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Jason Pfeiffer
Frequent User
Username: jpsnaggs

Post Number: 72
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 05:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello all... Some may remember me, I am the owner of a 1982 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, 58,000 Miles, which I have put alot of work into. About a year ago, I broke down and purchased a 2008 Bentley Flying Spur which I love as a car, but it still doesnt give me the thrill I receive from my Spirit! The Smell, the feel, the seating position etc.

Well... I am thinking about getting a third car, or possibly a replacement for my Spirit. Something I am more comfortable driving on a more regular basis, as I still baby my Spirit, probably too much. So here are my options, and I would like opinions on which may be the best car... I would be purchasing the best car I could find available for which ever I decide on.

1997 - 1998 Bentley Brooklands, or Rolls Royce Spur - I really love the brooklands look.

1999 Bentley Arnage (I have heard the BMW engine is good, please correct me if I am wrong) I could go to 2000, or maybe 2001.

Later model Continental, about 1994 - 1997.

My dream is a Corniche, early 1990's, but not sure if I can afford that right now as in the USA they seem to be at a premium!

So, please help me along if you can. I appreciate your input.
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Lluís Gimeno-Fabra
Prolific User
Username: lluís

Post Number: 107
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 19:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

It's funny, I was in the same situation about three years ago and asked for advice in this same list.

I guess it's just a matter of taste and preferences, do you need four doors? Do you want a luxury saloon or something luxurious but more sporty (turbo / continental)?

This are just my two cents, as I was considering the same models that you are considering: I also love the looks of the Brooklands/Turbo-R, but the Brooklands is only available as naturally aspirated and as Low Pressure Turbo. I found it perfect, but my wife wanted something "sportier" so for me it was no option. As for the Turbo-R, she did not like it... but I did, so it was no option either.

Then comes the Arnage. I loved it, my wife tolerated it, a friend had just bought an almost new red label and equally loved it. Nice detailing in the interior, but still depreciating like mad (if that is a problem for you, I do not know) and despite that aforementioned great general detailing, some features of the interior did let down the rest(climate control board, flimsy chrome around window lift switches). I was also surprised at the level of interior harshness (suspension and very low profile tires).

The Corniche, I loved it, so did my wife, but as a classic car not as the "everyday" car we wanted mainly for fast highway travelling (Germany).


So we come to my choice: a 1994 Continental R, with the "modern" looking engine but still pre-zytek EMS.

It's great: four adults travel in comfort, it's as tall as any family car, so getting in and out from the rear seats is no problem. It has a capable boot and it's quiet and comfortable.

It's incredibly beautiful (but beauty is on the eye of the beholder) and the interior looks really special, a strange mixture of delicate craftsmanship and sheer no non-sense practicality.

My wife likes driving it (fast) and I enjoy driving it like a grandmother, we both love the looks and the (relative) practicality.

I bought it two years ago from a (big) Bentley specialist, Brabocars, and use it for long trips and once in a while to come to work. I have covered 12000 miles/ 20000 Km in the meantime. Despite a juicy price cut, I still paid top money for it and do not regret it (it had just 24000 fully documented miles).

Since then I have done the regular maintenance as in the log-book (trice now, oil as usual, brake pads, fluids, minor miscellanea and a set of tires). In March I'll be changing the O-rings of the pumps (leaking a bit) and the flexible hoses (preventive), otherwise it's perfection on wheels.

Minor negative points: A-pillar wind whistles below 160 Km/h, above this speed it evens out. Beautiful interior, yes, but it creaks a bit, I guess like in any other Bentley, and the parchment hide is difficult to maintain clean. Ride in the city is hard, despite good shocks, spheres and so on, it's just like that.

I guess all this does not help, because it's you who has to make the choice, but well, I am very very happy with the Continental R.
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James Feller
Prolific User
Username: james_feller

Post Number: 116
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 20:15:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

like Lluis has elaborated above its entirely dependant on your requirements Jason.

I would comment though on the BMW 4.4 V8. These engines did struggle in the Crewe cars. Nothing wrong with the engines per say its more the huge weight of our cars and the high revs needed from the tueton powerplant to move the crewe beasts. I also recall the BMW V8 was only used in the Arnage for 2 years or so then dropped in favour of the old faithful 6.75 Crewe V8. Seems it was not well liked by people buying these cars new and Crewe quickly brought back the old engine.

Get a Conti R. You have 2 4 door cars Jason, what do you you need 3rd one for?

Ohh Loius, im so envious of the speeds you can regulariy do in your turbo.... I have to find scarce and isolated roads far outside Sydney to strech my Bentleys legs....

