2007 BENTLEY Continental GTCView vehicle description
PLEASE NOTE THAT AN AUCTION PREMIUM WILL BE CHARGED, ON TOP OF THE HAMMER PRICE, OF 5% (+VAT IN UK AND EUROPE). FROM 16TH JAN'23 THIS APPLIES TO ALL AUCTIONS ON THE MARKET, AND FEES ARE CAPPED AT £5,000 (+VAT)
As far back as the early 1990s Rolls Royce, Bentley’s then owner, were considering ways to broaden the customer base for Bentley’s products. The Bentley Continental R of the period was retailing at an eye-watering £180,000 plus, limiting its appeal to only those with the deepest of deep pockets. As a result only tiny numbers of the Continental R were finding new homes each year.
As a result, a coupe concept Bentley named “Java” was shown at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show. The Graham Hull, Roy Axe design ultimately remained just a concept but is now widely recognised as the genesis of the later Continental GT. The later car’s dashboard shape, for example, was lifted directly from the Java.
The Continental GT was first revealed to the public in 2002 at the Paris Motor Show. By now Bentley was in the ownership of Volkswagen and the winds of change seemed to be blowing in a more modern and entirely positive direction. In line with the original Java brief, the GT attracted a retail price less than half that of its Continental R older sibling. This achievement necessitated the GT being designed as a more traditional mass-produced vehicle rather than a hand built product that normally carried a Flying B.
Despite this it is very hard to feel short changed by the GT’s more than generous specification. Launched with a single engine variant – no less than six whole litres of twin turbocharged W12 producing a mighty 550 bhp and getting on for 500 Ib ft of torque. All that propulsive power was safely deployed in all conditions via a six-speed automatic ZF tiptronic transmission to a Torsen derived permanent four wheel drive system.
The convertible version, as seen here, arrived in 2005 and retained that fulsome technical specification making this a 2+2 luxury coupe capable of a 5 second 0-60 mph time and a top speed in excess of 190 mph. This does reportedly drop to around 189 mph, however, with the soft top stowed. The very definition of a “first world problem” perhaps?
In Bentley terms the GT line, including our GTC, is a relatively high-volume model. The 80,000th car was produced in 2021 so is really too successful to be considered truly rare. Our example, however, has to be considerably rarer than is usual given its mileage and ownership history.
The car was registered in October 2007 and supplied to its first owner via London Bentley dealer Jack Barclay. They performed the pre-delivery inspection at 19 miles with the first owner keeping the car until June 2011 and covering around 2,500 miles in her tenure. During that ownership the car went back to Jack Barclay at 293, 2,046 and 2,297 miles for routine servicing, clearly based on time elapsed and not mileage!
The second owner was a self-made millionaire called Graham. Graham was a specialist in bread making processes and machinery and had used his expertise to build a £50M+ turnover wholesale bakery business. Graham was a car man and had always dreamt of owning a Bentley Continental. After selling his business to a Swedish conglomerate, Graham and his wife, Marion, took their daughter for a hair appointment at Nicky Clarke’s in Mayfair. To pass the time Graham and Marion wandered around the corner to Jack Barclays. They looked at Jack Barclay’s stock, but nothing quite ticked all the boxes Graham had in mind for his dream car. He had the foresight, however, to leave his Bentley wish list with the salesman.
Jack Barclay soon got in touch with Graham having found a car that did tick those boxes, especially in terms of the colour. Graham was delighted with the car and despite Jack Barclay often offering him other, newer models, Graham had found “his” car and enjoyed it every time he used it.
Graham acquired the car from Jack Barclay in June 2011. In his ownership the car has been very sparingly enjoyed having, to date, covered a mere 3,235 miles. In other words, less than 1,000 miles since 2011. During its current ownership the GTC was back to Jack Barclay in 2013 and at 3,031 miles for a major service. This was completed at a total cost of £1,975.99.
The car has clearly been a prized possession and is only for sale today due to the sad passing of Graham in 2021. His family are now selling the car which, in recent times, has been professionally stored in a humidity-controlled environment.
On the Outside
In the 2007 Bentley GTC brochure the copywriters had a field day. With modesty clearly not being part of the brief, they advise you to “Prepare your senses. This is the most exhilarating convertible in the world. Sleek, magnificent lines shaped by the phenomenal Continental GT coupé, hailed as the most beautiful car in the world.”
Hyperbole aside, they’re not really wrong. Additionally describing the GTC as “the car born to be a convertible” it is true that the car only seems to gain in its translation to an open topped conveyance. The same blend of sophistication and muscularity is evident in the GTC with it appearing to be strangely more compact than you might expect in the metal.
Our example looks sublime in its deep and lustrous Silver Lake Metallic paintwork. It’s a colourway that seems to suit a GT convertible so well, appearing to be just a few shades lighter than the unseasonably blue skies of our shoot day. The exterior condition of the paintwork and bodywork is mostly commensurate with a 3,000-mile example that has been diligently stored. The only imperfection noted was a slight crease in the offside rear wing, ahead of the rear wheel arch (pictured). This is likely to be a relatively easy fix for a specialist dent repairer.
