​As the new-era Bentleys descend, old-guard values could be compressed further

​As the new-era Bentleys descend, old-guard values could be compressed further

As the new-era Bentleys descend, old-guard values could be compressed further


I’m sensing pressure on Bentley Turbo R values. After a gentle rally in 2019 and 2020, prices appear to be softening, pulled down by over-supply. I counted 60 Turbo Rs for sale on one classic online platform, and 15 no-sales at recent auctions along with a couple of surprisingly reasonable hammer prices. H&H’s Masons Black ’86, sold in November last year, looked very good value indeed with 39,000 miles and two owners for only £10,125. In September, Bonhams MPH sold a black ’96 facelift RL with floor shift and 68,000 miles but only partial history for a landmark low of £7875 while in Wales a private seller has a cherished ’91 RL in grey with 65,000 and good history for £9950. These flat prices may just have been the effect of end-of-year lockdown blues but I’m wondering if the sharp falls in values of the later W12 Flying Spurs and Continental Rs may also be slowing demand for the Turbo R and dragging values down.

Sensible mileage, historied 2007 or 2008 Spurs and Conti Rs can now be bought for less than £20k, making all those £25k Turbo Rs look rather pricey.

So here’s the question facing the Bentley buyer. Should you spend £25k on a lovely Eighties/Nineties Turbo R or a mint mid- 2000s Flying Spur? Two very different cars to be sure, but the later Spur is so much more refined, faster and generally impressive that many Bentley fanciers must be sorely tempted. The Turbo R hasn’t quite yet turned the corner into card-carrying classicism, or is being seen as investment material and currently inhabits the no-man’s land between ancient and modern. But while buyers scratch their heads and demand slows, opportunities like H&H’s black 39,000- mile R for £10,125 need to be snapped up. Having owned five Turbo R’s, I’d never advise against enjoying their unique cocktail of aristocratic mischief – just be careful how much you pay. This is a watch-and-wait situation to see how prices fare in 2021. But be ready to strike when more alluringly priced Turbo Rs begin to appear – as they will. At the right money, they’re still one of the world’s most entertaining two-ton hot rods. 

20:13
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