Large and in charge is how you might describe today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bentley. This formerly exclusive ride could be yours for less than the cost of a Kia Rio, but based on its shape, is its price still too large to say charge it?
With its lithe and powerful turbocharged straight six, sexy body, and legendary factory build quality, you might think that yesterday's custom 1999 Lexus SC300 would have been able to name its own price. However, you would be wrong. Not only that but at fourteen grand, wrong too was that Lexus, according to 79% of you.
Today's Bentley costs less than yesterday's fancy Toyota, and of course there are few cars that can match the provenance of the Bentley name. Oh sure, this 1991 Turbo R is from the era when a Bentley was little more than a Rolls Royce with a different grille and mascot, but the changes made to the engine and suspension on the turbo-equipped R helped to separate the marques, and gave the big Bentley the bonafides to carry its sporting heritage with pride.
The car started out as the Mulsanne, a re-grilled Rolls Silver Spirit. That car evolved into the Mulsanne Turbo in the early '80s which added a Garrett turbo to the carburetor-equipped 6.75-litre V8. That blown car was then replaced by the Turbo R in 1985 which stepped up the game with a fuel injected engine, alloy wheels, and suspension modifications to make the sedan handle like a tap dancing fat man.
It's been a while since I've driven a Turbo R but as I recall, it was a memorable experience. These cars weigh on the order of about 5,300-lbs and it's remarkable that something that heavy could move so quickly. Accelerating in one of these is sort of like having an impatient Superman move your house a couple of blocks while you blink.
I also remember that these cars are also eerily silent while getting their fast on. The only thing you can hear inside is the standard-feature butler asking in his impeccable Queen's English if he could adjust your acceleration-induced wedgie for you. I'm just kidding of course, these cars don't come with a butler, and if they did, this one's man servant would probably be long dead by now.
What then does this '91 Turbo R provide? Well, the ad says that the car is offered with only 47,000 miles on the clock, as well as a clean title. It also comes with what is described as a European body package that makes it unique in the U.S.. Apparently that European package includes the left-side turn signal delete option, for additional lightness and confusing the commoners.
Over all, the car looks as though it could use a bath. I'm just saying, The English White paint seems serviceable but dirty, while the white and blue (hey sailor!) interior also looks like it would enjoy a trip to the detailer.
Other than that, it all is claimed to be in ship shape. The ad - in all-caps so you know it's important - notes that the car's maintenance is all up to date and that it runs and drives great. That's all good news because these cars are a bear to work on, requiring things like special tools to change out the shocks, and having wiring from hell. A good one can be a joy however. Albeit a 9-mpg joy.
All that comes with a $10,000 price tag - on a car that when new sold for more than $200K. That's quite the depreciation and as such makes this an intriguing choice for your used car dollars.
What do you think about this Bentley - as presented in the ad - and its ten-grand price tag? Should that have it classing up a new owner's driveway any time now? Or, for that much, has this locomotive left the station?
H/T to Alvin B. for the hookup!
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