1989 Bentley Turbo R

6.75 Liter Turbo

Matt Garrett - Dallas Texas



You can email me at Cadillacman@mcsmk8.com

1989 Bentley Turbo R.  A nice example of a Turbo R from 89-95 is a must for any diverse car collection.  Having owned prior Rolls-Spurs, etc, those cars are nothing like the Turbo R.  This is a real car with real performance and real characteristics combined with all the good things that were in the Spur, etc.   For is extreme price in 1989, you were actually getting something for your money vs. the prior Rolls that I considered quite “not so good”.   The Turbo R has been described as the first car worthy of the Bentley name since WO Bentley sold out to Rolls Royce in the 30s.  The Turbo R is actually one of the higher production Rolls/Bentleys of the era, but there were 5800 cars made total from 1985-1995, still leaving it in the pretty rare category.  Having made a good bit more than the typical low production #s that Rolls/Bentley typically make, seemed to have given this car an element of reliability that these cars are not known for.  That is a good thing as these are really nice cars that do not share the mega grief of the earlier cars.  However, these are not a Honda accord either.  They are best kept as a collector/toy, not daily transportation.  I do not think you could drive one of these daily from the amount of attention the car commands.  I spend more time talking to people out in this car than the day allows.

As most know, this is a real Bentley, built by hand in Crewe England at the famed Rolls/Bentley facility.  This is not a front wheel drive platform mass produced plastic Audi catered to an upward “status” crowd,  plastered in playbills and golf magazines.  These cars were really expensive in their day are were catered to the few.  Because of that these cars will always be in the collector class I will say.  Most people also know that this car is powered by the Rolls 6.75 Liter Engine but has a very large Turbo Charger and intercooler on it.  The car still uses the best transmission ever really done, the GM-TH400.  The cars were never rated in horsepower, ever.  It is said to be about 350HP and 550 Torque.  Not sure why they never rated it, but what the car does in performance is very impressive.  Being a large turbo V8, you in-the-know guys understand there is hidden power that is very easily unleashed.  This car is stock but I have heard of a 20 min adjustment that can give these cars another 100HP.

 These are BIG cars.  Having old Cadillacs, many people say “look at that old Cadillac, it is so big”. Well, the average Cadillac of the 50s/60s/70s may have been long, but it was not big and not that heavy compared to modern cars.  This car towers over all my Cadillacs, way over.  Just to put things in perspective, your average new 3 series BMW is about 4K lbs, the old Cadillac’s are about 4500 the 80s are actually pretty light at about 3900.  This is a 5200LB car.  That is heavy, but back to the perspective, that is the same weight range as a very light duty full size SUV today, so not really that heavy.  Heavy Duty 3/4 Ton SUVs are in darn near in the 7K range.  This car is more like a light SUV the way it sits up, the size and weight.  Now the performance of this car is near stellar for what it is.  I am the first to complain about lack of power in car, this car has no complaints.  No it’s not an SL74, nor it’s not a ZR1 Corvette, but it’s impressive. What the best part of the Turbo R happens to be is the suspension.  No lean, no bounce no slop and it still rides smooth with one of the most ridged chassis ever done.  Going over some bumps locally in this car that will crater any sports/touring car to the point of thinking the front windshield will crack and on the opposite end will 4 wheel airborne my 3/4 suburban when hit, this car goes over that same example with hardly any feel, no boaty bounce or hard rebound while having structural integrity only found on just a few cars of this caliber.   That to me is the most impressive part of the Turbo R. This car handles beyond any preconceived image anyone has of heavy cars.  You have to really own an early Rolls/Bentley first to fully appreciate the Turbo R. As said, everything wrong with the early Rolls is way corrected in this car and it earns an appreciation level from prior experiences that is well deserved.

