1998 Bentley Arnage

Smart, 61,286 mile example from long term ownership; 4.4 twin-turbo engine with 5-speed automatic 'box - the Thinking Man's choice of Arnage

Supplied new by Bentley & Rolls Royce main dealer Ron Stratton of Knutsford, Cheshire in April 1998, this first generation Bentley Arnage still oozes class, style and presence, some 24 years after launch.

Heralding a new dawn for Bentley amid a turbulent ownership debacle involving Vickers/BMW/Rolls Royce/Volkswagen and Bentley, the new Arnage model was launched as the Green Label powered by a BMW with input from Vicker’s subsidiary company, Cosworth Engineering.

This example, the rarer launch year model was called simply ‘Arnage’ (later, they would become the Green Label, Red Label, R, T etc) and featured the BMW sourced 4.4-litre M62 V8 engine with the addition of twin turbos, developed by Cosworth Engineering.  This delvivered 350bhp and a whopping 569NM of torque driving the rear wheels via five-speed automatic ZF transmission, as well as a much need boost to efficiency over the old 6.75-litre pushrod V8 engine that was hastily wheeled out by new owners VW after the take-over ‘to meet customer demand’. In reality, VW couldn’t bare to use arch rival BMW’s technically more advanced M62 engine, instead, they modified the old 6.75 lump instead (which was 250kg heavier, much thirstier and required the bodyshell to be stiffened as a result).

Finished in Verdant Green and sitting upon its original five-spoke alloy wheels and shod in correct Avonspeed tyres, the car looks well and is identifiable as an earlier car by those in the know by its glass headlamp covers (changed to plastic from 1999+).

Inside, we find the typically plush, luxurious interior with swathes of soft beige leather piped dark green with walnut trim and cappings and dark green leather dash top roll.  The spec includes electric heated memory front seats, cruise control, electric windows, electric mirrors, digital climate control with AC, leather head-lining, rear electric seats, twin front and rear in-car Motorola phones, CH-changer, two-tone leather steering wheel, adjustable lumbar, rear privacy glass and lambswool over mats (in the boot).

Showing just 61,286 miles, this appealing example has been with our Bentley Driver’s club member vendor for the past 13 years covering only c.12,000 miles in this time, the car spending time covered in storage while the vendor lives part of the year abroad.

The history file includes the V5C revealing five former keepers, the owner’s box file with manuals, warranty booklet with supplying dealer stamp and two service books recording 12 stamps and one hand-written entry, the last stamp in May 2015 at 56,390 miles by Phantom Motor Cars Ltd of Surrey.

In addition, we find a selection of annual service and maintenance invoices including for a more recent service dated November 2020 at 60,926 miles by David Sainsbury Ltd of Swindon who carried out a service and check over (commenting only 575 miles have been covered since the last previous service in August 2018) including fitment of two new batteries, repair to seat ECU and new OSF door latch assembly costing some £1,868 (after a £1500 discount!).  We also find at least 10 old MOT certificates, a note from the vendor on the car’s attributes (which also suggests the car was originally the Irish press car when new), some Bentley club magazines and current MOT valid until December 2022 which recorded just three minor advisories (enter the reg and check online at check-mot.service.gov.uk).

Ready to be enjoyed (we would suggest replacing both batteries as they do not seem to hold a charge) these early Arnage’s are amongst the rarest of the model lineage and offer excellent performance, better economy than any of the other later cars at a more affordable price point – given someone paid £170,000 for it when new, it looks like mega value for money for what Clarkson once deemed “Blenheim Palace with a rocket up its backside”.  What more can we say?

For more information contact - [email protected]

Reg No: XKZ8121
Chassis Number: SCBLB51E4XCH01248
Engine Number: 50021664
Engine Size: 4398
Docs: V5C; owner's pack & service book with 12 stamps; 2 keys; invoices; club mags; 10 old MOTs; current MOT December 2022 with 3 advisories

Sale Section & Buyers Premium (ex VAT): Car 12%, Minimum £150

Estimate: £16,000-18,000

Lot 356

Lot ended

Thursday 23/06/2022

Hammer Price (inc. buyers premium)

Not Sold

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