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alexwagner

Original Poster:

56 posts

44 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
Hello,

I'm 38 yrs old and hesitating about what to buy (for evenings in town and some longer drives too).
I wanted some views / opinions, between:

1) Turbo S or RT at £20K
+:
wonderful old-school decadence
affordable to buy
torque! (I get the impression the torque is a big part of the Bentley experience)
-:
square lines
is too vintage to drive??

2) Arnage T at £30K
+:
more modern to drive I assume?
younger image (esp in silver on black)
quilted diamond-stitched leather
torque!
-:
less old school charm and decadence

3) Conti R at £40K (T is too expensive)
+:
motoring monument
old school decadence
possible apreciation over the years
graceful lines and elegance
in a dark colour + T wheels + mesh grill, wouldn't look out of place in a collection of supercars
more dynamic / younger coupe image rather than saloon car image
-:
lower torque
old fashioned to drive??
more expensive to buy


I guess it boils down to these 3 questions:
- Is an Arnage T (the 450BHP 4-speeder) MUCH more modern and competent to DRIVE than a Turbo S/RT or Conti R? Or does it just look more modern?
- Does a Conti R feel a bit feeble and low on torque compared to a Turbo S/RT or Arnage T?
- Does a Conti R compensate the higher price and lower torque with a much bigger possible financial appreciation upside?

Thanks for your help and feedback! :-)

Balmoral Green

30,030 posts

133 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
is too vintage to drive??

No, not at all. No problem as a daily driver or weekend car either way. Not much different to wondering if a 5 year old Golf will be too vintage to drive compared with a new Golf.

old fashioned to drive??

As above. It's a big car with loads of power/torque/auto and quite light power steering, it's a doddle to drive, and not at all old fashioned.

Is an Arnage T (the 450BHP 4-speeder) MUCH more modern and competent to DRIVE than a Turbo S/RT or Conti R?

Yes, very much so. Not that there is anything wrong with the older cars, as I've said above. Although the drivetrain/underpinnings are very similar, as are the major suspension/brake components. The body shell of the Arnage is very different. It's extremely stiff compared to the old SZ. It feels much taughter and more of a piece. When I jack up my Turbo R, it's like lifting the corner of a mattress, with an Arnage, nothing 'gives', the whole car goes up like lifting a serving tray by the corner. So you can imagine the difference out on the road. The 1st time I drove an Arnage, it was very obviously more of a driving machine.
-

Does a Conti R feel a bit feeble and low on torque compared to a Turbo S/RT or Arnage T?

Ultimately, I guess they do, as they do have less. But you've got to be charging very hard for that to be an issue on the road, and if you're doing that, the power curve is the thing, as you've gone over the torque curve. Breathing then becomes an issue and you run out of revs very early. It's a lot like a diesel in that respect. The later cars are much better at the top end of the rev range, where the power is, and when you're in that zone, the torque doesn't matter so much as you've left it a mile or so down the road in any of them anyway. But you get it back again with the next gear. If you want lots of urge at low to medium speeds, then the torque is the thing. But if you want to drive the pants off it like a four pot 16v V-Tec the later cars have more at the top, the early cars can be a bit asthmatic up there.

Does a Conti R compensate the higher price and lower torque with a much bigger possible financial appreciation upside?

Hell yes!

Don't worry about this 'lower torque' they all have lots of it anyway. Drive plenty before you buy too, as they can be a tad inconsistent, as me and CONTI T mentioned on another thread recently.




Edited by Balmoral Green on Saturday 26th November 09:41

Derestrictor

18,764 posts

146 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
Living in France where the roads are generally tarmac rather than some amalgam of medieval pebble dash, it has to be the RT.

Whilst plebs may decry it on the grounds of fatuous stereotyping, the truth is these old crates represent the end of something broadly analogue and unapologetically imperfect but equally, magical.

Very few cars can deliver remotely the same sense of imperious tingle.

If they were a form of domestic heating, the three-box Bentleys from 1980-98 would be the most magnificent, grandiose, roaring, open wood burning fires and your chimneys would billow like the Mallard at 125 mph.

Whilst Arnage kind are indubitably fine and dandy, they lack the spirit of Bessemer which is innate within every creaking strain of pressing surfaces; of leather upon steel joist, protest at the myriad spot welds baulking in synch with the leviathan up front reprising the finer moments of Sopwithian howl and rattle of decanter on polished, mirror matched veneers.