The car sits on a set of beautiful and pristine 20 inch, seven spoke Bentley split rim alloy wheels. These have clearly been well cared for as are really hard to fault in any significant way. The wheels are shod in a matching set of Pirelli P Zero tyres in the original 275/35 configuration. All appear to retain healthy levels of tread depth.
As you might expect from such a lightly used car, the dark blue fabric hood appears to be in an excellent, almost factory-fresh condition. No rips, scuffs or deep folds were noted, and it deployed cleanly despite its obvious lack of recent use.
On the Inside
As we have read, the Continental GT and GTC were conceived as “entry level” Bentleys offered at a price point once unthinkable for a Bentley. Nothing in this luxurious interior, however, would persuade you that this is a car built “down” to a price point.
The cabin is exquisitely trimmed and finished in Magnolia hide and really impossible to fault in terms of condition. The high-backed sports seats are generously bolstered with some judicious lines of double stitching added for additional interest. The obligatory flying B emblems are embroidered into the seat backs just in case you forget exact marque of thoroughbred you are enjoying. Some chance!
The dashboard, centre console, door cards and rear quarter panels are generously endowed with light, birds eye maple veneer, only adding to the light and airy ambiance of this cabin. Accents of black leather provide some contrast and everything you see, touch, smell or feel leaves you in no doubt about the quality and condition of this cabin. The rear seats should possibly considered as “token” for normal sized humans but are in an equally pristine, even possibly unused, condition.
Being such a prestige convertible coupe, the interior is faultlessly equipped too. Electrically adjustable and heated front seats with memory functions are really a given. A multifunction and heated leather steering wheel boasts alloy gear-change paddles and a large satellite navigation and multimedia entertainment system dominates the centre console. This is definitely a cabin that shouts “special occasion” and spending time in here is an experience you will wish to repeat as often as possible.
The W12 engine in the nose of this Bentley is an engineering masterpiece, the likes of which will probably never be seen again. This unit is essentially comprised of two V6 units resulting in four rows of three cylinders driving a single crankshaft. Renowned for their smooth running and huge power output, these engines are boosted via twin turbochargers. In 2002 a special Volkswagen mule fitted with this unit achieved a 24-hour speed record, recording an average of 200.7 mph across a 24-hour period at the Nardo Ring in Italy.
It is hard to see too much of the detail of this unit given the covers and shields in place. In our car the engine started immediately upon each asking. Initially the tick over revs “hunted” somewhat but eventually settled to an even tempo. Upon initially starting the car a service advisory message was shown together with an amber engine light. Given this car’s very light recent use a precautionary service would make sense for the lucky new owner.
The engine does run very smoothly, once the tick over settles. We attempted to video the tick over but the very high winds during our visit conspire to drown out the sound of the engine. It is very quiet, however, with no unexpected noises noted. The underside of the car appears to be in a fine fettle and given its careful storage, appears commensurate with a well-cared for car with a mere 3,235 miles behind it.
Given the miniscule mileage covered by our example there is less paperwork on-hand than you would usually expect from a 15 year old car that would more typically be approaching 100,000 miles. The original, leather-bound book pack is included, all bagged up in its original, Bentley emblazoned cover.
The service book documents our car’s four services, all undertaken by the specialists at Bentley dealers Jack Barclay. The last of these services was undertaken in 2013 at a shade over 3,000 miles. The invoice for this service is also present and details an expenditure approaching £2,000.
A number of previous MOTs in hard copy are on hand. This includes the current, advisory free one which is valid until December 2023. Various other letters and provenance providing documents are included and pictured for your review.
What We Think
If cruising continents with the wind in your hair whilst luxuriating in sublime comfort is your thing, then there are few cars that will equal the Bentley Continental GTC. At any price point. Given this mile-munching prowess, it is genuinely unusual to find a 2007 car with so few miles behind it. Given this history the exterior condition is seemingly exemplary, with only that minor rear wing crease noted as possibly deserving attention.
The cabin exudes luxury and refinement with every surface and touchpoint providing sensory satisfaction. Condition is exemplary and in keeping with its light use and careful stewardship. Given the lack of use this example benefits from it seems that some light mechanical recommissioning may be required by a qualified specialist to ensure the running of the car fully matches the superlative standard of the rest of the GTC.
If you are a Bentley connoisseur careful to own only the lowest mileage, most lightly used examples of the marque then acquiring this car might well be the rarest of opportunities and one not to be missed.
We estimate this Bentley to fetch between £40,000 - £50,000 in auction.
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- Location: Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 3219
- Chassis Number: SCBDE23WX8C052568
- Engine: 5998
- Gearbox: Auto
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Colour: Silver
- Interior: Cream
- Estimated Price: £40,000 - £50,000