When you think of aftermarket car accessories and tuning, the first vehicles that come to mind are probably Corsas, Saxos, Fiestas and so on.
A Bentley Turbo R might not necessarily be among those vehicles, but this car is surprisingly upgradeable.
It had already shed its original 15-inch wheels in favour of a set of 1990s 17-inch Bentley alloys, as well as had twin headlamp units retro-fitted (a job that cost the thick end of £1,000 in the early 1990s, according to the receipts that came with the car) and there was more to come.
When I bought it, I was offered a set of ‘B’ tyre valve dust caps, either in red or black. This presented me with a dilemma: the wheel hub centres had the ‘B’ set in black; badges elsewhere on the car had ‘Turbo’ in red typeface. The Bentley logo on top of the radiator grille surround was also red.
The only answer for the car to be properly coordinated was to have the wheel hub centres changed for red ones. After discussing it with Colbrook Specialists in Stilton, the suggestion was simply to have the black ones repainted in red.
Another job on the ‘to do’ list was to have a new alarm and immobiliser fitted. There was a Cobra alarm under the bonnet that no longer worked, so this was replaced with a new Toad alarm and immobiliser, which also includes a ‘plip’ central locking function. So much more sophisticated to push a button to activate the central locking, too, rather than fiddle about with a key in the lock.
Although I love the contemporary Blaupunkt radio/cassette, I’m tempted to replace it with something that has a USB socket so I can listen to my music collection.
I can’t remember buying an audio cassette after 1995, but as I’ve already spent a bit on the car already, that particular upgrade should come out of the 2013 budget.
One piece of dated equipment that’s staying put: the Turbo R has an old Excell carphone fitted in the centre console storage compartment. It doesn’t work – it doesn’t take SIM cards – but it adds to the late-1980s ambience.