Barn Bentley: 1963 Bentley S3

040516 Barn Finds - 1963 Bentley S3 - 1

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How are you with wet-sanding? Needle and thread? Good, then this car is for you! This solid-looking 1963 Bentley S3 is listed here on craigslist in London by the Charing Cross station. The seller is asking £8,900 for this British beauty. Resident Barn Finds British vehicle expert, Jamie, wrote about a posh 1964 Bentley S3 about a year ago in case you were interested in seeing what this one could look like again after some tailoring and paint work. The seller says that this is a 100% original car with no dings or dents. This car would have been priced at around £6,100 when new when a Jaguar Mark X would have been around £2,000!

1963 was the second year for the Bentley S3 and it was quite similar, visually, to the Bentley S2 other than having quad headlights and having the rad lowered a bit for a sleeker profile. The S3 line was made until 1965 when the thoroughly modern-looking T1 came out. That’s quite a change! But, I prefer the “classic” look of the pre-1965 designs. This car doesn’t appear to have a two-tone paint scheme, but it sure would look great with one. Unfortunately, this is the only photo included with the ad, but the seller mentions that it has the original, stock 6.2L V8 and 4-speed automatic. If you’ve been looking for a classic Bentley S3 and you’re actually in the area where they were made, this one may be worth a peek. Are you a “classic” (my definition) Bentley fan or do you prefer the more modern cars?

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  1. Blyndgesser

    There’s another reason to prefer these over the T1. The S3 is a much less complicated vehicle. The brake system is a bit weird, but it doesn’t have the flaky interconnected hydraulic suspension/braking system of the later cars. The engine is pretty sturdy and the transmission is an old four-speed Hydramatic. Keep the rust fairy away and the rest will be just fine.

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    • jim s

      yes if i get another Rolls or Bentley is will be without the hydraulic system your refrering to.

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  2. Chris A.

    Converting the price into US dollars would be how much in greenbacks? The Rolls Royce Owners Club in upstate NY had a fund raising event where a club member would take you for an hour’s ride in the RR or Bentley of your choice. My sister dressed up in a lavender summer dress and took a ride in a Bentley like this with paint to match. Beautiful car and Sis looked good too.

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    • Scotty GAuthor

      The conversion ends up being a bit over $12,500 US dollars, Chris. I sure like seeing the numbers 8,900 more than I like seeing the numbers 12,500..

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  3. DW

    Such a gorgeous car when sorted and painted! There’s a local chap who drives exclusively for weddings in his white Bentley S3, full chauffeur’s uniform and all. What a way to earn pocket money in your retirement.

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    • Van

      I’ve wondered weather a Rolls would be a good part time job for retirement.
      Can you make enough to pay for the maintenance and expenses?

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      • Stephen

        If you can do your own maintenance and repairs, *maybe*.

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      • brakesevo

        Assuming the car is in decent shape, ,the cost of business insurance on a car used as a ‘livery service’ will be so outstandingly high you will find most of your earnings being swallowed up by the insurance company – and
        BE WARNED – both regular personal auto insurance and collector car insurance policies are NULL and VOID as soon as someone pays you even a nickel to ride in your car!

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    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      DW — At one time I had a vintage “Rolls-Royce style” limo service. While it’s tempting for an owner of a very nice car to offer wedding services, there are many pitfalls to doing so!

      First, if you have either regular or antique car insurance, your insurance company forbids you from doing anything that involves getting paid for someone using the car, and that includes a wedding, even with you driving.

      Second; If you don’t know the people getting married, be prepared to deal with people abusing the car – most don’t care about your special car. Spilled champagne, shoes on the upholstery, photographers posing the bride sitting on the front fender without protecting the paint, etc.

      Third; Most states highly regulate “for hire” services and require commercial livery insurance, and it’s expensive. If you get caught offering a vintage car for weddings or other events [with customers riding in the car], depending on the state, they can confiscate the car, levy a heavy financial fine, or more.

      I always advise owners of valuable vintage cars to only offer their car to friends for special events. I have a special vintage limo that was owned by the British Government for exclusive use of the Royal Family here in the USA. Over the years when I have friends getting married, I’ve offered them the use of the royal car [with me driving] to take them from the wedding to the reception, as my wedding gift

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  4. Eric

    Wow – how do you hide this in Charing Cross, especially by the Tube station?

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  5. Ian

    …around that area was ‘posh’ and huge houses once stood there to escape the stench of the city ie Somerset House. They all had cellarage and there still remain all sorts of spaces and garages..there is (or was) even a theatre right under the station

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  6. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    I’m a Jag guy and while I like the “unique” lines of a MKX, the Bentley has it all over the MKX.
    Now………Comparing it to its predecessor the MKIX is a whole ‘other issue. That Jaguar was worthy if the comparison as both cars shared similar lines, though in all honesty, would have helped if Jaguar shared some of Bentley’s metal prep.
    Not a big fan of their quad headlight look, but it does have their reasonably new V8.

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  7. stillrunners

    “Burke’s Law” sold me way back when…..watched these back in the 80’s when they were no so much sought after….there was a convert floating around I guess a S1 with single headlights pretty sexy stuff….

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