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Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT Published: 20th Jul 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
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Amazing all round ability n Exceptional value for money; will remain so n High repair costs WAGS TO RICHES

>IN BRIEF

A bold and brave new Bentley that was blasphemy to many traditionalists! Yet the GT – or “Baby Bentley” – as it quickly became known (as well as a footballers’ WAGS car!) became instant hit with a new type of Bentley buyer. Based upon a VW Phaeton all-wheel drive saloon, the GT provides supercar-beating ability yet you can now pick one up for under £20,000 – in other words, the price of a top MGB!

TIMELINES

2003 Contentious Continental GT was born using Volkswagen hardware. 2005 Drophead GTC is added, along with an often overlooked longer wheel-based Flying Spur saloon. 2007 Special versions were introduced, such as the ‘Speed’ models with 600bhp and 553lbft of muscle.

DRIVING

Comments that the GT isn’t a real Bentley and comparisons with the Mulsanne-based Continental are inevitable. Both are great cars, the difference being that the GT feels far more modern and planted on the road. The GT is a truly wonderful experience that does justice to any badge, quite frankly. Iron fist in a velvet glove springs to mind even if early models did lack the sort of refinement you expect from Bentley. The ride can be jarring on rough surfaces, tyre noise is disappointingly loud, especially with the lorry-like 20inch wheel option, and early W12 engines lost their smoothness at high revs. However, even the most enthusiastic of enthusiasts can’t fail to be impressed by the car’s all round ability and pace. 0-60mph in under five seconds, 198mph top speed is fast by anybody’s standards!

BEST MODELS

Apart from the later V8 range (not included here) there’s the choice of a coupé GT or the drophead GTC although there was also a myriad of personal editions to ponder on. However, condition, service history and prices are more a concern to most buyers.

VALUES

Independent Chris Lees of Buckinghamshire (01494675211) says running a GT is pricey and has caught many ex BMW and Jaguar drivers trading up, on the hop. The GT is still a rapidly depreciating classic which is both good news and bad news. The former because it means that you can pick one up retail for less than £25,000 and perhaps £17K at auction! The improved 2008 line is available from £45,000 which is just above the values of the first convertibles and on par with original Speeds. Steve Brown of Hanwells of London (0208 567 9729) predicts that values won’t fall much below £15,000 before levelling out and then rising.

BUYING ADVICE

Given its young age and status, you wouldn’t expect to find a ratty Conti, yet they exist. Contact the Bentley Drivers’ Club for advice – http://www.bdcl.org. A service history is paramount as it’s a complex car to keep. Happily experts like Intro Car specialises in both new and used components (www. Introcar.com). The L/H front footwell is where a multitude of electronics and relays reside and water ingress is common and can mean a complete rewire which even a specialist will ask around £15,000 to do! Maintenance is time consuming; the spark plugs (£160’s worth) are a nightmare to replace for example. Lumpy idle and poor running has been reported, which is usually down to the individual coil packs playing up. Flat batteries (and the GT relies upon a pair of them) very common while the electronic parking brake module has been known to fail. An annoying knocking on the move is usually nothing more serious than tired antiroll bar bushes… but the GT also comes with clever tyre pressure sensors which are battery powered (lasting around four years). Sounds quite minor but to replace these at almost £150 per wheel and have them re-balanced; a frightening four figure bill may be the end result… Drive a few to set a benchmark as standards do vary!



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