Our Cars: 1988 Bentley Turbo R
23 September 2016: Stonechip blights Bentley - is the respray ruined?
Perhaps a direct result of the track day reported on in the last update, or maybe part of the cut and thrust of using the Turbo R as a daily driver, when washing the car (by hand, of course) I noticed some damage. The offside front indicator lens had been cracked by what seemed to be a stonechip. The £9000 respray and refurbishment work had been ruined by this irritating imperfection.
My first idea to was to go to my local specialist. Around 18 months ago I wanted a replacement headlamp as I had one with a stonechip and pinhole in it, and they were able to supply one taken from a crash repaired car for £69 plus VAT.
As luck would have it, they actually had a new indicator lamp unit in stock (including a new bulb), and a selection of used indicator lenses. Fortunately one of the lenses was in suitable condition without unnecessarily needing to replace the whole lamp unit, and they were able to fit it immediately.
Just 15 minutes later I was able to drive home with the Turbo R looking perfect once again, and was invoiced £40 for the work. Although the part was small and the time taken was short, I think £40 was rather good value, especially when the alternative would have been a bill of a few hundred pounds for a new indicator lamp unit.
I’ve always been a big fan of using specialist dealers and workshops. While many people are good at and enjoy working on their own vehicles, I find it boring yet difficult. And, using specialists even for minor jobs helps make their businesses more sustainable, keeping them and their expertise around for longer.
Otherwise the Turbo R is running well, and mechanically speaking it’s been an inexpensive year so far. But I have a feeling the suspension system will need attention before the year is out.
A few times this summer the car has been parked for long periods without starting, and the rear of the car crouches after a couple of days. Ride height is restored to normal after running the engine for a while, but when the gas spheres are freshly renewed it takes rather longer to see any change at the rear, when parked. Hopefully it will last until the car goes into hibernation for the winter.