Avoid chrome radiator surrounds and ghastly, polished wheels but otherwise, embrace and engage The Elgar.

Balmoral Green

30,030 posts

133 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
You've been sorely missed matey! We need more of this round these parts.

Hope you don't mind me resurrecting one of yours from a good few years back...

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

Edited by Balmoral Green on Saturday 26th November 10:40

ADP68

378 posts

56 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
I love your command of the language. Could you please come back to england and advise this pillock government (and also the bbc) on how to communicate and teach english in schools?

Advertisement

Balmoral Green

30,030 posts

133 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
The OP is in France, der is oop North flogging big tellys.

CONTI T

104 posts

55 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
hi alex,

i have said for a long time now, everyone should own a bentley at some time in there life, they are a super old car,

you are going to have to have some seat time in any one off them to realize what they are about, people try to compare all the top range bmw/mercedes/audi/cadillacs/lexus etc etc now whilst all off them can be fine cars they are similar to each other but nothing like a bentley, as a allrounder they all are probably better in many ways but they just dont have what a bentley has,CLASS and a drive that is nothing like any other car in the world you need the seat time to understand them but when you have grasped them they are awesome, i dont think you can go wrong with a conti r buy at right price now you will have a result i can,t see them ever being less than 20k well i bloody hope not they will have all the whooosh go that you will need in that type of car, but all you have mentioned are great cars, keep us posted,
tell you what there is a cracking black conti sc in bentley others for sale, go get a bank loan, biggrin

Batrover

41 posts

38 months

[news] 
Saturday 26th November 2011 quote quote all
Hi Alex
Whatever you choose, your life will change forever. They are all fabulous, and enormous fun to drive, albeit in slightly different ways. Try them all if you can, and good luck with whatever you choose. Elgar is available for download from itunes, by the way.
Derestrictor, you should be published. Magnificent. More, please.

graemel

5,008 posts

102 months

[news] 
Sunday 27th November 2011 quote quote all
derestrictor as always excellent prose. I applaud you.
A good mate bought a second hand Arnage T a few years back. Personally I don't like the dash and it does not have the RR/B oppulent smell. I said I'd rather have a turbo R or S. His reply was I don't want to buy yesterdays newspaper.
A couple of years back I owned a W140 series Brabus Merc. 7.3S, nigh on 600bhp and a similar amount of torque. A monster of a car. But it did not feel and did not smell special.

2708420018

192 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 28th November 2011 quote quote all
The only real answer is to try them all. There is a plethora of models with differing specs and power outputs. The Continental R seems to be the one tipped by the experts as the best appreciating future classic and the 420bhp models have tremendous performance. The Turbo R and Arnage have the four door differential which can be an advantage. It is quite difficult to get in the back seat of a Continental R although I cannot think why you would want to!!
Happy hunting.

Paul

roygarth

1,594 posts

133 months

[news] 
Monday 28th November 2011 quote quote all
Buy a 1996 Turbo R short wheelbase with 385BHP.

Power to weight must be pretty similar to the Turbo RT with 400BHP and only available in heavier long wheelbase.

Plus, for me, the LWB don't look quite as right as SWB.

bergxu

197 posts

42 months

[news] 
Monday 28th November 2011 quote quote all
I agree with Roygarth, the '96 SWB stocker Turbo R is probably the pinnacle. I actually just sold mine last Friday but only because I really like the aesthetics of the earlier cars better, which I listed in another post. But for posterity;

-I like the more classical XJ6-esque door mirrors of the 20 and 30,000 series cars.

-I like the non-auto dimming rear view in the earlier cars (my auto-dimming mirror had a really annoying vibration that drove me nuts, not to mention it looks like it's straight out of a Lincoln and is so big that it creates a massive blind spot out of the front windscreen in certain situations.

-I like the taller grille of the earlier cars better. More regal wink

-While I think the later 17" wheels of the later cars look better, they compromise the ride *quality* somewhat, IMHO. My '96 rode quite stiffly all the time (and no, my Active Ride was not stuffed and my accumulators were good), whereas my original Turbo R, an '89, felt more relaxing but when provoked, could still corner reasonably well for a car of its size and weight. So in my mind, my soon-to-be-here next Turbo R, which is a '90 model, should be a good compromise since it still rides on 15" rims with 'balloon' tires yet has Active Ride, which will help in the handling department. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the ride of the '96 was poor, it just felt a little too *sporty* during the times I wished to cruise more RR-like.