 This particular example is one of condition first, and that is what I buy cars on.  The car was a one owner, bought new and kept as a collector amongst things like Hatteras Yachts, Freightliner RVs, private jets and that type of stuff.  It came from large money and was stored in a facility that I could only dream of having myself.   It was shipped from PA to FL by Horseless on a seasonal basis for the two homes until it stayed in the FL facility pretty much permanent and hardly used.   It was a very wealthy persons car when it was new.  Today the car is in my collection for a fraction of what it was new and is one of the finest examples of a Turbo R as any could encountered.  The paint is phenomenal and the entire car is a concourse level show car as you see it.  Find a Rolls or Turbo R that is not a repaint or more than likely a partial repaint. The general crowd that owned these cars was so keen on “over fixing” things that if he car got a little chip, they painted it and the dealer was more than willing to take their money.  This usually takes away from the car as original paint is hard to duplicate, especially on a hand built Rolls.  This owner was at least car savvy enough to understand original is better and was a person that kept a car on the lines of how I do it myself.   The ironic thing about old Rolls/Bentleys, that once the car was not a "new toy" to them, the cars became pretty heavily neglected.  I have seen more rough around the edges Rolls and Bentleys that I care to mention.  Not this one though. The interior is flawless.  Undercarriage is as perfect as it gets.  I looked at many cars over a couple years, and when I saw this one, it took 1/4 of a heartbeat to realize this was by far the best I have seen in a long while, really if ever even counting new.   Now here is the best part.  This is THE only Crewe built Rolls type car I have ever owned that did not leak a little something on the ground.  To me, that is impressive as the car itself!  You experienced RR guys know exactly what I am talking about here.  No green suspension fluid, no oil, just perfect. I park in on carpet in my show garage without worrying!  All of the functions of the car work properly too.  The climate control does all of its functions properly, the fan speeds work right and the AC system works great even when the analog outside temp gauge is past 100.  Every Rolls has had some issue or quirk with this, not this one.

There are some upgrades on this car obviously.  The wheels and tires being the most obvious.  Not cheap, but very correct for the Bentley and a real asset to a Turbo R.  Takes the car from very dated look to a very new look that offers the car to be re appreciated without having to spend 200K and buy another car!  As Jay Leno says in his segment on the Turbo R "these are really timeless cars".  This is really a neat piece to watch, very informative and complementary on these cars. 


Other upgrades are Headlamps and fog lights.  The US cars were fitted with "Wagner" sealed beams.  I found these rather insulting to a car of this caliber to have discount auto parts $7.99 headlamps in them. Yep correct on US cars.  I could not take that, it now has a very expensive set of Hella 7" lamps across all 4 beams.  A real improvement in quality, looks and usability.  I highly suggest this.  The car is also fitted with a correct set of Vintage Lucas fog lamps put in the factory mounting holes using the factory wiring these cars were prepped with for lower fog lamp.  You see these put on most Hooper cars and others of the era, but they are a RR part and really accent the front of the car.   The quality lamps/fog lamps takes the front of these cars from really nice to REALLY nice.  There are also HIDs in the Hellas too!  Other than those little things, this remains a very original and very nice example of these cars.  Paint Perfect, and I mean really perfect!  You would have to spend $30,000.00 USD on a car that needed help to get this paint quality.  This is something I know about, and what makes me appreciate this example highly and why I will command a pretty penny if I do sell this car one day.  Look at them all, then come look at mine.  The wood inside is perfect without fissures or cracks anywhere.  Hard to find any of these cars without cracks.  Those cracks come from high heat and cold temps.  The wood alone tells how these cars were stored.  This was a car that I looked at after looking at dozens over a couple years.  As I said, when I saw this one, it was 1/4 of a heartbeat before I realized I could not ever do any better than this one even with .01 miles on the odo.

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Bentley Turbo R, one of the most beautiful sedans ever done.
18x8" RR/Bentley Concepts Wheels.  See last photo for more detail on wheels.
Hella H7 lamps and Lucas Fog Lamps
The Turbo R, Rolls Royce 6.75 Liter Turbo Charged/Intercooled 400HP Engine
Over 500Ft Lbs of Torque!
Large Garrett Turbo Charger, Air to Air Intercooler
Perfect interior, wood and all.
Not an imperfection anywhere in the wood.  That is a big claim to back up!!!!
The Hides are perfect too!
Not an easy shot to "fake"  this is how this car looks, concourse quality.
Hella H4 Lamps in all 4.  Not the cheap Wagners!
The Plate above is just for display in photos.  US car, never out.
Body lines of the best of the best.
These RR/Bentley wheels are offered by Wheel Concepts and are incredible quality. They are 18x8
Tires are Goodyear RSA 235/55/18

Click here for My Car Hobby Home Page


You can email me at Cadillacman@mcsmk8.com