A Bentley Turbo R looks like 2.5 tonnes of expensive trouble you’d be mad to consider buying except that, bought well, you’re looking at an investment whose running costs aren’t as painful as you might think.
How about £420 for the 6000-mile service, £800 for the 12,000 and £1280 for the 24,000? Much more than a Ford Focus admittedly, but the R is a special car and a complicated beast that needs the regular attention of an expert technician.
“If it’s been well maintained, costs aren’t too bad at all,” says Adrian Worth of Prestige Services Leeds, a Bentley specialist. “It’s when people bring us something that’s been neglected. In that event, getting an R up to scratch is expensive.”
He’s thinking of the kind of Turbo R that, at best, has endured a succession of minor services. Owners might think that at least they’re giving it regular doses of fresh engine oil but Worth is more concerned about things such as the gearbox filter that has been sitting there for mile after mile, clogging up and starving the unit of oil.
“In that case, you’re looking at a gearbox overhaul,” he says.
Which is all a way of saying only buy a Turbo R that has a full service history, as in all minor, intermediate and major services, or that has had a major overhaul by specialists.
Such cars do exist. We found a 1997 Turbo R that, prior to purchase, had had its leather and bodywork restored by a specialist, and under its present owner’s care, its suspension, braking and cooling systems overhauled. It’s for sale at £15,950.