The mention of different manufacturers conjure up different thoughts in the mind of the car enthusiast; Ferrari provokes thoughts of V12’s and glorious racing history, Porsche, its ingenuity and flat 6’s, the name Shelby brings about a romantic story and V8’s fitted were they didn’t belong. Bentley however holds a special place in history, but not without an evolution within a brand that has seen success at LeMans while also being chosen as a head of states mode of transportation. Bentley has always remained performance oriented where it counts, but without sacrificing it’s stature and legacy as a luxury auto manufacturer.
The Bentley Arnage is the result of evolution and the last of it’s kind in many ways. In true Bentley fashion, a well-designed element always seems to linger throughout Bentley’s cars even through the years of progression and change. In this instance, and as a result of the sale of Bentley and Rolls Royce to BMW and Volkswagon, the Arnage from 1999-2006 ended up with the old iron block 6.75L Twin Turbo V8. Originally developed in the 1950’s for the S1. Though the Arnage, in 1998, was the first re-design of Bentley’s flagship sedan since 1980 it still carried this older designed engine, albeit with a big turbo, mated to a GM 4-speed automatic. It suited the car well, providing massive amounts of torque at 616 ft/lb’s. With this however came the need for stiffer chassis, bigger brakes and wheels and beefier suspension to compensate. The end result was a muscular car with presence that only got better once you were inside. Here modern touches such as a Alpine navigations system came standard. The ubiquitous wood veneer is found almost everywhere you look, and where it is not a healthy amount of leather can be found in its place. Cush, quiet, refined and purposeful the Bentley Arnage remains one of the best cars for the money in terms of its value in today’s market place compared to its cost when new; an incredible $260,000 before options.
The example on offer, a 2004 Bentley Arnage Red Label, comes to LBI from its 3rd owner, and a collector of Bentley’s. Originally delivered new to its first owner, a resident of Connecticut and Florida it remained under this ownership until 2012 at approximately 12,000 miles. Then returning to Florida for 5 more years and 4,000 miles before finding it’s most recent home since late 2018. Today this example shows only 17,256 miles, finished in contrasting desirable colors of Anthracite over Oxblood. While no service records are with the car to document it’s history, the CARFAX does show various services were completed and the facilities that completed the servicing. Additionally these cars are notorious for their reliability and there are no issues to note mechanically from our testing of the car. Included in the sale are three keys, original books, and two umbrella’s as delivered, in the trunk. The Arnage represents tremendous value and a must have for those seeking reliability and old world luxury with modern usability to add to their collection.
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Body And Paint
The paint shows nicely overall, and the color suites the car well. The only area of concern is the hood which appears to have been painted per our metering of the paint, it reads higher than other sections of the car. However this is likely due to a dent or a scratch and not from an accident.
Glass And Trim
The glass appears all original and without any major faults noted. The trim shows well with the exception of the "Red Label" badges do show some fading, likely from living in Florida. All other trim is in good condition as photographed.
The passenger side wheels do show some curbing but the tires are newer, date coded for 2016 and feeling supple with good tread life left.
Seats And Surfaces
The interior is plush, luxurious, and covered with leather and wood nearly everywhere. There are little to no issues to note as everything appears to match the mileage or better.
Functionality And Accessories
Everything is in working order throughout the interior. All electrical items function correctly however there are two known issues. That of the LCD navigation screen which has a tendency to continually flip open. A known issue on Arnage's with the Alpine Navigation system. As well as the minus (-) button which is missing from the center console fingertip control for the voice command. Both are minor but present issues to be aware of.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay is clean, appearing new in just about every way with no issues noted. With nothing out of place or missing.
The trunk area shows the same, clean, new, with the umbrella's neatly in their holders. Again, nothing out of place or missing.
The car starts easily, runs strong holding good temperature and oil pressure with not a single instance of an issue to note. Making incredible power throughout the RPM range it performs without fault.
The GM transmission is robust and strong, even though electronically controlled it provides seamless shifts to keep with the Bentley ideal of comfort. It works as intended with no issues to note.
Brakes And Suspension
The Red Label benefits from bigger brakes that bite well when needed with no signs of warping or need for attention. The suspension is quiet with no rattles, noises or inconsistencies to note.
The Tires are Continental ContiSport Contact 3's, 255/45 ZR19's on all 4 corners with a date code for 2016. Good tread life, still supple and without any bubbles or issues noted.
The Arnage Red Label is a power house, but totally quiet, comfortable, with a sort of domineering presence when on the road. It has all the hallmarks of a performance driven design mechanically but with extreme old world luxury and comfort on the inside. The phrase "they don't build them like this anymore" is absolutely applicable to such a comprehensive interior filled with the work of many craftsman.
- Colour Exterior Silver
- Interior Colours Red Leather
- Drive LHD