Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Bentley is named for the color of the sky (or of my dreamy eyes). That’s pretty fitting seeing as it’s a droptop, but will this butch Brit’s price have you saying the sky’s the limit?
Have you ever seen a J.C. Whitney catalog? I mean the old school physical book with its thin gray pages jam packed with lifting shackles, anti-fouling spark plug extenders and the like? I have and it was amazing. It was sort of a doorway to a magical world full of possibilities and parcel shelf church organ stereo speakers.
I was reminded of J.C. Whitney’s book of dreams by yesterday’s 1998 Jeep Cherokee, specifically its tiny plastic dash-top heater which its seller was using in lieu of repairing a perf’d heater core. That kind of solution made the ad’s description of a number of other “incidental” issues a glaring issue in itself, and even at a generally reasonable less than four-grand price, the truck fell in a 62% Crack Pipe loss for the unknown bugs that might need quashing by its next owner.
Hey, do you remember Monday’s Maybach 57? I know, it was all kinds of fancy-beans, right? Well, that was the German’s take on the ultimate luxury car, filled with gee-gaws and other tom foolery to make its riders feel like they traveling in style. The Maybach was re-introduced so that Mercedes wouldn’t get left in the diamond dust by rival BMW who had purchased the British icon of luxurious comportment, Rolls Royce, or by Volkswagen who similarly took control of Bentley.
Rolls and Bentley had been bedmates for decades by the time the Germans split them up. Both have flourished under their respective owners, however both brands have been diluted somewhat through the use of parts from their lessor parents’ models.
Today’s 1996 Bentley Azure S however comes from a time before Volkswagen started making Bentleys as just Phaetons with better looking bodies and a more well-heeled name. The Azure was one the last to be VW-free and was based on the Continental R. They shared Bentley’s turbocharged 6.75-litre OHV V8, making each a throwback to the Blower Bentley’s of the company’s illustrious past.
The convertible Azure added to the fun factor (or more appropriately removed) as it was a convertible. The conversion was done by Bentley in partnership with Pininfarina and entailed a re-engineering of the car to accommodate the open roof without compromising the car’s solid-feeling carriage and performance.
When new these were the most expensive cars Bentley offered and their build and outfitting reflected that position. This one is now 68,000 miles from new, but befitting the craftsmanship that went into it originally, it has seemingly held up well. The ad describes the paint and interior as being in excellent condition and the pictures seem to bear that out. They show only light wear on the Nappa leather that seems to cover every available surface of the interior that’s not shiny burl wood. The body likewise looks free from maring. The covers on both dash and steering wheel seem to be preventative measures only, however the center console cup holders look a little janky.
The ad claims that the car has always been garaged and, like a Kardashian’s upper lip, to have been waxed monthly. The multi-layer top also seems to be in excellent shape as well.
These are heavy cars. I mean really heavy, like nearly three-tons heavy. Because of that, don’t expect its L-series V8 to sip fuel like it’s tea time at the club. Instead get prepared for it to down the expensive stuff like a pub full of football hooligans puts away pints. Also get ready for seemingly every bit of regular maintenance requiring some sort of special Bentley tool to affect.
Get past those issues however, and what you have here is one of the last true Bentley’s from before Volkswagen diluted the brand with their German efficiencies and keyfobs. And, while these were the most expensive ride in Bentley’s stable when new, this one will only set you back $49,000.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “it’s only $49K,” why don’t you say it’s on the moon and that’s only about 238,000 miles away, totally doable? Okay, that is a lot of cheddar, but thankfully for most of us, the question of affordability is purely academic, as we’re only determining if that’s a good price for someone else, even if we all might envision a car like this in our own driveway, if even for a moment.
With that in mind, do you think this blue Bentley is worth that $49,000 asking? Or, is that price just too sky high?
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A friendly note from your humble author: Hey party people, I wanted to give you a heads up that I will be on vay-cay next week—going to the midwest if you must know—and hence will be putting NPOCP on hiatus for next Monday through Friday. But don’t worry, we’ll be back in fine form the following week. Don’t miss me too much, m’kay?