Lovely but complex cars
Brought as restoration project:
Complete engine,suspension and brake overhaul.
New exhaust system, 12000 mile service: £6000.
Replaced knackered cloth seats and interior with good leather second-hand replacements from a breaker. Fitted myself: £700 all in.
Complete high end respray by local old school body guy at friendly rate £800 - was quoted from £5-£10K in London - thieves!
Alternator gone: £120.
Twin SU carburettors replaced, rebuilt, fitted & tuned: £1000.
Sunroof jammed. Have left as is.
All in first 6 months of ownership.
Nothing wrong since.
I got this old Bentley, a rare T2 model, only 558 built, for a song. It was in need of a lot of work.
Has been expensive to restore, (not recommended!) but was solid and in need of TLC. The servicing to get it back in order was very expensive, but could have been a lot more...
To drive this car is amazing, it is a very rare car now, and sought after. After I had the carbs tweaked, it goes like a rocket, and has very good handling for the size and age of the car, which I was not expecting.
It is not clever on the petrol front; 10 around town, and 14 on a run. The quality is excellent all round, and it's beautiful to drive.
Feels a lot more modern than my '71 Corniche, but the detail and quality on the RR is better (more expensive model). However the Bentley feels totally rock solid, and effortless to drive. The self leveling suspension is extremely smooth (Citroen based), and you do not feel rough road surfaces normally - just glides across even very rough roads.
The performance is good, if not surprising. An excellent motorway and distance cruiser, that will go well over 100mph, and with rapid acceleration, although not a sports car, just a car to take your time in - what's the hurry?
This car is easier to drive than a hatchback, has a very small turning circle, but is huge by UK standards at some 17 foot long, so finding as space in town can be difficult sometimes.
The styling of the car is lovely, a lot more subtle than the equivalent RR Silver Shadow, which is essentially the same, bar the front grille and badges.
It always gets attention wherever it goes; people stop and even photograph it and ask questions.
Road rage has not happened yet, bar one guy in Tesco's car park, who told my girlfriend it was "a crap car", then drove off in a sulk in a beaten up old Ford Escort! Twit.
It has acres of space inside and is near silent, just a distant burble from the V8. Can accommodate four or five easily, and has a huge boot/trunk. It is fully loaded on the accessory front, and has incredible twin level air con, and pretty much electric everything, but very old school 70's technology that is well/ over engineered.
It is a very complicated car with over 80,000 components. Running it is not cheap, but is totally reliable now and has never let me down since I got all the bits sorted out over 18 months ago, and will never lose value, unlike a new modern car. You must keep using them or trouble can set in, and the brakes can seize through lack of use.
Recommended, but you need deep pockets, and you cannot do a the Bentley experience on peanuts, sadly.
These cars are more reliable and better built ones than the later ones in the 80's apparently.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th August, 2010