At $7,500, Would You Get This Non-Op 1989 Bentley Mulsanne S Operating Once More?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bentley is named for the nearly four-mile straight that defines the back half of the Circuit de la Sarth, and honors the marque’s numerous accomplishments at the venerable track. Could this road-going namesake’s price make its purchase an equally glorious achievement?

Many of you viewed potential buyers for yesterday’s 1990 Chrysler LeBaron GT in the same light you might equate to admirers of dwarf amputee porn, wondering: who the hell likes that? A small and suspect audience the car may have, but it was the $4,500 asking price that really raised your hackles. It also raised a 68 percent Crack Pipe loss meaning nothing about that old school drop top panned out.


The LeBaron, of course, has become a bit of a joke. In light of today’s standards, its position as even a near-luxury car seems laughable. The same can’t be said however for pretty much any Bentley car from pretty much any era.


Here we have a 1989 Bentley Mulsanne S and I’d say that when it comes to bonafides related to luxury and stately elegance, it still has it going on. According to its seller, this particular one also has a few other things going on, not all of them good.

Bentley still uses the Mulsanne name on their uber-luxury sedan today. It’s an anglicization of the French Hunaudières and acknowledges the British car maker’s six wins at Le Mans in the latter half of the 1920s. It’s a nice nod, but this Bentley’s non-turbo motor and non-operational status both mean it’s unlikely to see the checkers wave in any event.


The Mulsanne was first introduced in 1980 and shared everything with the Rolls Royce Silver Spirit save for its badges and grille. The model had a pretty good run, surviving with few changes all the way until 1999. The S model was the pretender of the pack. It featured the alloy wheels, retuned suspension and slightly different interior of the Mulsanne Turbo (later, Turbo R) but without that car’s turbocharged engine.


Instead of that, the 6.75-litre L410D V8 breathes the same air as the rest of us peons. As such it pumps out a modest 205 horsepower which gives the two and a half ton sled a ton speed of about 120 miles per hour. A three-speed sourced from General Motors makes sure that any application of those ponies is undertaken in a staid and stately manner.


This Black on Black Mulsanne S apparently has been partying hard with the hoi polloi, and as such is described by its seller as being in need of some TLC. Both body and interior seem to be in decent shape and there’s no denying that the car is still George Clooney handsome. Look a little closer however, and you’ll note that the Turbo-shared alloy wheels are all missing their center caps.

The seller also notes that the radio is non-functional, and that the A/C needs a charge. The car is otherwise said to run and drive well, but currently sits on a non-op registration. It lives in California and the most likely reason for a non-op here is due to a failure to pass the bi-annual emissions test. Correcting that could be something as simple as locating a vacuum leak, or as financially daunting as replacing a catalytic convertor. Either way, there’s something sketchy about this Bentley’s present status.


There’s not much that’s sketch about the interior, however. The four-place Connolly-clad cabin appears to be in excellent kit with black surfaces highlighted by red piping that looks as sexy as batman’s bra straps. If you’ve never sat in an old school Bentley or Roller then you’ve missed out. Just the simple act of closing the door gives evidence of the car’s different, more dignified nature.


Of course this 74,000 mile example is in need of that aforementioned TLC, so maybe it could be a fine entry into the marque’s rarified air without the typically associated financial strain. In fact, the car comes with a fairly modest $7,500 asking. The seller pre-admonishes lookie-loos to ‘be serious’ and not to ‘low ball’ him.


We however, only deal in hypotheticals, and so we have free reign to suggest a lower asking for the big B. With that in mind, what’s your take on this TLC-needing Mulsanne S and that $7,500 asking? Is that a fair deal to buy it and turn it from non-op to op? Or, does that seem just the tip of the very expensive iceberg?

You decide!


Los Angeles, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.