The Flying Spur name continued an honourable tradition dating to 1957, when H. J. Mulliner produced the first four-door body on the Bentley S1 Continental chassis.
This model was named by Arthur Talbot Johnstone, H.J. Mulliner’s Managing Director, after the heraldic device of his family, the Clan Johnstone of the Scottish Borders. The clan’s spur mascot was mounted on the radiator grille of the first example.
Only 432 S1 Continentals (2- and 4-door) were produced. H.J. Mulliner bodied 217 of them. Other coachbuilders, notably James Young, offered four-door coachwork on the S-Type Continental chassis, but these could not be named Flying Spur.
The first modern Continental Flying Spur was introduced in 2005, with a 5,998cc twin-turbo W12 engine.
The example in our Slider is from the second series, produced between 2013 and 2019. A 4-litre V8 version was also offered From 2014, but this one is the full-fat W12 machine.
There is something remarkable about this car: it left the Crewe factory painted grey – and it still is. It has been ‘wrapped’ in silver and metallic blue, a process that is increasingly common for this class of vehicle (we have seen it on an Aston Martin of a similar age). The driver was in the motor trade, and his company had just bought it for resale. He told us that the wrapping would be removed, because he didn’t like it (those were NOT his actual words). We thought it looked good. There’s no accounting for taste, so if you like it as it appears here, enjoy. If you don’t, then imagine it in a subtle grey metallic, cruising imperiously on a German Autobahn very close to 200 mph. Or just buy an Alvis 12/50 – that is also fine by us.