This Bentley might look a bit like something our hosts Paddy, Freddie and Chris cooked up at the producers’ behest, but it’s actually a very special thing indeed—a one-off Continental R built by Bentley itself in the late ’90s for the company’s Italian distributor, Carlo Talamo.
At a cost of around a billion Italian lira—about £1 million in today’s money—Talamo’s Continental pays homage to the Blower Bentleys of the ’20s and ’30s. Meaning it’s quite racy.
Bentley stripped 200kg of weight from the standard car by removing the rear seats and stereo, fitting comparatively lightweight front seats and the smaller fuel tank from a Jaguar XJ220. Then it sent the engine off to Cosworth, where hotter camshafts, a bigger Garrett turbo, gas-flowed heads and a new ram air intake were installed.
The result? An increase of 25hp and 108Nm—425hp and 907Nm in all—allowing 0-60mph (97kph) in 5.5sec.
Of course it looks outrageous, too, with bright yellow cooling fans, a bare metal hood, and British Racing Green livery. The interior is all machined aluminum and quilted leather, plus harnesses and a roll cage. Because race car.
Now back in the UK for the first time since it was built, Talamo’s Continental has covered 16,000 miles since it was delivered in 1997. And you can buy it, for an undisclosed but no doubt rather high price. If you are a man or woman of means, we suggest you prime your credit card and call seller DK Engineering right now.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.