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… 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, 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 the one I saw was a “New” Turbo R, produced from 1995 to 1996 which has some mildly updated styling over the original.
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 too.
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 classic rocking a 6.75-litre V8 under the bonnet. That makes it better… right?
My mind instantly turns to power. Sure, 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, 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 1000bhp tyre smoking monster 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, I can’t help but 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. The same cannot be said for the electronics however.
At this age most seem to suffer from electric seats not working anymore and other basic interior electrics will likely have failed too. The suspension will probably have sagged too, like the one I pictured above.
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.