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1996 Bentley Azure
Here at Classical Gas we specialize in classics so when you see us list a newer vehicle you know it has to be special. Well there is no denying something bearing that winged "B" is special. Produced by Rolls Royce these were the cars of luxury. Brand new these cars were priced over $300,000 and owned by the elite. Seeing a celebrity cruising in a Bentley is not a shock but a common site. In fact Oprah Winfreys 96 Bentley is owned by the Volo museum whose collection highlights include Batmobiles, Grease Lightning, and other iconic Movie cars. The 1996 Bentley is special in that it was the first year for the Convertible Azure body style and the only year for the vertical grill. It is also rare in the fact that only 163 Azure Series 1 convertibles were built per year creating a production total of only 1,308 from 1995-2003. This beautifully designed convertible is coated in a nice Dark Blue that looks amazing out in the sun. The top raises and lowers with no issues and matches the color of the car. A video is available showing how easily the top can be removed/applied.
Being a luxury vehicle, going fast doesn't seem like it would be a priority. Well it wasn't forgotten by the builders of the 6.75L 412 cu in motor under this hood. It flies down the road and drives extremely well. The ride is very smooth with minimal road noise. The interior of the car is just as beautiful as the rest with all Beige leather. It has a lot of wooden accents which are in great condition and add that touch of class. To get a breakdown of all the features the car has to offer check out the table below:
3-Point Rear Seat Belts
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Adjustable Steering Wheel
Center Arm Rest
Coolant Temp. Gauge
Engraved VIN Codes
Front Bucket Seats
Interior Hood Release
Leather Steering Wheel
Passive Restraint System
Remote Fuel Door
Third Brake Light
Third Row Seat
The following is an article taken from cars.com and written by George Moore to give you an unbiased review of Bentleys line up in 1996: By George Moore IndyStar.com October 8, 1995 It could not have been a better setting for the display of 1996 Rolls-Royces and Bentleys in the Thornhill section of Zionsville. This quaint village is the home of the Albers Rolls-Royce agency, America's oldest exclusive Rolls-Royce dealership. So, it was only fitting that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Inc., should trot out its new line at an Indiana location. For 1996, Rolls is offering a series of Rolls-Royce and Bentley sedans, a Bentley coupe, and a Bentley convertible coupe. This first Bentley convertible in 25 years bears the rather exotic name Bentley Azure and comes complete with sleek appearance and breathtaking price. To complement the new cars, there is at last a new look. The convertible obviously represents new styling, with the sedans being close behind. Rolls has joined the modern age and embraced aerodynamics. But not so much that the cars don't look like Rolls-Royces. The styling for the sedans is more rounded. The grille that marks the automobile as undeniably being a Rolls-Royce is a little smaller. The famed Flying Lady mascot that graces the grille is a bit smaller in order to retain the proper proportions relative to the rest of the front end design. The line's knockout punch is the Bentley Azure convertible. The price of $319,000 is liable to knock anyone out. Styled by Pinanfarina of Italy and built by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Crewe, England, every one of the 30 convertibles allocated to the North American market was sold before being built. In fact, there is a waiting list for the Azure. "You're looking at about mid-1996 for orders taken now," said Herman Albers, owner of Albers Rolls-Royce. This is some set of wheels, beginning with Rolls' 412-cubic inch (6.75-liters) aluminum V-8. An engine of this size automatically ensures power. Rolls takes the next step, giving the V-8 a turbocharger with a water-cooled intercooler to drop the temperature of the fuel/air mass going into the engine. Added is a ZYTEK EMS 3 computer-controlled engine management system. The ensuing results is 385- to 400-horsepower and a whopping 553 foot-pounds of torque. Rolls reportedly claims 385-horsepower. Mel Donegan, Rolls' zone service manager, said at the showing, "It's 400." At 5,400 pounds of curb weight, 15-horsepower one way or the other probably isn't going to make that much difference. It's the tremendous torque of 412 cubic inches that hurls almost three tons of motor car forward with a vengeance. The differential optimizes rear wheel traction, and Rolls says 0-60 mph acceleration is in the 6-second bracket. That's a time that puts a big, heavy, luxury automobile right in the middle of the muscle cars. Top speed is electronically limited to 150 mph. It almost goes without saying that the car is loaded with amenities. New is an electronically controlled tilt steering column that is linked to preset positions of the driver's seat and mirrors. Also, the touch of a switch rolls the front seat forward so that back seat passengers have more room to get in or out. A second touch moves the front seat back to its original position. There is a complete range of power-assist equipment, dual climate control, dual air bags, and a computerized automatic ride control system. There are three ride modes boulevard, normal and sports with the suspension setting determined by vehicle speed, road conditions, and driving habits. For example, if a driver should suddenly swerve while the car is in boulevard or normal mode, the suspension will shift to the firmer sports mode within milliseconds.
As you can see this car may not be a classic yet, but will be someday. It is the type of car that in 20 years will still be desirable as it wasn't overproduced like most cars on the road. It is an amazing driver and will provide a smooth ride for years to come!
Priced lower than NADA at only $69,900.00!
Prediction is for total sales of $342 million
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