This bespoke Bentley Continental is a billion-lire boss hog

A grand and opulent Bentley Continental Grand Tourer butchered by an Italian nobleman for the sake of performance and visual aggression. It sounds wrong; so why is it currently our favourite car in the Classic Driver Market?

An extravagant Italian nobleman who made his fortune importing Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs and, subsequently, Rolls-Royces, Carlo Talamo commissioned this bespoke hot-rodded Bentley Continental R in the late 1990s. Internally codenamed Project 116, the car was conceived to be a modern-day interpretation of the Cricklewood-built Bentley Blowers of the 1930s. A crash diet resulted in a staggering weight loss of 200kg, Cosworth went to town on the engine and Talamo dreamed up a raft of external modifications including circular air vents in place of the inside headlights and a brushed aluminium bonnet dotted with NACA ducts. We imagine it’s the Bentley Owners’ Club’s worse nightmare, but for us, it might be our ultimate smoker. 

A forebear to the omnipresent stripped out sports cars today, Project 116 reportedly cost Talamo a billion lire in 1996. You might be wondering why this unique Italian-delivered Bentley has its steering wheel on the right. Well, Talamo admitted that, while he’d invested so much love and money into the car, he’d one day have to sell it. And when that day came, only a Brit would understand the method behind the madness of a racing-spec Continental. Following a stint in the spectacular garage of our good friend Eugenio Amos, the billion-lire Bentley is, sure enough, currently for sale with DK Engineering in the United Kingdom. 

Photos: Alex Penfold for DK Engineering © 2020