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Lluís Gimeno-Fabra
Prolific User
Username: lluís

Post Number: 108
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 20:23:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

By the way,

You get three engine choices (at least with the Continental-R):

Pre-1994, the classic looking version. 320bhp/650 Nm, air to air intercooler.
1994-1995 pre-zytek, 360bhp/750Nm ("plastic cover", air-air intercooler)
1995-on zytek 390 bhp/825Nm almost identical looks but with a water cooled intercooler).

I drove the three and indeed thought that the zytek model had the edge in terms of performance, but the difference was such that I would have gone for a particular combination of colours and mileage rather than a particular engine.

The biggest difference driving the aforementioned three models was the wheels, the pre-1994 has 15" wheels and it really felts "softer" than the latter 17" models (which is not necessarily bad) and a nice glove box instead of passenger air bag.

I did not drive any 420 bhp/875 Nm Continental T but have read that they are rather hard-riding and tire noise appears to be an issue with 285mm low profile tires. They are also more a 2+2, as the wheel base is shorter and have wider wheel arches.

In addition there is the rare Continental S, with 400 bhp and an additional water-cooled intercooler. It has the power of the Continental T with the looks of the orginal. The engine looks nice too.

Just as a last thought, in case you look for Continental R's, look for presence of rust at the basis of the rear windscreen (silly seal design) and in the highly stressed tops of the B-pillars, these had cracks in some cars we looked at.

Bear also in mind that despite the relatively high prices at least a few Continentals that I saw were severely neglected, do not ask me why, because just changing the oil regularly would avoid the worse problems and that body and interior panels which are model specific are expensive.

The thing is that the Continental R is so beautiful that one tends to forget these things when in front of one...


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Lluís Gimeno-Fabra
Prolific User
Username: lluís

Post Number: 109
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 20:35:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP


Be not jealous: In a while I'm off to Burgundy on Dutch, Belgian, Luxembourgian and French highways.

I will be doing 2X700Km at a hopefully constant 130 Km/h on basically flat, straight roads.

Anybody wants to make a fuel economy contest?

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Clifford Donley
Experienced User
Username: flatus

Post Number: 13
Registered: 12-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 06 January, 2010 - 23:11:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

James, when we bought our '84 Spirit there was a mighty handsome '89 Turbo-R on the West Coast. Although my wife preferred its looks, I couldn't imagine a California Turbo-R not having been severely abused at one point or another in its lifetime.

Lluís, in '82 my wife and I went on business from Suffolk, UK to Ramstein, Germany. We took the ferry from Dover. I only recall having to refuel one time and that was (I think) in Aachen.

I will always remember looking back from the deck of the ferry and seeing the White Cliffs of Dover in the morning sunlight. Very poignant moment.

That was with our Jaguar Mk-10, a 3.8-liter placeholder between the Mk-9 and the 420G. It was very handsome and plush with lots of walnut and the picnic tables, etc.

And it was fast, too. We cruised quite easily at 100-mph with the tach registering 3,000 RPM.

I do miss having a tach on the Spirit. But one can't have everything. <g>
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James Feller
Prolific User
Username: james_feller

Post Number: 117
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Thursday, 07 January, 2010 - 20:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

seems Jason's thread hijackked... ohh well

Hi Clifford, my 89 Turbo RL is an absolute dream to drive on fast sweeping highways, its not bad either on secondary counrty roads I have always wanted one and it has not dissappointed me.

My 86 Spirit though is quite a different car in the driving. I equally love it with my Turbo but the Roller is there for a more serene drive. I have been wafting around in my Rolls all week actually and I enjoy it immensely. I hoped in the Turbo though this afternoon and met some friends for dinner, the difference in the drive is just amazing....

Happy Crusing Lluis!!!

Clifford love the 3.8 Jags... my Dad is looking for an immaculate BRG one, they are a terrific classic aren't they.

Cheers All

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Lluís Gimeno-Fabra
Prolific User
Username: lluís

Post Number: 110
Registered: 8-2007
Posted on Saturday, 09 January, 2010 - 04:40:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi All,

Thanks for the good wishes.

I arrived qrrived in Burgundy through ice and snow. Highway was fun as the Gendarmes were to busy with trucks. Got drunk al,ost immediately with my grandfather in law in St. Aubin, and filled exactly 43 per cent of the boot of the Continental with Chassagne Montrachet and St. Aubin.

Tomorrow I'm in the wine Contest of Cote Chalonnaise/

Jason/ Buy whatever you want; but just bloody enjoy it:::

Regards from Burgundy,

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Experienced User
Username: stevenbrown

Post Number: 45
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, 09 March, 2010 - 09:38:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I've seen late eighties Corniche II's for reasonable money lately. Under $60,000 U.S. I liked all the models your considering. Looked at a 1995 Spur and two Seraphs this week. Was not a fan of the latter until I drove them. BMW V12 and seven series like handling; hate to admit it but for same money Id buy a Seraph, over the other models your looking at. Its contemporary and well just a good performing sedan.