydraulic valve lifter
  • restore interior heater
  • repair tachometer
  • restore windscreen washer

A compression "leak down" test was performed at the time, and all cylinders were still "good".

What would WO Bentley say about this car?

of Photos

all photos in this section taken October 10, 2003

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to enlarge

Other Photos

This 1962 Bentley S2 Continental has provided a context for great fun, whether driving on the roadways, participating in car shows, or cruising in parades.

Here are a few additional photos of interest. More photos and additional restoration photos will be posted as time allows.

John Sweney, Houston TX




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To sell this car, I posted advertisements on several online and print publications:

  • Hemmings Motor News
  • duPont Registry
  • RROC Flying Lady
  • RROC Texas Lone Star Lady
  • E-Bay Motors

Updated Nov 2004
Copyright 2004
by John Sweney