Bentley Motors is one of the most storied and stately car manufacturers in the world, with an epic racing history and always one of the best-built cars available. During the past few years, the Bentley marque has grown ever more popular, although some feel that the car’s hand-built mystique has gone away.
This is largely due to economic realities: it is next to impossible to hand-build a car in 2018 that is economically viable. That was not the case yet in 2009, when Bentley Motors released its last truly hand-made car, the Brooklands.
The Pick of the Day is one of these magnificent cars, a 2009 Bentley Brooklands equipped with optional carbon brakes and finished in Beluga Black with a Beluga Black leather interior and Piano Black Wood inlays. The coupe has covered just 3,184 miles since new.
Bentley Motors built only 550 examples of the Brooklands from its introduction for 2009 until the end of production in 2011. All of the cars were built by hand in Crewe, England, and could be made to order by the customer in any color combination that Bentley Motors considered to be in proper taste.
That was not the best part about the Brooklands though. These 3-ton behemoths were able to sprint from 0-60 in 5 seconds, 0-100 in 11.7 seconds and had a top speed of 183.9 mph because of what they had under their broad hoods.
The engine is a 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that churns 530 horsepower and a mountainous 774 pound-feet of torque, which at the time was the most torque generated by any production V8.
The Brooklands was considered a luxury-car alternative to jet travel. It was the ultimate incarnation of the Gentleman’s Express GT car, a British club room that somehow could travel at 180-plus miles per hour.
When new, the Brooklands sold out practically overnight at an astronomical base price of $343,585. Due to the many options available on these cars, most sold for more than $360,000.
According to the seller, a Chatsworth, California, dealer advertising the Bentley on ClassicCars.com, this Brooklands was nicely optioned with the Brooklands Sports Combination 2 package (which included 20-inch 5-spoke wheels), a retractable Flying B Mascot, a reversing Camera linked to the Sat Nav Screen, and Bentley Marque Badges on the Waste rails(inside door top caps). This brought the retail price of this Brooklands to a staggering $365,000.
The car was “pristinely kept and serviced, and is complete with books, keys, both umbrellas and a factory battery tender,” the seller says.
These days, the mighty Brooklands is largely forgotten, despite its rarity and being featured in practically every car magazine in the world as well as on an episode of Top Gear. This is great news for a potential buyer as the asking price for this very-low-mileage car today has dropped to $147,950, still a lot of money but less than half the price when new.
I had a similar Brooklands for an extended road test back when it was new, and when I brought it home, parked it next to my own 1994 Brooklands four-door. I took my wife out to dinner in the splendid Bentley, and when she asked what I cost, I fished around in the glove compartment for the window sticker: $385,000.
She looked around the interior, touched the dashboard, and said, “That sounds about right”.
So yes, this Brooklands should be considered inexpensive because these cars still look, feel and drive like $350,000-plus, and are truly remarkable for their quality and performance. They were likely the end of an era, and we are not likely to see anything quite this again.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.