1962 Bentley Continental Drophead Coupe by Park Ward

  Number Delivered Original
BC28LCZ Nov 61 USA Ruth

[June 2000]

Originally shipped in 1962 to Mrs. Ruth Greenewald in Palm Springs, this car later turned up at Carriage House,a classic car dealer in New York, where it was purchased by a finicky Florida collector, Edward Mestre, in 1980. When he died in 1990, his Miami mechanic, Victor Wilbur, bought the car from the estate. The present Houston owner bought it sight unseen off the Internet from the mechanic in June 2000, and is making routine mechanical repairs in anticipation of a bare-metal respray in down the road.

[Update February 2002]

In February of 2002, the car was fitted with NEW twin SU carbourettors fabricated from the original Skinners Union molds by Burlen Fuel Systems. (See FRIENDS section.)

[Updated Summer 2002]

In April, the radiator sprang a small leak (again) and the automatic transmission failed. These events triggered massive restoration effort under the following logic (which can only be appreciated by car nuts). I call this the "may as well syndrome:"

If you have to rebuild the transmission, then you may as well restore the brake servo and differential, which are both loose...

If you have to remove the differential, you will have to remove the rear leaf springs, so you may as well re-tension them because the car rides a couple inches low in the rear. At the same time, you may as well re-bush all the rear bushings because they have hardened over 40 years...

If you are going to fix the rear springs, you may as well replace the front coils because the car would be high in the rear otherwise...

If you are going to replace the coils, you may as well restore and rebush all the front steering components since they have to be removed anyway to get to the coils...

If you are going to fix the radiator leak, you may as well re-core the radiator because all the expense is in getting the radiator in and out...

If you are going to remove the radiator, you may as well replace the air conditioning condenser which has a leak. At the same time, you may as well install an auxiliary cooling fan because THIS IS TEXAS!...

If you are going to replace the condenser, then you may as well get a decent fan and evaporator assembly under the dash so you have an air conditioner that works well...

If you are going to have a decent air conditioner, then you may as well fix the top which does not seal well. Because of bad decisions and poor upkeep by previous owners, a new top requires:
- hand carved wood frame
- new Everflex top
- new headliner
- removal and replacement of gas tank
- new steel welded into rusted top box
- new top box lining
- bodywork and paint on rear deck
- new top seals

If you are going to remove the gas tank, then you may as well replace that pesky fuel level sensor...

Yes, I am insane. No, I am not rich. (Even if I was, I am not anymore!)

Click HERE for restoration photos on my mechanic's website...

See the article on buying this car over the Internet!

[Update October 2003]

I have succumbed to temptation and purchased another Bentley Continental. This pride and joy is now for sale. The next owner will benefit from the extensive work.

See the FOR SALE website; click HERE!

You can have a FREE POSTCARD of this car. Send a STAMPED self-addressed envelope big enough to hold an ordinary postcard to:

John Sweney
3714 Brookwoods Drive
Houston TX 77092 USA