1 of 4 ’61 Bentley Continental Gets the EV Treatment

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This ultra-sharp 1961 Bentley Continental S2 you see here is already one of the rarest cars in the world – one of only four such cars built. This one, though, is even rarer than that. It’s truly one of a kind, because it’s fully electric.

Restored and modified by the EV conversion experts at Lunaz, this juiced-up luxury coupe ditches the original cars’ internal combustion engine, mechanical transmission, and gas tank, replacing it with a lithium-ion battery pack and beefy electric motor that puts out 530 lb-ft of torque and 405 all-electric horsepower, enough to propel the big Bentley from 0 to 60 MPH in a bit over 6 seconds, in total silence, and with “magic carpet ride” levels of shift-free smoothness.

Managing all that power is a reinforced, ladder-frame chassis. At the rear of the chassis, Lunaz’ crew installed a fully adjustable coil-spring suspension with a lever arm damper, as well as four-piston brakes at the back and a six-piston brake caliper set up clenching down on modern ferrous rotors up front.

And, while this particular car is probably destined to remain a one-off, Lunaz can offer a similar level of design and execution competence on your other classic Bentley or Rolls-Royce, as well, with a custom palette of interior and exterior paint, leather, and wood trim choices to suit your taste. “The Lunaz color palette represents a balanced spectrum of choices, created with full consideration for the form and spirit of the car,” reads the official copy. “We bring beautiful lines to life through a blend of cutting edge pigment technology and the curatorial eye of the designer … The exterior palette is complemented by an extensive library of material treatments and colorways. A Lunaz interior does not have to be specified in traditional leather. Indeed, we are proud to pioneer new approaches to interior luxury design by unlocking the potential that each material can offer.”

If that sounds expensive, you’re be right! I didn’t see any sort of pricing menu to spec out your own electric Bentley anywhere on the official Lunaz website. But of course, if you have to ask …

Story Time

1961 Bentley S2 Continental coupé EV; courtesy Lunaz.

Look, I’m a sucker for ultra-luxury cars that I’ll probably never be able to afford– but I think this particular Bentley has a story that’s objectively interesting, if only because the story of this utterly unique vehicle’s life is so ordinary. Ordinary in the context of “used cars,” that is.

The story behind this ultra-rare Continental begins back in 1960, when the car’s original owner placed an ordered for a four-door Rolls-Royce Flying Spur with London coachbuilder, James Young. That car was supposed to place the luxurious Rolls-Royce body an interior on top of the performance-oriented rolling chassis of a Bentley. For whatever reason(s), that car never materialized — but what the buyer got, instead, was this coupe. One of 4 such cars built by James Young.

Despite its rarity, the hand built coupe bounced around several owners and across several continents before coming “back home” to the UK for its return to former glory — a fact the team at Lunaz is proud of. “The Lunaz solution takes cars that are under threat and gives them new purpose,” explains Jon Hilton, Lunaz’ Managing Director & Technical Lead. “Our cars embody the spirit of the original. They are peerless in their performance and effortless in their day-to-day use. To breathe new life into these timeless masterpieces represents vital engineering in the purest sense.”

Hats off to Lunaz, then. From where I sit, they absolutely nailed it.

Source | Images: Lunaz.

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