2003-11 Bentley Continental GT Buying Guide
The first Bentley to be launched under VW ownership, the Continental GT is now one of the most cost-effective ways into the brand
How much to pay
• Project £18,000-22,000 • Good £30,000-45,000 • Concours £50,000-65,000 •
• Most expensive at auction: £75,500 (2011 GT Supersports)
Running costs ★★
DIY friendly ★
VW's takeover of Bentley caused many to worry that this quintessentially English manufacturer would lose its ‘Britishness’ – but with the benefit of hindsight, the concern was thankfully unfounded.
The Continental GT was the first model to be produced under the new collaboration, featuring the W12 engine and all-wheel-drive running gear from the recently launched VW Phaeton. With the aid of two turbochargers, the Continental GT offered strong performance and harked back to the days when Bentley produced similar grand touring sports cars for the discerning few.
The difference this time around was a German level of reliability – and far higher production numbers. A mechanically identical four-door Flying Spur arrived in 2005 (which is not covered in our guide), and a convertible GTC was introduced in 2006 (which is).
Numerous small improvements were carried out throughout the Continental GT's production, but the major changes arrived in 2007 with the introduction of the 600bhp GT and GTC Speed variants. An even more focused Supersports version was made available in 2009, which raised performance to monocle-popping new heights. A comprehensive facelift was carried out in 2011, but these essentially new models are outside the scope of this guide.
The continuous development effort put into the Continental GT makes the later versions more accomplished machines, but there are great bargains to be had if you can find a well maintained early car.
Your AutoClassics Bentley Continental GT inspection checklist
Based on the Phaeton W12 unit, which in turn was developed from two VR6 engines, the Continental GT added two turbochargers into the mix, resulting in a powerful and reliable motor. Regular oil services help ensure that it keeps running smoothly, and fresh oil also extends the life of the turbochargers; blue smoke can spell a pending turbo failure.
Sparkplugs are expensive and a pain to access, so check that they have been replaced every four years.
Cars with very low mileage should be approached with caution. Most specialists tend to agree that there are more issues with infrequently used examples than with ones that have been driven and serviced regularly.
Coil packs tend to fail on occasion, and a small number of head-gasket issues have also been reported. A damaged or corroded radiator core can contribute to the head-gasket problem, so check that all is in order as the head-gasket repair is an engine-out job.
A recall was issued on cars built up until mid-March 2008. This was to rectify an issue where the fuel filter could corrode, resulting in the possibility of fuel leaking out.
Jaguar E-Type 3.8L Roadster
The Jaguar E-Type is a British automobile legend, manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1975. A combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing ensured the car was an instant legend. In period, a Ferrari cost three times more and supplied less horse power which established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. The model became a great success for Jaguar; at its release EnFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Little Green Street Farm, Green Street, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, WD3 6EA United Kingdom£ 224,995
PORSCHE 993 TARGA, 1996
An excellent U.K. manual Targa in a great colour combination that we know well having first purchased it in 2006 since when it has been owned by several of our most loyal customers. It has a great specification featuring hardback sports seats, trip computer, sports exhaust and sound package including the Porsche Classic Hifi system which incorporates Bluetooth, radio, navigation and iPhone interfaFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Compton Bassett, Wiltshire, SN11 8RH United Kingdom£ POA
Porsche 944 S2 1990
Excellent condition! Only 33,190 actual miles Rare and desirable 1990 944 S2 Cabriolet One of only 1,824 built to North American specification Stunning and desirable factory correct color combination Excellent documentation includes original owner’s manual, warranty & service book with service records, dealer directory, original tools, jack, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity andFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | St. Louis, MO, USA$ 29,900
Aston Martin Mk II Long 1934
Long Chassis MK II Chassis K4/511/L This is an outstanding example of a long chassis MKII. Fewer than 80 of these cars were made and a number have been lost over the years or had their chassis shortened. This car has been in the same enthusiastic ownership since the 1970s, over half its life! Ecurie Bertelli carried out a full restoration including engine re-build and the car has been used rFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Stilebrook Road, Olney MK46 5EA, UK£ POA
Mini Cooper 'S' 1275 1963
1963 MORRIS MINI COOPER S 1275 MKI SALOON (concours condition) Stunningly finished in period colours of old English white with black roof, red and cream seats with matching door cards and red carpets. This car has had a ground up restoration by Mini Specialist Minispeed of Byfleet Surrey starting early in 2008 and finishing late 2009. The total restoration costs were an amazing £40,000 supportFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Sandbanks Road, Poole, UK£ 39,995
Ferrari Dino 246 GT 1972
This 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT (chassis number 02498) was new delivered to Switzerland. It’s a complete matching number car and it’s in its original “fly yellow” Ferrari colour with a black vinyl interior. It was first registered in France in March 1973 with license 6399ZX75 and was owned by Mackenzie Hill. The second owner, in 1981, was Jean-Pierre Maillard, a French race car driver who drFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Vosveld 7, Wijnegem, Belgium€ 290,000
Volkswagen Type 2 (T1 Split Window) 1975
Restored 5 years ago for family use. Top "A" quality restoration. Engine is running perfectly, front safari windows, special wheels. For export from Brazil to any country. Asking price is FOB (Free On Board), that is to say all the costs to export it are included.For Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Brazil€ 28,900
Mini Cooper S FIA Race Car 1964
Bought by James Martin in 2013 to develop into a front running car in the prestigious pre 66 historic saloon car series run by Masters and of course the Goodwood Revival St Mary’s Trophy where he shared the car with top flight BTCC driver and fellow TV Celebrity Jason Plato. With a fresh £22k engine and gearbox from leading Mini expert Swifttune this car is not only well known but quick and reaFor Sale | 21 Jun 2018 | Hampshire, UK£ 47,500
The six-speed automatic gearbox is a sturdy unit, despite the level of torque on offer. Issues can usually be traced down to faulty electrical connectors. If the car has a jerky downchange or exhibits a delay between gearchanges, then get a specialist to take a closer look.
