1997 Bentley Turbo R

Highlights


・Lovely low mileage Turbo R in one of the best colours
・Extensive history file
・Over £20,000 spent in past four years
・Recent head gasket and top end engine rebuild

The Background


At the time of its launch in 1985, the Bentley Turbo R was the fastest saloon car in the world until it was eventually knocked off its perch by the Lotus Carlton in 1990.

It was also the second most expensive – only a Rolls-Royce Mulliner was pricier, and to all intents and purposes they were essentially the same vehicle. 

The ‘R’ in the name stood for ‘roadholding’ and was answer to criticisms of the previous Mulsanne, which was fast but often criticised for its lack of handling precision. 

The Turbo R was a much sharper beast, and was the flagship of the four-door Bentley line-up until the Arnage appeared in 1998. 

That makes this 1997 Turbo R one of the last cars made, and by default the pinnacle of Turbo R ownership – as refined and developed as the car could get, and powered by a 355bhp version of the stalwart 6,750cc overhead valve engine that had been under the bonnet of Rolls-Royce and Bentley models since the 1950s. 

Finished in Sherwood Green, one of the best colours, it is part of a large private collection.

The History


First registered in January 1997 as P351 MFG, the Bentley wore a private registration for most of its life with its first owner. Its second owner then put the car back on the original plate before it became P200 RAP in 2009, a number it as worn in the custody of its past two owners.

The current keeper is a London-based businessman with quite a collection of valuable classic and exotic models and he’s chosen to sell the Bentley due to a lack of use compared with other cars in his collection.

The car has had over £20,000 spent on it during his ownership, including a full engine top-end rebuild and head gasket replacement less than 500 miles ago, which alone ran to £8,400. 

The Paperwork


Supplied with the car is a ring-bound file featuring most of the bills and receipts relating to it over its 24-year life, including old V5s and MOTs, invoices, receipts and a selection of hand-written notes relating to its history. It’s a comprehensive and impressive summary of its past. 

There’s a UK V5C in the name of the current owner, along with a registration pack for the Tracker security system. While out of test at the time of the photos, the vendor has said the car will be supplied with a full UK MOT test ahead of delivery to its new owner.  

The Exterior


Sherwood Green is one of the smartest colours to find on a 1990s Bentley – brighter and more vibrant than Brooklands Green, it has a more youthful feel to it.

It really suits the boxy lines and rounded-off edges off a late-model Turbo R, especially with the red badges, highlights and wheel centres on this example. 

It’s a fabulous looking thing and is in excellent order, with no obvious or major flaws, the worst being a tiny rust bubble on the driver’s side front wheelarch lip. Otherwise, both the bodywork and the paint are superb with no notable wear and no damage. If we were being picky, then there’s a smattering of stone chips on the front splitter underneath the main bumper bar – a nice easy repair but only needed if you’re fussy… 

All of the chrome is in good order, as are the alloy wheels, glass and exterior trim. It has a set of matching Avon Turbospeed CR28 tyres all-round, which were the original fitment and were developed for the model, but are now sold as a specialist radial tyre for high-performance classics. 

The Bentley is also supplied with a bespoke, tailored car cover that will be supplied with it and is of exceptional quality. 

Overall, a fabulous looking and period correct car. 

 The Interior


It might look pretty amazing from the outside, but it’s inside the cabin where most of the action kicks in – the opulence and luxury on offer is beyond compare, from the thick green woollen over mats to the supple magnolia leather. 

It’s all in fabulous order, with no issues or problems to speak of. The leather is all in fine, as are all of the wood veneers. The dials and gauges all work as they should, the air conditioning is icy cold, the headlining is perfect and it smells wonderful.

It’s also an amazingly comfortable car both upfront or back in the business end, where many a Bentley owner would spend his or her time.  The attention to detail is beautiful, from the chrome air con vents to the over engineered ash trays. This is a car with a real sense of occasion to it.

The Mechanics


The 6,750cc turbocharged V8 sounds absolutely wonderful, with a deep, guttural exhaust note when pressed, but the absolute pinnacle of relaxed refinement at idle. The engine was subject to a full top end rebuild less than 1,000 miles ago in which the head gasket was replaced, a full decoke carried out and a full oil and filter service completed to round things off. 

Unsurprisingly, then, it now runs beautifully and holds perfect oil pressure. 

The vendor reports that it’s a truly wonderful car to drive, with great performance, impressive handling for its size and strong, powerful brakes. 

The Appeal


The Turbo R is a Bentley that’s finally starting to get the recognition it deserves, and these later cars are generally more desirable than the earlier ones as they were better made, faster and had sharper handling. 

This is a really, really smart example in a wonderful colour combination of Sherwood Green and Magnolia that truly suits it. It has a fabulous pedigree, will be supplied with a full MOT and is a mechanically and bodily well-sorted. A lovely car, ready to be enjoyed. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1997
  • Make Bentley
  • Model Turbo R
  • Colour Sherwood Green
  • Odometer 70,077 Miles
  • Engine size 6750
  • Location Cambridgeshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
20 bids
  • JT £15,000 20/06/21
  • ta•••• £14,800 20/06/21
  • ca•••• £14,550 19/06/21
  • wi•••• £14,300 19/06/21
  • wi•••• £14,050 19/06/21
  • ca•••• £13,800 18/06/21
  • co•••• £13,300 16/06/21
  • ju•••• £12,750 15/06/21
  • ca•••• £12,500 15/06/21
  • ju•••• £12,001 15/06/21

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