Bentley Continental SC: Spotted


What tempting old things the SZ-platform Bentley Continentals are looking these days, eh? Granted, there's little danger of us finding one in Shed Of The Week any time soon - but less than £40,000 gets you one of the classiest coupes out there, with brutish performance thanks to the Turbo R-derived drivetrain.

We were all set to bring you a tasty example of the Continental R to show you just what we mean - but then our heads were turned by something altogether more special: a bona fide Continental SC, one of just 72 produced, and with one of the lowest mileages we've seen on one of these at just 16,000 on the clock.


Don't think for a moment, by the way, that the 'SC' here stands for Sport Coupe, in the Seat vein. Nothing so gauche. Instead, it's short for 'Sedanca Coupe', Sedanca being an old coachbuilding term referring to a body style which featured an open roof at the front but an enclosed rear. Well, 'Targa' wouldn't really have cut it on a Bentley, would it?

Under the skin, the SC was based on the Continental T - the shorter-wheelbase, supposedly more performance-orientated version of the R. However, most of the body panels were subtly restyled, while the front end gained a smattering of more aggressive vents complete with, naturally, diamond mesh everywhere. Power came from the venerable Bentley 6.75-litre V8 turbo, here with a 406hp power output (and a thumping 616lb ft to boot) which set the SC mid-way between the 390hp Continental R and the 426hp T. All of which was enough to land this behemoth with a satisfyingly brisk 0-60mph time of just 6.1 seconds, and an electronically governed top whack of 155mph.


But of course, what really made the SC stand out was the roof - essentially one of the lift-out glass panel arrangements that became rather popular in the 1990s and then all but disappeared soon afterwards. Of course, it was rather unbecoming to involve oneself in the manual labour of its removal, but then again, were you able to afford this Conti when it was new, the chances were you could also employ someone to follow behind in a lesser vehicle and lift it out on demand; it'd have set you back a cool £245,000.

Which makes the £109,995 this one will cost you now look like a bit of a steal. Well, OK, less of a steal and more of a half-hearted attempt at shoplifting. It's still quite a hefty chunk more than the cheapest Conti Rs will set you back - but then again, they haven't done the mileage equivalent of a few trips to France and back, and neither are they quite so exclusive. And while it's true that you can have a brand new Conti for not a huge amount more... well, we know which we'd rather own.


SPECIFICATION - BENTLEY CONTINENTAL SC

Engine: 6,752cc, turbocharged V8
Transmission: four-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 405@4,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 616@2,150rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1999
Recorded mileage: 16,000 miles
Price new: £245,000
Price now: £109,995

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Comments (40) Join the discussion on the forum

  • parkwaysc 27 Jan 2018

    Fabulous Looking thing....

  • Phil Dicky 27 Jan 2018

    My old man has a 2003 Azure, which in his failing health I drive when it needs its monthly run out... He paid a bit more than this Conti is up for 8 years ago.....and I would suggest its not far off that value now. The only issue being is they aren't easy to sell, as most head for newer Bentleys with 100k in their pockets.

  • 2 GKC 27 Jan 2018

    Bentley's finest hour.

  • irocfan 27 Jan 2018

    Lovely, just lovely

  • hhhpsmlh8 27 Jan 2018

    Now Thats what you call a Beautiful car.. Compared to the modern Bentleys.. Its a no Brainer.
    Like comparing Sophia Loren to a Spice Girl... Its called Class.
    If I had the money Id have it.. Now Im off to see the Bank Manager with Hope in my Heart

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