1996 Bentley Turbo R presented in the classic Balmoral Green metallic paint with Magnolia hide.
There can’t be many cars left out there that have had this level of care lavished on them. The service history is not only full, but supported by very comprehensive documentation that fills a ring binder. It has clearly been loved by enthusiast owners throughout its life.
The car is an absolute joy to drive. A 6.75 litre turbo makes everything effortless and the torque available is immense, output like this is rarely seen even on modern cars. The level of comfort could still teach almost every car manufacturer how to do things. Leather and wood everywhere, it glides along quietly as you sit high on the road like in a Range Rover.
With 117,000 miles, this car has covered on average 5,000 miles a year, which is just about enough as these cars are known to fair better with regular use.
As would be expected with any 24 year old classic car that has been in use since new it is not a garage queen, but equally presents very well and is bar far above average. Underneath is a little wet in places, and it wears very mild patina which for me always adds to appeal, but nothing worthy of note besides some wear to the colouring of the leather on the driver seat edge (could be rectified easily by a leather recolonniser). There really isn’t much else to do.
It had an engine rebuild in late 2019 with the factory approved reissued head gaskets that have all been hand inspected and measured to ensure long life. This is an important must have for any Bentley Turbo R as it was a known weak spot which all cars eventually succumbed or will succumb to. The fault was recognised by Bentley who withdrew all head gasket parts for this model in early 2019 pending review. This car has the first of the new released sets that were all measured by hand to meet Bentley’s approval These parts have only been available since November 2019 and rectify a problem that has existed for many years. This work was completed by one of the most respected Bentley and Rolls Royce specialists in the country and is warranted (parts and labour) until the end of 2020.
Given this car had a list price in 1996 of more than £120,000 (which would surely be over £200,000 if it were today), their value in Bentley’s 101st year is outstanding, having hit the bottom of their depreciation cars a few years back and now tipped to become sought after once more evidenced by firm prices. However, when cars do approach the bottom of the curve they often witness infrequent or no maintenance which eventually make them cheap to buy but uneconomical to restore hence a current spread of £5-40k. This one is excellent value at £11,450 given the condition it is in and paperwork trail indicating all the major issues have been dealt with; head gaskets, suspension spheres, corrosion work, radiator and so on. It even has recent Bentley spec AVON Turbospeed tyres with plenty of tread on them, the wheels recently refurbished to a high standard also. It is a nothing to do car, just clean, top up the fluids and drive. It returns a respectable 15-18mpg on a decent run, qualifies for classic car insurance, the lower government road tax thresholds and are known for having a build quality surpassing Mercedes-Benz models of the same era. It holds a recent MOT with zero advisory items.
A low number of people have owned this car. In 2016 it sold at auction for £10,000 (Brightwells, Lot No. 147 May 2016) when the retired banker who treasured it passed on, at which point an enthusiast made it his fourth Turbo R. The car comes with many items dating back to these two owners; a factory Bentley Turbo R fitted indoor cover, a Bentley and Rolls Royce valet case with the factory cleaning products, pens, books, magazine articles, spectacle cases, even two folding director chairs with Bentley badges on for sitting in while at car shows. The previous enthusiast also sourced and installed a genuine Turbo R wooden steering wheel and gear shift – these wheels alone have been know to change hands for £5k!
For shear class, nothing comes close. It puts a smile on the face of anyone inside it, and many people outside it and always attracts positive comments. 90s cars are back in vogue.
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