Suspension and brakes
All Continentals have air-suspension with adjustable dampers; post-2008 models feature slight revisions to some of the components, but all should be relatively trouble-free maintenance wise. Worn rubber bushes can make themselves known by any undue knocking noises when traversing bumps.
Brake discs are massive steel units on most models and should not require any special attention. Replacement discs can be pricey, but nothing like what a set of the optional carbon-ceramics will cost if they are damaged.
A recall on all cars built up until early 2008 was carried out to resolve a potential issue of loss of brake pressure due to a faulty engine clip and brake pipe.
A second recall was issued on cars fitted with the carbon-ceramic brakes, where the screws holding the rear rotors could work loose on the rear axle. One worth checking up on.
The electronic parking-brake unit tends to give problems, and replacements are available from the official agents for a price. Tyre-pressure sensors have a five-year lifespan due to their integrated batteries running flat, so check that they are functioning correctly.
The steel bodywork should be rust free, although the flat front end is a magnet for small stones. GTC models have a complex roof mechanism that doesn’t seem to have any inherent issues. However, if the fabric hood is damaged or the hydraulics or ECU are malfunctioning, prepare for some big bills.
The Continental GT was packed with electronics, and issues tend to come through corroded switches or damaged wiring.
Evidence of damp in the footwells could mean issues with the electronics in the future, as a lot of the wiring is routed through this area. Electric seat controls can malfunction, too, so check that they all work correctly.
The interior is superbly built and should be in good condition, even on high-mileage cars. The vast choice of personalisation available to owners means that colour matching can be tricky if panels need repairing.
- 2003: 552bhp twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 Bentley Continental GT introduced.
- 2006: Convertible GTC introduced.
- 2007: 600bhp GT and GTC Speed arrive to complement standard model.
- 2009: 621bhp GT and GTC Supersports with no rear seat and carbon-fibre trim introduced.
- 2011: Drastically updated and facelifted Continental GT replaces first-generation model.
The prospect of a bargain-priced Continental GT can be very tempting, but buy a poor-condition vehicle and you will soon be out of pocket. Take your time and find the right one – there are plenty to choose from.
The inherent reliability and mechanical solidity of these models does mean that well maintained high-milers are sometimes preferable to garage queens that may require a fortune to get right.
All versions feature four-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic gearbox. The most desirable first-generation cars are the racy, stripped-out Supersports models, which did without rear seats.
If you intend to use your Continental as a grand tourer, then the less compromised 2009-on Speed models may be a better bet. GTCs tend to command a premium over the coupes and offer similar levels of performance; keep an eye out for the optional Mulliner Driving Package, as this added a number of desirable extras such as diamond-quilted seats and unique alloys.
|6.0-litre W12 Speed|
|6.0-litre W12 Supersports|
Bentley Continental GT cars for sale here.
Classic Cars for Sale
The Jaguar E-Type is a British automobile legend, manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1975. A combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing ensured the car was an instant legend. In period, a Ferrari cost three times more and supplied less horse power which established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. The model became a great success for Jaguar; at its release En
An excellent U.K. manual Targa in a great colour combination that we know well having first purchased it in 2006 since when it has been owned by several of our most loyal customers. It has a great specification featuring hardback sports seats, trip computer, sports exhaust and sound package including the Porsche Classic Hifi system which incorporates Bluetooth, radio, navigation and iPhone interfa
Excellent condition! Only 33,190 actual miles Rare and desirable 1990 944 S2 Cabriolet One of only 1,824 built to North American specification Stunning and desirable factory correct color combination Excellent documentation includes original owner’s manual, warranty & service book with service records, dealer directory, original tools, jack, Porsche Certificate of Authenticity and
Long Chassis MK II Chassis K4/511/L This is an outstanding example of a long chassis MKII. Fewer than 80 of these cars were made and a number have been lost over the years or had their chassis shortened. This car has been in the same enthusiastic ownership since the 1970s, over half its life! Ecurie Bertelli carried out a full restoration including engine re-build and the car has been used r