Bentley Continental GT
Cost new: £124,805. Value now: £27,995
Leather, wood, bombastic W12 power, and 1mph short of the magic 200 – all for under £28k
It’s a divisive car, the Conti GT. It has big power, wonderful luxury, and the ability to crush continents with ease. It’s also got a slightly iffy image – but a good one is superb value. What else comes close for £28,000? An AMG CL-Class?
Just because this particular Conti is less than £30k, it's no dog. After long study, all we could find were stonechips, a bit of minor kerb damage and spots of corrosion on the alloys, shod in still-meaty Pirelli P-Zeros.
The inside is in excellent nick, with light creasing on the leather chairs, nail marks on the door panels behind the pulls, small scratches on the steering wheel and dash, and some loss of chrome from the start button.
The engine bay is clean, with all fluids up to maximum. The paperwork file reveals largely yearly servicing at Bentley main dealers, followed by regular refreshments at the vendor's. The last stamp was Sept 2017.
Behind the wheel, it’s hard not to be impressed. There’s just so much torque, even in normal mode. Injudicious application of the throttle will see you in a different postcode before you know it. Slip it into sports mode and your rate of progress is much more violent. Kickdown is keener and that enormous W12 powerplant holds on to the revs for a little longer. Despite the easy availability of truly eye-popping speeds, when you’re just floating around town the Bentley is as docile and as well-mannered as a Golf.
This is far from a lightweight sports car, so there’s not a great deal of steering feel. There’s so much grip it feels like you’re ripping up the highway during high-speed cornering. There’s very little body roll, too.
This particular example exhibited no peculiar noises from the drivetrain, the gearbox moving seamlessly between the ratios. No strange rattles or vibrations came forth from the suspension, and the braking power was strong but also predictable, with no tramlining.
The Bentley Continental GT faces a tricky future. Though we don’t foresee a drop into sub-£5k bangerdom in the same way that Porsche 928s did 15 years ago, it’s hard to see where the depreciation will end.
But if you want a good Conti, it makes sense to buy one now rather than find yourself picking through a breaker's yardful of grim examples later. This car is clearly a good 'un, one that's ready for the type of adventures befitting its name.
Bentley Continental GT
On sale at Kim Cairns Classics kimcairnsclassics.co.uk
Engine: 5998cc, 12-cyl, DOHC
Transmission: AWD, 6-speed auto
Top speed: 199mph
Choose your Bentley Continental GT
Unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in 2003, the CGT is offered with six body colours and eight hide colours. More trim options follow a year later.
Continental GT goes on a diet in 2007, shedding 35kg. GT Speed model launches the same year, with 602bhp and uprated suspension.
Zagato-bodied special called the GTZ launches in 2008.
Series 51 models of 2009 add a plethora of trim options.
Supersports appears in 2009 with 621bhp and 590lb-ft.