Beyond that, if what you are after is a pure-sporting Bentley, then by all means go for a late (50,000+ series) car, but if you want something slightly more serene and for a lot less of a cash outlay (at least up front), go for a 20,000 or 30,000 series car. The only other caveat I'll add is that from what I understand, if anything goes awry with the Zytek engine management on the later cars, you're pretty much on your own, as Zytek has no interest in providing support. On the contrary however, I hear problems are fairly rare, but just keep that in your back pocket when weighing options.

Any way you slice it, you'll love the car. wink




Edited by bergxu on Monday 28th November 18:13

alexwagner

Original Poster:

56 posts

44 months

[news] 
Monday 28th November 2011 quote quote all
Thanks for all the advice guys. :-)

From what date are the 50.000 series? I like the idea of "pure sporting Bentley"...

bergxu

197 posts

42 months

[news] 
Tuesday 29th November 2011 quote quote all

Hmm, I think '96 on up if memory serves correctly..

Derestrictor

18,764 posts

146 months

[news] 
Tuesday 29th November 2011 quote quote all
There's a lot to be said for a '96 Brooklands.

Whilst it's modest 'light pressure' approach to the RT's 'death by ceremonial (turbo') charging was vividly less unhinged, the medium pace of what turned out to be c.325 brake, rarely felt inadequate (as found in an 80s, non-blown relative.)

Critically, however, for those partial to a bit of late night dressing gown, smoke and a vat of undeclared Blue, the standard of ride quality is/was hard to underestimate.

I do remember feeling perpetually vexed at the RT's crash in the wake of the Brook's cosset and this is where the Arnage signified a great jump forward, even though threading a Red Label across Belgium to lay seige The Europarl felt like some kind of motoring elegy.


Bluebottle911

565 posts

80 months

[news] 
Sunday 11th December 2011 quote quote all
Sorry to come late to this discussion.

Having owned my Turbo for almost 9 years, I would heartily recommend it to anyone, even as a daily driver if you don’t mind the cost and size.

However, I do recall that on the one and only time I drove an Arnage T (early one – it had only just come out at the time and those nice people from Crewe kindly obliged), it was a fabulous experience, mind-blowing in fact. I have never ridden an unbroken stallion, but when I put the Arnage T in sport and floored the gas pedal, I realised that I knew what it would be like. Totally exhilarating and rather scary, but WOW!

So, if that is what you are after, go for the Arnage T. If, on the other hand, you are allergic to BMW aircon controls and one or two other Mickey Mouse parts bin stuff, go for the oldr car, where all the fittings are the real thing.

alexwagner

Original Poster:

56 posts

44 months

[news] 
Saturday 24th December 2011 quote quote all
Hi chaps,
I viewed several Bentleys today and drove 3: Conti R Mulliner, Conti T and Arnage T (I had eliminated the Turbo R).

Very very interesting and informative. And enjoyable!

First up was the R Mulliner:
Instantly, it felt floaty and wallowy. Not an ounce of sporting aptitude, just a nice cabin and regal stance. Didn't suit me. The floatiness was unnerving and felt poorly tied down. Dissapointing for me. Power? Rapid but only just enough (I drove over in a 577bhp 996TT...).

Then the Conti T:
Within seconds it felt like a totally different car. Real sporting intent, much much betterwell tied down, even chuckable. Much more direct and alert steering, perfect comfort despite the well controlled body movements, much more engaging, more confidence inspiring, more stable. Simply sublime! A real surprise and a revelation. Power? Same thrust as the first car, ie just enough to be called generous.

Finally the Arnage T:
The interior is just to die for but actually somehow felt less special. And with more ordinary styling than the majestic Conti, the car felt less achingly desirable. To drive it felt more alert than even the Conti T. Tremendous thrust with strong modern
brakes. A nicer V8 noise too. The Arnage feels way more modern than the Conti T, yet it feels like a fantastically
accomplished car rather than a classic motoring monument to covet.

Conclusion: if I can find the right spec Conti T at the right price, then I will treasure it. If not, I would glady enjoy an Arnage T, which is however more the choice of the head than the heart.





allister

16 posts

32 months

[news] 
Sunday 8th January 2012 quote quote all
I have read about your search for a Bentley with much interest, as well as contributions from others. In April of this year, like yourself I too will be looking to buy a used Bentley, coming from a Range Rover Vogue.

