Pick of the Day: 1997 Bentley Brooklands for the price of a Honda

Rare Trophy Edition sedan is a low-mileage example loaded with features

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The Trophy Edition package added distinctive exterior and interior features

With top-tier automotive brands, low production usually comes at a price, often quite a steep price. When I say low production, it’s not about a total of 1,000 cars but more like fewer than 100. These special cars are usually in the rarified air and tend to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Consider the cost of very rare Ferraris and Aston Martins and you understand the type of cars and their values.

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But if you are clever and do your homework, you can sometimes find some hidden gems that offer an exclusive brand and a more-exclusive model from that brand for less than the price of a new Honda Civic Type R.

The Pick of the Day is such a such car, a low-mileage 1997 Bentley Brooklands Trophy Edition advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in O’Fallon, Illinois.

The Brooklands Trophy Edition was a special model offered in the last year of production for the original 4-door sedan. The Trophy Edition was built to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bentley’s first team participation in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race and their success in the 1922 Tourist Trophy races, where Bentley won the Team Prize.

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This special edition features a unique options group that includes:

Chrome-plated five spoke 17-inch wheels with green center badges.
Color-keyed exterior mirrors and cheater panels.
Color-keyed headlamp surrounds.
Color-keyed radiator vanes.
Color-keyed steering wheel rim.
Commemorative “Trophy Edition” plaques on both front-door sill plates.
Green enameled badges.
Triple coach lines (pinstriping).
A pair of Bentley golf umbrellas mounted in the luggage compartment lid.
Two-tone Turbo R SE style seats with Bentley wings embroidered on the headrests.
Wrap-around door trim with walnut crossbanding to the lower edges.

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Only 28 total Trophy edition Brooklands were produced, definitely putting it in the extremely scarce collector car category.

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The 1997 Brooklands also gained a number of options in its final year. The car had 2 inches more headroom, the first tilt steering column in any Bentley car, and most importantly a low-pressure turbocharger. This gave the 6,500-pound car the ability to cover 0-60 in 8 seconds with a top speed of more than 140 mph, which is quite fast for a car that heavy.

This Brooklands Trophy Edition is No. 7 of the 28 built, according to the seller. The Bentley is said to have been garage kept its entire life and has covered just over 47,000 miles from new. Painted in Burgundy with a Black-and-Burgundy Leather interior. This is an original paint car, the seller says, and the quality of the paintwork on a Bentley from this era is unmatched by anything other than a Rolls-Royce.

This car definitely makes a statement. How much of a statement? Sir Elton John had one when they were new.


Each of these amazing Bentleys could take as long as 10 months to build from start to finish, and the quality of the car can be seen everywhere, from the chrome and stainless trim to the leather headliner. Even the steering wheel of is said to take as much as a week to complete.

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The last of the classic Bentley sedans, this special-edition, low-mileage example is priced at just $26,500.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

13 COMMENTS

  1. nice car, okay it’s a special edition but similar ones are sold here in Europe for half of the price, and since being built in ’97 we’re not getting o-plates, so taxes are extremely high and you’re not allowed to enter big cities like Brussels, Gent but also not Stuttgart…
    Much luck to the seller

  2. Beautiful car no doubt a great reminder of the excess of the dot com era!! Can’t even imagine a hour of labor at the Bentley dealership today!

  3. Costs thousands of dollars for a brake job! To own and maintain this car you need “deep pockets”.

  4. Yes all true: rare, cheap, etc. But also Ugly, with a capitol U. Purple? Really?

    This is the final dress-up of a model on its last legs before a much-needed facelift. If you are buying as an investment, it’s important that the thing also looks good. If you are buying to enjoy owning and driving a Bentley, there are far prettier options for the same money — a decent Arnage in a better colour can be had for the same money.

  5. Getting parts for these cars is not an issue, paying for them might be.
    I owned a Turbo-R for five years and it was a fantastic car to drive and ride in. This Brooklands was among the last of the SZ series cars and so, has all of the updates and modifications introduced during the sixteen year (?) model run.
    The interior of this car is proof that the original owner had more money than taste. You might love it but the very best time to think about selling anything is before you buy it. A car with a questionable interior should be less expensive than average because it might take some time to find the right buyer.
    It is true that Elton John is a big fan for Bentleys and I’m sure he’s owned several SZ series cars – indeed sometimes when you’re looking at used Bentley’s in UK, you sometimes get the impression that it’s hard to find a car Sir Elton hasn’t owned.

  6. The Tourist Trophy races were held on the Isle of Man, NOT AT THE INDIANAPOLIS TRACK LET let alone at the annual 500 Mile Race. Bentley Motors did enter a car in that year’s Indy 500 but it finished 13th which is hardly much cause for celebration.

  7. the Bentley is cool but I also like those Toyota centuries as well and those cars are just as good and you can get one of those for about 10k in top condition. just saying

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