A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £48,375
Unveiled in 2003 at the Geneva Motor Show, the Continental GT was a different animal altogether. Very importantly, the car differed significantly from the previous Continental R and T models in terms of its place in the overall scheme of things. Although much of the car is hand-assembled it is, essentially, a mass-produced vehicle made in significantly larger numbers. It is not a coachbuilt extravagance of the past and, as a result, the price at launch was significantly less than the Continental R, and this comparative affordability immediately exposed the car to an entirely different and much wider customer base. Introduced at the New York Motor Show in April 2006, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible (or GTC) also benefited from generally being considered “affordable” (even though it wasn't really) and proved an immediate sales success. From time immemorial, car manufacturers have struggled with slicing the top off their saloons and retaining a degree of stiffness and Bentley naturally encountered the same problem. Determined to engineer the most torsionally rigid open four-seater that money could buy, the Crewe manufacturer incorporated additional steel tubing within the newcomer's A-posts and windscreen frame, reinforced its sills, and cross-braced the floorplan to a greater degree. The result was a class-leading 16,595ft-lb per degree which was not far away from the car's tin-topped sibling. The Convertible utilised the same smoothly powerful, twin-turbocharged, 6-litre W12 engine, Torsen-based permanent four-wheel drive system, massive ABS-backed disc brakes, and sophisticated all-round independent air suspension. Electro-hydraulically operated, the Bentley's luxuriously padded fabric roof not only stowed away neatly but provided almost limousine levels of refinement. Reputedly capable of over 190mph with the top down, the GTC featured two sturdy steel hoops concealed beneath its rear headrests which could be deployed within fractions of a second if the onboard computer sensed an impending roll. Arguably more of a 2+2 than a true four-seater, the Bentley could raise or lower its hood at speeds of up to 20mph, which was handy, and quite good fun, in slow moving traffic. As you might expect from a car of this nature with 14,000 miles indicated and an impeccable main agent service history, this 2008 Continental GTC presents superbly in gleaming Beluga Black with Flamenco Red leather. The Bentley service record includes no less than 10 stamps from the car's Pdi inspection 27/02/2008 at 28 miles, through to the most recent Bentley service on 03/03/2017 at 13,450 miles. With the cost of a new GTC at well over £100,000 more than our guide, this 14,000 mile, fastidiously maintained, unmarked example looks positively good value.