I will have up to £45K to spend and will be looking probably for an Arnage T, or possibly a Continental, something similar to the one shown in the link below:

http://www.derekcmowat.co.uk/used-cars/bentley-con...

I have just a few questions which I hope either yourself, or others might be able to help me with, and these are as follows:

I love the lines and the look of the continental and realise that the residual will be stronger on this over the Arnage, but based on early conversations with the wife, I think she's probably going to take quite a bit of convincing that spending £43K on a 15 year old car is a good idea!! Particularly when we can get a 5-6 year old Bentley for similar money.

I know you say you drove one, but does it feel a bit dated inside and to drive?

My Bentley will require quite frequent use, and will not be something that just sits in the garage with occasional driving and polishing.... Does the continental seem up to that?

And finally, looking at the Arnage T. It seems you can pick up a good 2002 / 2003 for about £30k, even less for a 2001 model. However, the 2004 / 2005 onwards jump up to a starting price of around £40K..... I don't know if you looked in to this, but is the newer facelift model really that much better in terms of engineering refinement and comfort.... and is it worth the extra £10K?

Or is it really just that!.... a facelift and a couple of internal cosmetic upgrades ie; new armrest etc?

Any information you can share from your research, or any knowledge anyone else has on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Allister

Derestrictor

18,764 posts

146 months

[news] 
Sunday 8th January 2012 quote quote all
It's always advisable to bag the best and most up to date Arnage you can.

They were always tweaking and refining things over time, even when unnanounced.

The mid 2000s T models were heroically well sorted compared to original Arnage kind.

I remember doing 170 in a 2005 car and the level of ectasy was broadly comparable to a Shark Sandwich between Heathers Locklear and Thomas.

alexwagner

Original Poster:

56 posts

44 months

[news] 
Monday 9th January 2012 quote quote all
Hi Allister,

Regarding the Continental R:

- Yes, the Conti R Mulliner that I drove felt very old. I was dissappointed because I was expecting, if not a sports car, at least a sporting feel. The Conti R felt how I imagined a '70's Rolls Royce would feel. All spongy and vague.

- The Conti T on the other hand felt incomparably better tied down and precise. Although it felt no faster, it was genuinely sporting, with a deliciously sharp helm (the steering rack is different on the T) and perfect ride (very comfortable without a hint of wallowing). The Conti T felt like a modern classic, combining classic charm with modern competence. I fell in love with it... Problem is, they are more expensive to buy, yet a strong case can be made for the rarity value meaning stronger residuals compared to a Conti R...

- The Conti did indeed feel like it would put up with regular use without problems or issues, though hard to be sure on the sole basis of a test drive.


As for the Arnage (I tried a 2002):

- It felt more modern again compared to the Conti R, and notably more dynamic and responsive (going and stopping). The low-down shove of the engine felt like another level altogether.

Seeing as you are looking for a car to drive regularly, I think the choice will be a no-brainer to be honest. You would probably have preferred a Conti R as a garage queen, but go and drive one of each and I think you would go for an Arnage as a regular driver.

That leaves what Arnage to buy, and I'm struggling with the same questions as you:

- I eliminated the facelift model because I couldn't understand the price difference. Sure, it corrects the minor faults or the previous Arnage (headlamps, armrest compartment that opens when you put your arm on it, loose and imprecise gearlever and german heating controls), but I'm not willing to pay £10-£15K was these small improvement.

What Desrestrictor says is interesting about the later models being better honed however... and I wonder if a test drive would be enough to feel this? As it is, I think I prefer the incredible value for money of the first models.

- Problem is, I'm tempted to spend a bit more and go for a 2007 500BHP (instead of 450) 6-speeder (instead of 4) model. These are supposed to be MUCH more responsive and modern. I especially like the tiptronic style gearlever gate - I love driving my X5 4.6iS using the tiptronic manual control, and I would like to drive my Arnage like that too (I like to use full throttle in higher gears without the car deciding to change down). On the face of it, the 500 appears to offer better value compared to the facelift model. But I don't think I want to spend that much as I suspect the law of diminishing returns is at work here (not to mention slippery residuals - and I would like to add a Porsche 996 GT3 to my little collection too...).

Conclusion, I think I'll probably go for a nice early Arnage T at £30K-£35K. And it sounds like you might too! ;-)

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