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Car of the Month

More on Bentley in these books:

Rossfeldt: Rolls-Royce and Bentley / From the Dawn of the 20th Century into the new Millennium  

Hull: Inside the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Styling Department


Car of the Month - November 2019
Bentley Turbo R, 1992, #PCH46071

Bentley Turbo R

The year 1991 meant a lot of troubles and tension for Bentley. The marque had been under the wings of Rolls-Royce from 1931 onward and was hit with full punch by weak market conditions which did force Rolls-Royce to resolute reaction. The era of opulent vehicles to a layout from bygone ages had come to an end and the manufacturer decided to close their factory at Hythe Road in London (where skilled craftsmen mainly by hand had built the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI). However not only the staff of some 500 there were made redundant. The workforce was cut by a further 700 in an action to balance expenses according to 48 % drop of sales figures. Expectations were high for a turn-around by meeting future demands with the new Bentley Continental R. The Fixed Head Coupé (announced in March 1991 with first deliveries planned for 1992) was based on the platform of the Bentley Turbo R and did share technical components with that model. During this fairly critical period a steady demand for the Bentley Turbo R was seen as a particularly valuable asset of the British car manufacturer. 

Bentley Turbo R

When in 1992 the Bentley Turbo R featured here was made the company found themselves in less troubled waters. Not a single detail of this motor car does reflect the factory and the staff had been subject to in-depth re-arrangements. The client was provided with top-standard vehicle powered by a reliable high-performance drivetrain, impeccable handling and a finish with "Attention to Detail" that left nothing to be desired. The colour is "British Racing Green" – which since the years prior to the Kaiser-War had been the National colour for competition cars of the United Kingdom (though strangely the exact shade of British Racing Green had never been accurately defined).

Bentley Turbo R

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Cognoscenti will note at once the registration of this particular motor car is worth a note. The explanation might be helpful that regulations in the British Isles permit a registration might remain with a certain car – regardless of eventual changes of ownership etc. – or a registration issued to a certain owner might be 'transferred' onto another car of this owner. At Rolls-Royce their legendary PR-chef Dennis Miller-Williams in the early 1960 had decided the works' demonstrator should get a "company registration" similar to a logo and thus is explained why very often on press photos Rolls-Royce appear with the registration 100 LG. With the generation Silver Shadow a further step followed by acquiring a bunch of "company registrations" all with a round number and ending on letters TU. Rolls-Royce and Bentley e.g. in catalogues henceforth very often were shown with registrations 1200 TU, 1800 TU, 1900 TU, 1950 TU etc. As regards the English registration 1800 TU - that has not been sold by the manufacturer. For #PCH40671 the owner invested tremendous care to get just that registration – his number plate TU 1900 TU with black figures/letters on yellow background shows the car registered in the Principality of Luxembourg.

Bentley Turbo R

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