Aspirations are a hell of a thing. They’re the notions that make you look upon your greatest achievements and say “you can do better.” When translated into car-speak, one of the best aspirational lumps of metal is a Bentley Continental GT.
It screams “you’ve arrived,” now with the added bonus of not causing your spouse to yell at you for depleting your bank account, because these things just got stupid cheap.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before I get drawn and quartered in the comments. This 2005 Bentley Continental GT is not a traditionally reliable or easy-to-work-on automobile. It is as far from frugal as you can get when you’re talking about running costs and parts prices, even though it’s not anything that would implore you to light your next five paychecks on fire and start a new life in Mexico, like you’d do for a Lamborghini or Ferrari.
Expect that you’ll pay more than that of a Honda Accord’s running costs to drive a used Bentley every day. How much more? That all depends on how much time and money you’re willing to devote to having your car actually run, keeping in mind that doing things yourself can help immensely - especially in the diagnosis phase.
Having said that, if you’re in the market for something truly special and against the grain, I can’t imagine a better deal for your exotic car dollar, even counting every cheap Aston Martin, Maserati and salvage title Copart Ferrari my readers send me via email. At an asking price of just over $40k, it might be the cheapest clean-titled Conti GT on the market.
This car does has some vapid blacked out taillights that should be removed at once, but other than that, it looks remarkably clean in the ad’s pictures. The exterior color is something that’s probably more conservative than I’d like, but it can certainly be fixed later on with a quality vinyl wrap.
However, here’s a saving grace: the Bentley Continental is one of the only new-ish cars that can successfully pull off big chrome wheels and not have the car look completely ridiculous. It’s understated and a touch gaudy in all the right places.
Its twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine is the standard hand-built affair that comes in supercars of this ilk, but it’s surprisingly tame and easy to drive when not on the fast pedal and mechanical components are just on the reasonable side of expensive. No, you won’t need to have owned several yachts to get it.
The GT is a luxury car first and speed machine second, but doesn’t necessarily give up the driving aspect of the experience like a Rolls Royce would. Instead, think of it more like a really, really nice version of a Nissan GT-R. It’s comfortable as all hell, has no business being as fast as it is, and your grandma could drive it if she really needed to.
Get a flashlight and inspect every nook and cranny. If everything checks out, I’d wager that this car is a good’un and worthy of being an addition to anyone’s garage.
Take it from me. I’d do it, and I have way less money than you do.