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2008 Bentley Azure Convertible
Chassis no. SCBDC48H49CX13511

So far, Bentley's 1980s resurgence had relied on models whose basic architecture was shared with other Rolls-Royce products; but also on display at Geneva in '85 was Project 90, a mocked-up coupé intended to gauge public response to the idea of a high-performance car unique to Bentley. When the real thing - the Bentley Continental R - was unveiled six years later, the waiting crowd burst into spontaneous applause. Styled with the assistance of consultants International Automotive Design, the Continental R benefited from computer-aided design and wind tunnel testing in the devising of its sleekly streamlined shape. Despite the need to incorporate non-traditional features such as doors recessed into the roof, the result looked every bit a Bentley, albeit one re-stated for the 1990s. Also new was the gearbox, a four-speed automatic with an 'overdrive' top ratio, but the main focus of interest was the newcomer's performance. Needless to say this was staggering, the combination of the Turbo R engine in the new wind-cheating shape cutting the 0-60mph time to under six seconds and boosting top speed to more than 150mph.

The Corniche convertible had been a major success for Rolls-Royce so it can have surprised few onlookers when a soft-top version of the Bentley Continental R was announced, albeit a full four years after the Coupé's introduction. Once again, Geneva was chosen to launch what would turn out to be the first Bentley model in several decades to use an entirely new name - 'Azure' - which, like 'Corniche' and 'Camargue', evoked exotic destinations in the South of France. The famous Italian styling house of Pininfarina – a firm with unrivalled experience in the design of soft-top Gran Turismos – had been chosen to develop the Azure on the four-seater Continental R platform, and there was no questioning that the result was most successful. Bodyshells were assembled in Italy by Pininfarina, fitted with the automatic soft-top, painted and shipped back for finishing at Crewe. Mechanically similar to the Continental R, but with an engine further up-rated to 385bhp, the Azure was launched in 1995 and cost £215,000 in the UK. Hailed by its maker as, 'the world's best convertible', the Azure lived up to that grand title, proving an immense success especially in North America where its combination of unmatched luxury, effortless performance, and soft-top style was found highly attractive. When production ceased in 2003 a total of only 1,321 Azures of all types had been built.
This left-hand drive Azure was ordered new by our vendor from Bentley Geneva and delivered in July 2008. The Bentley was ordered in Magnolia exterior finish and came equipped with various special features including the following, which brought the purchase price up to CHF530,000:

Bright stainless steel matrix insert
Chrome door mirror caps
Radiator shell chrome
Cabriolet seat covering with Bentley embroidered
Drilled aluminium foot pedals
Recessed Bentley Marque badges to waist rails
Vavona veneer
Veneer cruise control switch surround
19" six-spoke wheels - chromed

Since acquisition the Bentley has been stored as part of the vendor's extensive private collection in the Middle East and will require recommissioning before returning to the road. Accompanying documentation consist of copies of the sales invoice. Few cars combine five-star luxury and effortless power like a modern turbo-charged Bentley, and this beautiful one-owner, sub 500 km from new Azure represents quite outstanding value for money.

Please note that if this vehicle remains in Belgium, it will be subject to Import Duty at 10% (+VAT) and 21% Import VAT on the hammer price. Import rates to other EU Country's may vary for VAT rate and an administration fee will be charged to prepare the necessary customs clearances with the Bonhams Customs Agents. Please note that if you purchase as an EU Company, the VAT amount will be calculated based on your registered countries rate. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department or our recommended shippers.

Please note that this vehicle is not offered with any original registration documents, bidders should satisfy themselves as to registration requirements in their own jurisdiction. Please contact the department for further information.

CHF80,000 – 120,000
No reserve

Bonhams 1793
101 New Bond Street
United Kingdom
Contact Person Kontaktperson
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department