1994 BENTLEY Continental R

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1994 BENTLEY Continental R


The 1985 Turbo R took its predecessor, the Mulsanne’s, 6750cc Rolls-Royce V8 and mated it to a thoroughly re-jigged suspension set-up; in came stiffer anti-roll bars, improved damping and a rear sub-frame anchoring Panhard rod, as well as wider tyres and alloy wheels. The R of course, stood for ‘Roadholding’ and the new car did just that.

Whether Lord, Lady or gentleman made good, those of means would always be drawn to the Bentley marque (surely less ostentatious than a contemporary Rolls-Royce), thanks to its more sporting pedigree – even if in reality its output had been little different to its siblings for a generation or two.

The brutally stylish, John Heffernan/Ken Greenley-penned, Continental R followed it, and this was the first Crewe-based product not to share a body with a Rolls-Royce since the Continental S3 back 1965! This bold step meant that once again, Bentley had become its own master.

At £178,000, it became the most expensive production car in the world. By this point, buyers who’d once in the Seventies and Eighties flocked to Rolls-Royce for the ultimate automobiles now turned to Bentley – the king was dead, long live the new king.

The Turbo R’s very same 6.75-litre Garret turbocharged V8 sat under its impressive bonnet, allied to a new four-speed GM 4L80-E transmission, here tweaked for 325bhp and a whopping 610Nm of torque.

The best bit though was that this beast, endowed with self-levelling suspension and adaptive ride, could handle. Hit the Sport button and things got progressively more hard-hitting thanks to more aggressive gearbox mapping and stiffened suspension settings. By now Bentley had firmly reawakened with its sporting ethos once more to the fore.

Come 1994 and the asking price hit a lofty £180,000. For that buyers received another 40bhp and a dollop more torque. Today though, you’ll pay significantly less.

The Vehicle

Originally supplied by Dutton Forshaw, Preston, this Bentley Continental R is presented in one of the most desirable colour combinations: Royal Blue with Silverstone Grey Hide piped in Blue.

It comes with a superb service history, with the original supplying dealer looking after it until the year 2000, and the car receiving two (yes two!) services per year until 2002. The standard of care afforded a vehicle in its early years is particularly crucial to its condition later on in life so potential bidders can take huge confidence from the above.

The original purchaser travelled to Bentley’s factory to spec the car (why wouldn’t you?), paying a deposit of £15,000 to do so and with the eye-watering balancing payment made on receipt of the vehicle. It’s worth noting that the next owner of this vehicle will likely be paying around double the original deposit, if not less – just saying.

The included V5C document shows a total of five owners from new. Vendor Stephen actually purchased this vehicle from us in November of last year and while fully enjoying the car, he’s found that the area where he lives has changed his long-term plans for it: “unfortunately it’s just too big for the country lanes around my house and I find myself spending too much time in the verges.”

Stephen’s size related woes mean that this fine, fine and did we mention, fine, Coupe is now up for grabs.

On the Outside

It’s a handsome thing; imposing at both front and rear, and elegant in side profile. For us, there’s no doubt it shares that alluring visual DNA that all the finest Bentley Coupes display.

The Royal Blue paintwork is in excellent fettle with a deep lustre and rich finish. The car’s long flanks remain straight and true – with excellent panel fit all round.

There are one or two small marks commensurate with age, including a stone chip or two & some slight corrosion on the bonnet and front lower valance. The front bumper has some scratches just ahead of the grille and there also some marks to the corners – all of these were noted when we last sold the vehicle.

The 17-inch alloy wheels remain in fine condition and wear Avon Turbospeed tyres, as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Remaining tread on each is healthy, too.

It’s an exceedingly smart exterior picture.

On the Inside

Pop the driver’s door and you’ll find the best cabin in the world circa 1994 – it is wonderful. You’ll find a profusion of the best leather (here in Silverstone Grey piped Blue), top-of-the-range wood veneers and thick lambs wool over mats. You’d better live in a nice house otherwise you’ll be tempted to move in here.

The burr walnut dash is superb, as are door cards and headlining. There are a few tiny marks on the driver’s door wood capping, but that’s it. As you’d expect of a well looked after example, all electrics function exactly as they should.

“A small section of the leather on top of the dashboard has come away, but just needs sticking back,” notes Stephen.

At the rear, the boot is finished in matching Blue piped Blue carpets and is pretty much immaculate. Have a root around and you’ll find the housing and gubbings for the car’s top-of-the-range Alpine stereo system.


Stephen says that this car drives superbly and performance is exactly as you’d imagine: absolutely brutal in a straight line. “Braking is 1994 vintage, but there is an upgrade kit available”. He himself was going to go down that route if he kept the car. “I’ve not had to do much to it during my ownership, just a check of those brakes which cost £160.”

The underside of the car presents very well; there’s an absence of surface corrosion that indicates a well looked after example. Instead, you’ll find it very well protected.

Lifting the bonnet reveals a very tidy engine bay, with that big turbocharged V8 front and centre – woof.

History Highlights

In the car’s history file you’ll find a large number of documents showing just how well this Continental R has been looked after. You’ll also find the original vehicle order, which contains full specification details for the car.

The book pack is present, as is the all-important service book. Flick through it and you’ll find a huge and very comprehensive service history, carried out by a combination of main dealers (early history) and latterly independent specialists. As we mentioned, up until 2002, the owner had two services carried out almost every year! If you buy the best then it’s worth looking after it in the best possible manner. Post 2002, and as annual mileage decreased significantly, this calmed down to a service conducted most years.

It’s worth flicking through the various invoices for added peace of mind. It’s had various pieces of work carried out through the years including a replacement shock absorber, reconditioned seat ECU, a coil spring and a brake calliper here and there. If it’s needed it, then it’s received it.

Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of the paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained to an excellent standard.

What We Think

This is one big, brutal and handsome Coupe. If you’re after sheer road presence then it doesn’t get better than this. Step inside and you cocoon yourself in luxury, nail the throttle and you unleash intergalactic planetary travel acceleration capabilities – say goodbye to a high proportion of other road users in an instant. There’s further kudos to be had in knowing that you’re piloting a car that, at one point, was the most expensive in the world.

Given all of the above, we expect this very well looked after example of this fine breed to sell for somewhere between £33,000 and £37,000. I know. It’s criminal isn’t it?

One further thing to consider is that, while yes they may depreciate, handsome Bentley Coupes such as this never go out of fashion. Go on, you know you want to.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this car is located at The Market’s Abingdon HQ; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.


Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 72000
  • Chassis Number: SCBZB03C3RCH52123
  • Engine: 6,750
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Grey, blue piping
  • Estimated Price: £33,000 - £37,000

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