Often called the last ‘proper’ Bentley, the Arnage is now available from just £15,000
The Bentley Arnage is admittedly a long way from being the sort of sharp-edged driving weapon that usually appears on our pages – but many believe it to be the last ‘proper’ Bentley before the more mass-produced Continental GT democratised the marque and diluted its status as the carriage of choice for (slightly) sporting gentlemen.
Now, we’ve all seen how affordable old-but-not-really-classic examples of the Winged B’s products have become, with cars such as the Brooklands (the old four-door, not the hefty, limited-production coupe) falling to rock bottom, and Turbo Rs doing likewise. As an example, a perfectly decent-looking 1989 Turbo R with wads of service history changed hands at a Barons auction in for a premium-inclusive £3300. In anyone’s book, that’s ridiculously cheap.
So what about the Bentley Arnage
? Despite production having spanned 11 years, from 1998 to 2009, the Arnage is still an outdated machine regardless of when it was built. The early, BMW-engined cars (later called ‘Green Label’), with a 349bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, are clearly a more practical proposition for regular (if not daily) use than the ‘Red Label’ versions and others with the Turbo R-derived 6.75-litre V8 – but if you want a post-2000 car, then there is no choice.
Aside from the run-out ‘Final Series’ of 150, the most desirable are the late, twin-turbo ‘R’ and ‘T’, which deliver an exhilarating 450-odd horsepower and endow the mighty behemoth – kerb weight about 2600kg – with a top speed of 170mph and unfeasibly rapid acceleration. Needless to say, the interior is better appointed than the above-average domestic sitting room and, despite its age, the Arnage still reeks of effortless superiority.
All of which makes it a tempting buy – especially at an entry-level price of around £25,000 for a genuine, well-maintained one. We’ll discuss the running costs another time… Find the perfect Bentley Arnage for sale in our classifieds Or consider… Rolls-Royce Seraph
Rolls’s version of the Arnage, powered by a 5.4-litre BMW V12. Rarer, less desirable, less sporting and not nearly so raffish. Now from around £30k. Bentley Turbo R
As stated above, they are now exceedingly good value. 6.75-litre turbo V8 produces 320bhp in the R, or 400bhp in the rare Turbo RT of 1997-98. Chrysler 300C
The poor man’s Bentley, or just a more practical daily car? Look out for the 5.7 V8, with prices around £7-8k. Words: Simon de Burton/evo magazine