Running a Bentley TR daily? - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Running a Bentley TR daily?

Hello Everyone! I have thought about owning a Turbo R for quite some time now. So, against my better judgement and conscience I had made a plunge and acquired a Turbo R. And not just a normal one, but a time-capsule one with 5,000 miles on the odometer. From what I learned it seems the stars had aligned for a complete minefield.

I would, however, love to keep it for some time and use it frequently. My question is, speaking from experience is it feasible to run one of these as an only car (winters excepted), assuming its a clean example? What are the running costs of these? It would need to make a 500-mile highway run every month and not hesitate. I have owned a W116 6.9 and W126 and I've done some research on RRs before, so I am literate in the basic sense and no stranger to epic repair bills. I understand expensive annual maintenance and I am not expecting new-car reliability, but things breaking randomly is a concern. (From what I've heard of British cars this is...a norm). It would be great if any owners could share reliability and spending insights.

As regarding the vehicle itself, the bodywork seems to be solid. No wheelarch damage or visible corrosion, paint and chrome is pristine. Interior is also unused. Engine bay is very clean. (Seems factory however, as I read the gaskets would require mandatory replacement?) Hydraulics function (From what I understand these are the main weak points that make my Mercedes rear hydros look quaint) but I haven't had a specialist over so it remains uncertain. Powered appliances function. From what I could scrap together it may have been some sort of mothballed company car, so not exactly neglect but not a lot of attention either. I have estimated around 10k for the recommission, reasonable?

Thank you, I would love to hear your experiences with putting miles on these cars. However, I have been living in fear since this decision, especially as I passed an excellent W109 over this. Ironically, I had passed on the W109 as a daily because it was too auspicious compared to the moderns and rather fragile to use daily. But from what I read the Bentley would far surpass the W109 in the long run..... I'll post photos and details about the car when I get the time, but now it seems I'd be better off selling the time capsule for a Teutonic barge again?

Finally, if anyone could recommend an independent specialist in New York, that would be great! My german mechanic would not work on this at all.

Last edited by Mavis; 04-18-2019 at 12:56 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 02:51 AM
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I started to use these cars as a daily driver in 2014,I am in Ireland and I drove to my work place and back every day 40 miles there & 40 miles back + any driving while I was there 500 miles a week and I never had an issue it never let me down once.You don't say what year your car is as there are Hugh differences in them.Before I started to use it daily I did a lot of work replacing the parts that could go wrong before they did.(do a search for driving a Bentley daily 09697 ) and it may help.In Ireland fuel is about 7.50$ a gallon ( we have 8 pints to a gallon ) so 5.60$ I converted my car to LPG for this reason as it was 1/2 the price.The early TurboR cars had a 3 speed box with a 2.2 ratio differential which was doing 35 mph at 1000 revs,these were made until about 1990,the later cars are 4 speed,the gear boxes used are GM with some modifications.Get the car right before you start and you won't have any problems,2014 I did 25,000 miles,2015 I did 22,000 miles 2016 I did 22,000 miles,now I only do 4,000 a rear in these cars as I retired.

Kevin Silver

Shadow11 (sold)
Bentley 8 (sold)
Spirit 84. (Sold)
Turbo R. (Sold)
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:56 AM
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Mavis. Where are you located in NY

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:57 AM
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Contact our member Wraithman, he should be able to give you good specialist in NYC

97 Continental R
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:08 PM
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Mavis, I drive my 93 Turbo R every week. I usually put around 6-8,000 miles a year on it. Fuel is not too bad on highway, 18-20 mpg. The breakdowns I have had are fuel pump failure 2 years ago (age). That is the only time I was towed. I have had the breaks done ($3,800.) and other than the distributor belt, just routine maint.
ENJOY!!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:18 PM
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The question in my mind is what year is it? if it's an earlier car with CIS? It will share the same fuel injection as your 6.9 and will be simpler to maintain. Later cars are more of an unknown (to me at least). I don't think that they're as DIY friendly as a 6.9 or a W126, your biggest challenge is parts. Everything seems to need to come from abroad vs from a local wordpac that delivers to mechanics 3 times / day.

Congrats.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the insights! Seems my worries have been quieted somewhat. I would make sure to not slack on the recomissioning.

Wraithman, I am in the Finger Lakes region upstate but I do travel frequently so NYC would suit nicely too.


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Originally Posted by alabbasi View Post
The question in my mind is what year is it? if it's an earlier car with CIS? It will share the same fuel injection as your 6.9 and will be simpler to maintain. Later cars are more of an unknown (to me at least). I don't think that they're as DIY friendly as a 6.9 or a W126, your biggest challenge is parts. Everything seems to need to come from abroad vs from a local wordpac that delivers to mechanics 3 times / day.

Congrats.
It's 91 model as I avoided the Zytec ECUs. As for parts, I know of Flying Spares which has a complete catalogue. The 6.9 actually didn't bother too much and when it did it was more out of sheer tear-and-wear than any fault of its own. Same could be said for the W126. I understand that the base RR 6.75 and trans is going to be very durable, and the turbo is generally trouble free. But the electrical and hydraulics systems are what I worry about. I have not experienced many power problems with the Mercedes other than lighting or wiring, but I've read the SZ series have a electrical malady that affects the ignition and fuel feed? Seems RR/BTLY electrics of the era have a general randomness to them, is this of worry on the go?

I would not have the time to work on the car myself, unfortunately. I can diagnose problems and replace basics like lighting and liquids but anything involving hydraulics and such I would seek a specialist. Thus not breaking down randomly (at least with warning signs or being able to be fixed temporarily with field tools) is a requirement as NYC is 3 hours away.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavis View Post
I would not have the time to work on the car myself, unfortunately. I can diagnose problems and replace basics like lighting and liquids but anything involving hydraulics and such I would seek a specialist. Thus not breaking down randomly (at least with warning signs or being able to be fixed temporarily with field tools) is a requirement as NYC is 3 hours away.
In that case, M-100 or Rolls Royce? it's a wash. Neither are as complicated as some would lead you to think, although the M-100 forum seems to have a more knowledgeable and active group of members who do their own DIY.

I've owned a bunch of older Mercedes and thought they were the best built cars in the world until I discovered the SZ era cars. I think that you'll enjoy it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:20 PM
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All I can say is - these cars get MILES better the more you use them. They run better, they become more reliable - they just want to be used. Kiss of death to leave them parked up for months.

Saying this, you have a very low mileage car - but once you have flushed out the problems, with use, it will be a really use-able and reliable car! Enjoy!

1996 model year Continental R 53165
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 03:56 PM
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Here's a novel .way to look at things.
You buy a luxury new car in UK and it depreciates 50% in 3 years.
You buy a nice one of these at say £20K or less.
You spend £3-5K PA to get it up to scratch. Within 3 years you're in profit because there's no depreciation.
Pick the right model and you may even break even and have had free luxury motoring!!
Now I'm seeing late say 98 RT's being snapped up and Continental T's. In the US I believe they are still cheap.
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