“Roadholding” – 1989 Bentley Turbo R

Sold – $13,000 (plus fees)

Modern Bentleys are expected by their owners to perform on near supercar levels considering the premium payment you provide for a set of keys, and they do. However, this was not always the case; in fact, for the majority of Bentley’s existence, it has established itself as a marquee of elegance and luxury. Much like its rival Rolls Royce, those attributes do not elicit thoughts of exciting and engaging driving situations. Even their famous Le Mans-winning race cars of the 1930s were basically unwieldy drifting machines, which was the contemporary norm. However, in 1985, Bentley embarked on a “roadholding” revolution that has ushered in the modern, supercar-like era of performance from its models. That year, Bentley introduced the Turbo R – R for roadholding. 

Previously, Bentley’s Mulsanne Turbo had been the torchbearer to the company. Its performance was purported mainly because aside from a large engine, its capabilities could only have been exhilarating to a pensioner. As such, Bentley’s replacement, the Turbo R, not only cranked up engine output but also endowed the big Brit with massive anti-sway bars, revised damping, and much more to improve its road holding. It not only transformed the company’s future, but it also set a precedent for large saloons and today on auction from WOB Cars is a 1989 Turbo R in fantastic condition. 

Outside, the stately coachwork has been repainted in its original black color. However, throughout the finish are some scratches, flaws, and underneath of the front spoiler on the passenger side is a minor chip. Chrome brightwork adorns critical features, and a hand-painted red and white strip highlights the subtle character line of the Turbo R. Still fitted from the factory are the original 15″ alloy wheels (a first for Bentley), and they currently wear Goodyear Eagle LS tires. 

After opening the door, eyes are drawn to the thick pile black wool carpeting flows across the floorboards and the rich black leather that is hand-stitched across nearly every surface. Upstaging the swathes of the leather is burl wood veneers set atop door panels and inset to the dashboard fascia and center console. Highlighted among both the black leather and the warm wood are buttons, pull-stops, switches, vents, and more, trimmed in chrome frames. 

Some of the standard options outfitted to the Turbo R are fully-adjustable electric front seats with memory presets and climate control. An aftermarket Pioneer touch-screen head unit has replaced the original factory stereo. Vehicle information is displayed on several gauges situated around the dashboard with a 170-mph speedometer, 5k-rpm tachometer, temperature meters, fuel gauge, analog clock, and more available for reference. Integrated within the speedometer is a six-digit odometer that accurately displays 69,000 miles. 

Under the bonnet is a 6.75-liter pushrod V8 engine strapped to a turbocharger. 296 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque are sent from the engine, through a three-speed TH400 automatic transmission, and the out to the rear wheels. This engine, coupled with the serious suspension revisions, makes the Bentley a surprisingly sprightly saloon car. 

Our Carfax report indicates no issues, accidents, or damages from 1998 until now. Some service records are on hand with the current owner, and they inform us that the alternator and self-leveling suspension have both recently underwent respective replacement and adjustment. A clean California title also accompanies the purchase for those looking to enjoy the life of luxury with the forerunner to Bentley’s modern performance ethos. 

If you would like a lot more Bentley in your life, click this link to see the live auction! 

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