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Our Cars: 1988 Bentley Turbo R

14 May 2015: Bentley gets some serious TLC

The Details

Current mileage 88,100
Actual economy 19.1mpg
Costs so far £4000+

I had quite an expensive year in the Turbo R in 2014. It began the year with a new set of Avon Turbospeed tyres – the recommended tyre for the car and which had been on back order for a few months.

They came in at £324 per corner (including VAT), plus fitting. Then the car failed its MoT test in the summer. A leaky steering rack, worn parking brake, rear suspension gas spheres and perished drive-shaft gaiters all needed attention or replacing.

Then a couple of months later I wanted to get to the bottom of the engine revs falling back almost to a stall after starting when cold, and the cruise control wasn’t functioning. Not that I used it anyway, but I wanted it to work.

Also you might have noticed the Bentley logo on my wheels is set in red. This is more aftermarket work on my part. Those wheels, which are 1994 vintage, originally had a black background, but, as my ‘Turbo’ badges had a red inscription, I had them re-painted to match. This was the second time as the red paint had begun to flake after two years.

New Lamp

                        Bentley Turbo R needed a new lamp

So over a 12-month period, the Bentley had cost comfortably more than £4000 in maintenance. And when I put it away for the winter, I noticed a pinhole in one of the headlamps. When I bought the car in 2012 it already had a stonechip on the headlamp.

Repeated exposure to high-pressure water over the past few years seemed to have worn a tiny hole in it. Having seen a full headlamp unit at autojumbles previously, with prices close to £1000, I hoped a single lamp replacement would be considerably less expensive.

I was fortunate that my local specialist had recently done a crash repair on a Bentley and had a spare lamp. The lamp, labour and VAT came to less than £120, which is one of the smaller bills I’ve had for the Turbo R.

So it’s been out of storage for more than a month, and has already had a few good runs with return trips to Gloucestershire, Stansted airport, mid-Wales and the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, the latter for Drive It Day on April 26.

With all the money spent on it in 2014, and with fuel a bit cheaper than a year ago, I’m hoping 2015 will be a lot less expensive.

« Earlier: Bentley Turbo R joins the fleet     Later: Bentley meets the family »

Simon drives the big Bentley to Europe
After spending a fortune on a respray, a stonechip threatens to spoil the party
Simon decides it's time to explore his classic's racing heritage
After 120 hours of labour, Simon's Bentley is ready to shine
Drastic action is required to rejuvenate the Turbo.
Simon’s Turbo R gets to know the Mulsanne Speed
14 May 2015: Bentley gets some serious TLC
Simon has an expensive few months with his Turbo R
All hail Bentley Turbo R - the fastest best car in the world.

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