A fine example of ’90s opulence could be yours

Only five were ever built. Meet the rare, coachbuilt Bentley ‘Empress II’
by Vijay Pattni | Nov 16, 2018
PHOTO: TopGear.com
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Underneath this rare Bentley coupe sits the chassis and running gear from Bentley’s Turbo R. So that means a big 6.75-liter turbo V8, around 400hp, and 0-100kph in just over 6sec.

The topside, however, is totally bespoke. Welcome to the 1991 Bentley Turbo RL Empress II Coupe: one of just five models ever built, and also one of the oddest-looking Bentleys in existence.

Odd, but in an interesting way. Hooper & Company is responsible for the coachwork, constructed entirely from aluminum, turning the four-door Turbo RL sedan into a really long two-door rarity. H&C built stuff for the royal family, so it’s proper.

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This particular car is the fourth of five Empress IIs built, of which two were left-hand-drive. It comes with that unique bodywork, electric front and rear seats, a sports steering wheel, a sunroof, 12-speaker Alpine stereo, and even a cocktail cabinet because, hey, it’s a big Bentley.

After posing as a model for H&C’s own advertising, this car eventually found its way into the Calmut Collection, alongside other “significant coach-built Rolls-Royce and Bentley models,” according to RM Sotheby’s. Yep, it’s going up for auction, next year in Arizona.

Barring the chrome wheels, it’s completely original, and has just 7,228 miles (11,632km) on the clock. There’s lots of build documentation, and best of all, there is no reserve. Have a scroll through the pics and take a trip back in time to early ’90s opulence.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: TopGear.com
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