We had a mystery car in December 2016 and it looks like it is time to solve the suspense and undo the tension by deveiling the car.
The car is indeed a Bentley, a 1964 S3 Mulliner Park-Ward with a Norwegian accent.
The Norwegian accent derives from the designer: Vilhelm Koren, a Norwegian. The story is that Koren got involved in racing, just after WW2. He designed a body for an Alfa Romeo and on this basis the London Academy of Industrial design accepted him as a student. He graduated in 1957, with a gold medal. Rolls-Royce hired him and he remained there until 1961. The S3 Continental appeared in 1962, notable for its headlamps, a designed that avoid a stacked Alvis-style set up yet which accomodated the four reflectors by angling them in the space between the wing and grille.
After his stint at Rolls, Koren went on to teaching furniture design. His was a bright but short career in car design and I have no insight on why he opted to leave that branch given his long-standing interest in cars and his apparent talent for the genre.
A short obituary is here and a garbled version here. The second link implies Koren went from designing the Alfa racing car directly to RR. I’ll translate the Aftenpost article soon as Koren’s life story is quite unusual.
9 thoughts on “Mystery Car Revealed”
Could Vilhelm have been familiar with Michelotti’s Prince Skyline Sports, introduced at the 1960 Turin Motor Show?
Goodness: one, you knew about that and two, so did Vilhelm. The likeness is clear.
I hadn’t heard of Vilhelm Koren before, so thanks for this insight, Richard!
Hi: Credit goes to our correspondent in Sweden, Niels, (he took the photo and alerted me to to the Norwegian link).
(By the way: the image of David Hemmings driving through a semi-desolate London in the Rolls-Royce DHC version are the most lasting impression Blow Up has left on me. Which probably says more about me than the movie itself.)
I really don’t see how this is a correct ID. Nor do know how I missed this post over three months ago, but that’s another story.
This car has wing mirrors. The mystery car had that special arrangement of a quarterlight door-mounted mirror that showed in my original link at that time, here updated:
Nice story about Koren, but that’s not the car you were asking ID for.
Apparently, only Sean Patrick agree with me at the time while others wandered off onto Bristol dead-ends, etc.
What is that funny diagonal on the quarter-light?
The Vilhelm Koren design is extremely under appreciated, in my opinion. It exudes the same kind of in your face chutzpah as the New Phantom or the W100 MB 600. That is a car for the leaders of this world, take it as it comes.
And yes, Blow Up is a masterpiece. However, it kind of takes away the joy of seeing the film knowing that the Roller in question belonged to Jimmy Saville. It was originally white but was painted black for the making of the film. I guess it was a loaner on behalf of a personal request, and that the production payed for the respray. It’s very seldom I use words like these under these circumstances, but the likes of Jimmy Saville can burn in eternal hell for what I care.
The funny diagonal on the quarter light is a rain drain channel when the window is open to stop it dripping inside. Blow Up was Savile’s car, Our Friends in the North is my car. Many celebs, film and pop stars on the mid 60 had these Chinese Eye RR&B cars. Only 404 made in total.