Annual mileage in the Turbo R demonstrates what a practical everyday car this is for a classic. If I didn’t store it during the winter, it’s possible that it could be covering 8,000 or more miles a year.
That’s if I could afford the fuel and more than one annual service. Costs have mounted up this year and although the Bentley has never broken down, a few jobs have been required (gas spheres, drive shaft boots, air-con re-gas, noisy fuel pump).
But maintaining the car at this level allows me to decide on a whim that perhaps today I’ll drive to a far-flung part of the country, and a few hours later I’m there.
The Turbo R went back to Crewe recently where I was able to sample the latest Flying Spur (that Bentley is a little faster than mine . . .), and a week later it took me from deepest Lincolnshire to Llandudno in around four hours.
And it felt quite majestic navigating the northern reaches of the A5, and tempting though it was to seek out the Real Car Company in Bethesda (a Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist) and see if there was anything interesting in stock, I resisted and continued to seek out some suitably impressive scenery.
The rev counter in the Turbo R has a red line set at 4,500rpm – about the same as a modern diesel car – and the three-speed auto is lazy. But with up to 487lb-ft of torque available it can afford to be.
It means that to exploit the Bentley’s ample performance, it’s sometimes necessary to take control of the steering column mounted gear selector and slip it back into second (‘I’ for intermediate) and witness the world around the car turn into a blur.
As the chill of late autumn becomes more present in the morning air, it’s time to consider the Turbo R’s winter hibernation. But in a year when it has provided many hours of driving pleasure, delaying the inevitable is all too tempting.