1988 BENTLEY TURBO R EMPRESS II
Coupe coachwork by HOOPER & Co.
Chassis No. SCBZSOT00FC H13832
Engine No. TBC
Hooper Lake Blue with a Bentley Racing Red coachline, Hooper Royal Blue leather with Bedford Cord inserts to the interior
Engine: V8, two pushrod operated overhead valves per cylinder, single Garrett AiResearch turbocharger with intercooler, Bosch Motronic electronic fuel injection, 6,750cc, est.300bhp at 3,800rpm; Gearbox: three speed automatic; Suspension: independent front with coil springs and anti-roll bar and independent rear with coil springs and automatic leveling; Brakes: four wheel discs with ABS. Right hand drive.
By the early Eighties, the market for sporting sedans expanded greatly, which in turn prompted Bentley again to exploit its high performance heritage, first with the standard Mulsanne and later with the remarkable Mulsanne Turbo and Turbo R. The performance attributes of the 6750cc Rolls-Royce/Bentley V8, particularly its immense low rpm torque, suited the performance profile of 80's Bentley drivers while the Turbo R (for Roadholding) included a suspension and tyre package that complemented the engine.
The Turbo R was more than an over-powered luxury conveyance. Bentley's designers created a high performance carriage worthy of the Bentley wings and with its exemplary heritage it would convey adults, rapidly and competently across great distances at politically incorrect speeds. In 1987 a Turbo R set fifteen British records for an hour at speed, beating by 8mph the previous records set by a Lamborghini Countach. The Turbo R will launch its 2.5 tonnes to 60 mph in under 7 seconds and will surpass 100mph in less than 20 seconds, accomplishing these feats in the comforts of Connolly leather, Wilton wool carpet and hand-polished walnut, with cocktail tables for those not designated drivers. W.O. Bentley would have been proud.
On the motorway it will effortlessly humble supercars with quiet and understated elegance.
This particular Turbo R is an even rarer motorcar being one of only three Empress II models produced by Hooper & Co. for a reputed cost of half a million pounds. Built for the person who wanted something very special and could afford the price of exclusivity, the Empress II has a totally new hand rolled and formed coupe style body, designed and styled by Hooper and hand crafted to give a different aerodynamic shape and lower drag coefficient. The list of specifications is vast and includes the following.
To the exterior:
-colour co-ordinated bumper bars with polished stainless steel inserts -polished stainless steel wheel arch surrounds and sills
-glass fixed roof panel, solar protected to driver's compartment
-Hooper oval design exhaust outlets
-Hooper wire wheels designed to take Turbo power
-Left and right hand side petrol filling access
Hooper Royal Blue hand picked Connolly hides used for the seats, top roll and knee roll, headlining and the rear parcel shelf. The rarest Burr Walnut veneers were selected and used throughout, the seats fitted with a special memory system, together with adjustable rear seats and a special Hooper sports steering wheel. Details include a ladies solid silver vanity unit to the armrest by Asprey of London and a cocktail cabinet with fine cut crystal decanters and glasses. In spite of this the most up to date technological aspects were not forgotten and the Empress II is fitted with a TV monitor and Alpine state of the Art in-car entertainment system, including 12 tuned speakers.
The Empress II has been kept alongside other fine motorcars and has seen only limited use by its current owner, the odometer reading when last inspected by a Christie's specialist was 14,827 miles, with the car starting on the button. The condition of the car is commensurate with its age, accordingly the interior shows some wear, and there are minor signs of age to the bodywork, but in general it can be described as good and very presentable. An extremely rare opportunity to acquire a fully coachbuilt Bentley from the late 80s at a fraction of its initial purchase price.