Bentley Mulsanne Turbo

By 1980, Rolls-Royce had committed to restoring an individual identity to the Bentley marque as a more performance-oriented offering. One of the earliest examples of that intent was the Bentley Mulsanne, introduced in 1980 and named for the high-speed straightaway at Le Mans. The Garrett-turbocharged Mulsanne Turbo arrived in 1982 with an improved suspension and a 50 percent increase in output.

While the Mulsanne Turbo had prodigious performance, award-winning customizer Andy Saunders felt it lacked the style and presence it should have had, likening it to “a large Volvo.” In Saunders’ hands, this “gentleman’s hot rod” received looks that better matched the specifications. In comprehensive restyling work done between October 2002 and July 2003, a 1983 Mulsanne Turbo purchased from a Bentley main dealer with light front end damage was transformed into “Mentley Insanne,” a low, sleek design with a number of striking details. Every panel, save the bonnet, was modified, and in addition to the handmade custom work, parts of nine different cars were employed to create the precise form Saunders envisioned. To start, the roof was lowered 76 millimetres and ends in a glass landau top, formed from the panoramic roof of a Mercedes-Benz 280SL. Range Rover front and rear lights are complemented by what appears to be a traditional Bentley grill, which in fact has been lowered and widened.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

328 hp, 6,750 cc turbocharged V8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs and rear self-leveling, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 120.5".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credits: Andy Saunders

Gallery: Bentley Mulsanne Turbo