TWIHAHF means this week I have a horn for. If you want to know more about where this came from, you can read about it here.
I temporarily moved to Dublin recently, so my car spotting has seriously upped its game.
One evening alone I stumbled across an E30, Fiat 20v, Citroen DS23, Ferarri FF, Bentley Continental GT… not bad for a random Wednesday after work.
Then, turning the corner to Sorrento Terrace I spotted it, behind an iron gate with a fat, rusty padlock on it.
A 1997 Bentley Turbo R.
Looking sorry for itself but I I could feel it, the horn was developing…
Bentley ran the production of the Turbo R from 1985 to 1999, from first glance it looks like this one was a “New” Turbo R, which has some mildly updated styling over the original. The flat tire on the rear was an optional extra.
I don’t think they are an overly pretty car, but there is something timeless and understated about their looks. Plus, there’s a certain road presence that comes with something that big and wafty.
What will it cost?
We weren’t even 10 steps up the street when I bumped off the mirror of a grey, non-descript Audi because I had my phone out looking at what they sell for. 10k, 15k… then I see a shoddy one for 3k.
The horn intensified!
NOW WE’RE TALKING, a Bentley Turbo R for shitbox money. Sure, nothing would work on it, but a Bentley for Fiat Panda money? Yes, please!
Looking past potential issues which might crush your bank balance, remember this is a handbuilt luxury sofa on wheels rocking a 6.75-litre V8 under the bonnet. That makes it better… right?
My mind instantly turns to power. It’s fat and heavy but with nearly 7 litres under the bonnet, it’s sure to pack some oomph.
Lets talk powah babeh!
The six and three-quarter litre engine only puts out 296bhp in this model according to Google, weighing in at almost 3000kg’s when it rolled off the production line, it equates to an approximate 100bhp per ton.
I immediately start to think, that can’t be right, and start looking at tuning. None of the Bentley Turbo R’s were renowned for being powerhouses, but some of these engines have been known to make almost 600bhp, like in the latest and final edition of the Mulsanne.
But beyond that, the experts say it gets unreliable as the engine simply wasn’t built with power in mind. Sir might spill some champers should one’s driver pull away too quickly.
My dreams of a cheap, stripped out 1000bhp tyre smoking monster, attained with just a remap were quickly dashed. 😂
Some have tried to make Turbo R track cars which relative success, but even with stuff suspension and a gutted interior I can’t imagine it’s all that impressive.
Still, think of the faces when you rolled into a track day at Mondello Park with a stripped-out Bentley Turbo R rocking straight pipes and a cage.
Sounds badass right?
So, what are we left with?
It’s not fast and probably never will be, but it has the potential to be a comfortable gas guzzling luxobarge which could turn a few heads with the right mods.
The engine isn’t likely to give you any grief as it’s a big, lazy, low stress unit that will happily rack up miles until you run out of money to fuel it.
The same cannot be said for the electronics however.
At this age, they seem to suffer from electrical problems like seats not working instuments not telling you the right info. The suspension will probably have sagged too, like the one I pictured above. A quick Google shows no shortage of garages offering independent suspension repairs on these, my wallet can’t even afford to hear the quotation through.
For me, I could live with some minor broken electrics like seats etc and if I could get a classic citroen garage to fix the suspension for reasonable money, I’d be parting with my money for sure.
With many of these now over 30 years old and on classic tax and insurance, it makes for a tempting purchase.