Me and My Motor - Andy Pear, 1960 Bentley S2
PUBLISHED: 00:32 04 August 2013
From ‘basket case’ to transport of delight...that’s the story of Pecks’ restaurateur Andy Pear’s Bentley
It is a limousine with celebrity connections, having whisked One Direction’s Harry Styles and his mum, Anne, to Pecks restaurant at Moreton, near Congleton, for her June wedding to long-term partner Robin Twist.
But for many years, this 1960 Bentley S2 languished unloved in a barn in the West Midlands.
‘The car was originally registered to Major James Philipps, at Dalham Hall, near Newmarket, which now forms part of the Godolphin Stud and Racing Stables, owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai,’ says Andy Pear, managing director of Pecks and proud owner of the Bentley today.
It is powered by a 6.25-lire V8 engine and equipped with what were, in its day, cutting edge refinements such as electric windows and servo-assisted brakes. The review of the car in a 1960 edition of Autocar magazine called the S2 ‘a most desirable motor car’.
‘When it got to the early ‘70s, the car needed a new exhaust system, which would have been expensive, and the car by that time looked so dated following design changes in the ‘60s that it was put in a barn and left to sit out the years,’ says Andy, who turns 50 in September and is married with four grown-up sons.
‘I wanted a luxury limousine, and I was also keen on having a car we could use for the restaurant business. I spotted this car on an auction website and bought it as a basket case for £7,000.’
That was two-and-half-years and £50,000 ago.
‘I wanted to buy one that was in need of full restoration and then I knew when we reached the end, everything that needed to be done had been done, rather than buy a car that had already been restored and then find there were things that hadn’t been done.’
Andy took the car to classic car specialists PF Autos of Stoke-on-Trent, a firm he describes as ‘real craftsmen’.
‘The body was taken off the chassis and everything was taken back to bare metal and rebuilt to its former glory.’ says Andy. ‘Every component you can imagine has either been replaced or restored.’
So now he has a 1960 car which is just like new.
‘It’s beautiful to drive, even by modern standards. It glides along. It’s incredibly smooth and reliable, and it’s quite quick. It will cruise all day long at 70mph.’
The only fly in the ointment is fuel consumption, which hovers around 12 to 13mpg.
But as Andy says: ‘My other car’s a Bentley Continental GT and that’s not a lot better.’