2nd Hand Spotlight: Bentley Turbo R
We’ve gone a little bit rogue this week on 2nd Hand Spotlight. Usually we spot a nice coupe, decent value tarted up repmobile or a large 4x4 at the bottom of its depreciation curve. But this weekend we wandered past a local used car dealer and saw two examples of the car we’re featuring that made us stand, slack jawed in amazement at the sheer value and amount of metal for the money.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you – the £7995 Bentley Turbo R. When it was hand built by craftsmen in Crewe in 1993, some rather wealthy person paid somewhere in the region of £80,000 – a serious amount of money given that a BMW 750i was less than half that amount. Now you can have this slab of British steel for one tenth the amount. Just taking that number for one moment, it’s actually quite interesting. If you look at the fact that it’s a tenth of the cost, it seems like quite a large amount of retained value. But bear in mind that the modern inflated cost of the purchase price is over £140,000 and that £7995 is back into bargain territory.
So what does your £7995 (or around £7500 after a haggle) get you? Well there’s one word that springs to mind that you can’t get any more of for the money – class. This is the mode of transportation for the wealthy, the royals, dictators and oil barons world over. You get one of the most incredible powertrains ever devised – a truly enormous 6.75 litre turbocharged V8. Bentley never released official power and torque figures for their engines, stating that levels were ‘adequate’. However some rolling road testing was done and the Turbo R was found to have around 350 bhp and a mammoth 480 lb/ft of torque. This beast of an engine was wonderfully docile though, with the standard test being that they could balance a coin on its edge on the head of the engine and rev it, and it wouldn’t fall over.
Visually the Turbo R is a huge slice of 80’s design – like a small building trying to move along the road. The massive grille and twin round lights will intimidate any driver in front of you into moving over, yet the styling is still so classy, so reserved that you could pull up outside the Savoy and still be treated like the gentry. Inside is where the Bentleys of the era really excelled though – acres of highest quality leather cover every surface, armchair like seats cossetting your body like a cow giving you a hug. It may have done 76,000 miles but the quality of these Bentleys is apparent in that the interior of this example looks just like it did in the showroom twenty years ago.
There’s a full service history with a recent service too, but don’t for one second think that just because it costs the same as a Ford Ka it will cost the same to run – this big Bentley will cost a fortune to run, service and fix – but treat is as a luxury bit of motoring and you can accept these costs. Yes, 16-20 mpg is going be a hard pill to swallow, but you’re driving a piece of British history, something that treated correctly will outlive you and your grandchildren. Think of it as a legacy and you can almost accept the costs...
Images courtesy of Auto Trader