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Weekend Edition – A 1988 Bentley Turbo R, now classified as an Antique!

Jim Brennan January 12, 2013 For Sale 28 Comments


This weekend, I’m bringing you a series of posts about cars from 1988, which are now classified as antiques according to the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). Cars and Trucks from the 1988 model year are now 25 years old (just shoot me please…) and can now participate in AACA Shows and events, right next to the other antiques like Packard and Pierce Arrow. I am also performing an expirement this weekend, in which I am trying to produce content using an I-Pad, since my laptop burst into flames yesterday (and it ain’t easy trying to write on an I-Pad) so enjoy…


The Bentley Mark is assured at becoming a collectible when it ages, and while the 1988 model year Bentley is rather forgettable in the styling department (at least compared to the current models) this particular Bentley is a desirable Turbo R model.

The dealer listing this Bentley states that the mileage, which reads 30,878 is accurate, and that the service history of this car is up to date. This is a one owner car, has never been smoked in, and includes all the manuals. Graphite is not a color I would expect on a car like this, but what the hell do I know.


The starting bid is $16,000, with a Buy-it-Now pricetag of almost $24,000. Original list on this Bentley was approaching the $100,000 threshold, so this might be a great buy, or not. Tell me what you think of this car after taking a look at the listing here: 1988 Bentley Eight Turbo-R

  • petegaines

    And if the radio craps out, you can just switch it with a good unit from an '88 Park Avenue!

    • ptschett

      I'm not too worried about that Delco radio. The rest of the car's electronics, though…

      • RichardKopf

        That just looks so out of place.

        • dukeisduke

          The Delco radio really cheapens the interior, and I'm not crazy about the black seat belts, either. And what's up with the wood around the seat controls?

        • I concur. A gramophone would be far more appropriate.

      • Jay_Ramey

        Electronics? In THIS? : )

  • I went to an independent Bentley/Rolls shop recently to ask about Turbo Rs. The owner said it's worth it to pay an extra $10,000 to $20,000 for a meticulously maintained one. Don't even try to save a few bucks on the purchase price. Sounded ominous.

    But yeah, this is definitely a sedan I covet. It starred in Less Than Zero and I've been in love with it ever since. I'll take mine in red please.

    • Jay_Ramey

      Wouldn't you rather get a beater Arnage though? There are plenty in FL with mildewed leather and fogged up headlights.

      These (all 22 derivatives of the Silver Spirit) have been nearing full depreciation, and yet they can be found in every condition possible, with corresponding asking prices starting in the mid four figures, to the low six figures.

      I still haven't seen a Bentley Eight stateside. You know, the poverty-spec versions of these.

      • The Arnage is too rounded for me. I like mine with sharp edges.

        Did the Eight ever make it Stateside?

        I saw a special Silver Spirit version in Texas at the GP. One of like two dozen ever made. It had hood scoops and side vents everywhere.

        • Jay_Ramey

          Some sources say the Eight was for sale here…..but I would have thought I would have seen one by now. I don't think it was offered here for all years, so it may only be realistically findable in RR and Bentley-heavy areas.

    • Would they take your Pheaton as a trade in?

      • I asked if they would work on my VW since they fix Flying Spurs. The owner didn't dignify that question with an answer.

  • buzzboy7

    "Forgettable in the styling department"
    Wha?! Just a beautiful big sedan. So chunky and slab sided. I adore it.

    • Rover1

      They look better with the quad round 7 inch headlights of the later models, still that's an easy change.

      • guest

        Shouldn't this one also have the vertical bladed grill instead of the mesh?

        • Metric Wrench

          The mesh grill is a popular upgrade, meant to make it look like newer models (despite the headlights). Crazy money. You could fly cross the pond, buy one of these, take a week long holiday, and ship it home for under the starting bid.

        • I have the feeling that the mesh grille is a Turbo R exclusive. I may be wrong, though. I don't really move in Bentley circles.

          • Van_Sarockin

            They don't really move in circles either. The closest they come is Brooklands.

      • Or even better, the euro-spec single rectangle lamps.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Photos don't do justice to the scale of these things, they're just enormous. Last of the locomotives.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    While I still want, very much, a Turbo R…I'd purchase it only if I can also purchase fuel at the model year's cost.

    I.e., 1988 gasoline prices.

    A fleet of 30 of these could support OPEC, by themselves.

    Still want one.

    • OA5599

      I want a Turbo R, too. Fuel cost doesn't scare me too much, since I'm used to driving guzzlers and don't log too many miles on an annual basis. Maintenance and repair costs are my big fear. I'm pretty sure these don't fill the local self-serve junkyards.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Yeah, if I had a shorter commute, which is currently 30 miles, I'd not mind it as much. I've owned multiple 8-10 MPG vehicles in the past, so it'd not be a shock.

    This kinda calls to me, though, if for nothing else, just to take a look-see. I'm not a fan of the exterior color, though.

  • Weren't these "Antique" when they were sold brand new back in 1988?