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Our Cars: 1988 Bentley Turbo R

8 June 2017: Bentley Turbo R goes on tour

The Details

Current mileage 98,610
Actual economy 19.1mpg
Costs so far £15,000+

I had never driven abroad in my own car before.  Planes and trains have been the usual means of travel when going abroad for work, with an occasional driving trip in a test vehicle. I’m not sure whether the Turbo R had been abroad before, although it wouldn’t surprise me if it had. The exceptional comfort, space, refinement and speed make it ideally suited to transcontinental travel, not to mention the 107-litre fuel tank.

My destination would be Breda, in the Netherlands, a short distance into the country after the crossing the border from Belgium. The car, having recently been serviced and shaken down at (another) track day at Castle Combe, was in fine form, but much of the work would be in the preparation.

Additional breakdown cover would be required, despite the Bentley’s good health, as well as a driving abroad pack, comprising warning triangle, two breathalysers, hi-vis vest, spare bulbs, ‘GB’ identification sticker, first aid kit and headlamp adapters.

Most classic cars will still have headlamp lenses with a geometrical pattern on the glass to direct the dipped beam and so will need a deflector fitting when driving on the right. There are instruction videos online to show how best to do this and which part of the lens to fix it to. One of the advantages of halogen bulbs is the heat they generate assists with applying and removing the adhesive deflector sticker.


My route to the Netherlands would be Dover to Dunkirk, with DFDS Seaways, which although would take slightly longer than sailing to Calais, it would also save me about half an hour’s fuel otherwise burned on the road each way. Leaving wet and blustery Dover behind, I was in France a few of hours later and heading east at a legal 81mph.

It’s surprising how the Turbo R really comes to life in the second half of the speedometer, and this was reinforced at the recent track day. With the turbo not really making itself felt until around 2500rpm, the car could be a standard Mulsanne up to that point. Quick enough, but never urgent.

A quiet Saturday morning was also an ideal time to seek out some suitable locations for photography around Breda, which is a vibrant city with street-seating for many bars, cafés and restaurants. The Turbo R did attract attention, however, but in a good way, as I was asked to take a snap of a Belgian visitor with the car.


« Earlier: Stonechip blights Bentley - is the respray ruined?    

8 June 2017: Bentley Turbo R goes on tour
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
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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