SOLD – 1990 Bentley Continental Convertible

  • 1990 Bentley Continental Convertible
  • Balmoral Green with St James Red interior
  • Extensive service history
  • Recently cared for by renowned marque specialist

Originally supplied by Broughtons of Cheltenham on 1 January 1990, this beautifully presented Bentley Continental Convertible has wanted for nothing in recent years and is offered for sale in its original colour combination of Balmoral Green with St James Red interior.

After being acquired at auction in July 2018, the Bentley was taken to marque specialist PT Classics in Maldon, Essex. There it was thoroughly tested and inspected, and the subsequent work is carefully detailed in the car’s history file.

A compression test was carried out on the V8 engine, the fuel injectors were pressure-tested and cleaned, and a bore-scope examination was carried out. It was discovered that the incorrect valve-stem seals had been fitted, so a top-end rebuild was completed.

New brake pads and flexi-hoses were fitted all round, as well as rear brake discs, while the front subframe mounts were also replaced. Inside, the seatbelts were replaced and the door cappings were stripped and re-lacquered; all of the interior wood was polished at the same time.

Two years later, the spheres for the rear suspension’s self-levelling system were replaced, the air-conditioning system was re-gassed, and the front seats were connolised. In total, more than £8000 was spent in order to ensure that this Continental Convertible drives exactly as Bentley intended when it originally left the factory.

The woodwork is pristine, while the leather trim and thick carpets are immaculate. There’s a commanding view down the long bonnet from the sumptuous front seats, and rear-seat passengers can get comfortable in their own individual armchairs. All in all, there can be few more luxurious ways in which to enjoy top-down summer motoring than this well-cared-for Bentley Continental Convertible.

Model history

Bentley’s version of the Rolls-Royce Corniche initially shared that model’s name, but by the mid-1980s the powers-that-be had recognised the need for Bentley to have a more independent image. In 1984, the Bentley variant was therefore renamed the Continental, reviving a famous name from the marque’s past.

It was powered by a 6.75-litre, fuel-injected V8, which drove through a robust General Motors three-speed automatic transmission that was more than capable of handling the immense torque on offer. The independent suspension featured a hydraulic self-levelling system that initially worked on all four wheels but was eventually revised so that it applied only to the rear suspension.

Along with the Continental name came redesigned, colour-coded bumpers and rear-view mirrors, plus a new dashboard and improved seats. The Bentley was always a much rarer car than its Rolls-Royce stablemate, with only 421 Continentals being built between 1984 and the end of production in 1995, by which time Bentley had truly started to ‘break away’ from Rolls-Royce thanks to the introduction four years earlier of the Continental R – the first of its cars not to share a body with Rolls-Royce since the S3 Continental in 1965.

The Corniche-based Continental nonetheless embodied the Bentley ethos of effortless performance in a solidly engineered and comfortable package, and could whisk its occupants to 131mph. Little wonder that, since its reintroduction on this model in 1984, the revered Continental name has formed a cornerstone of the Bentley range.

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