Top Gear’s Series 22 Australian Special left me somewhat in awe. I certainly wasn’t in awe of the landscape. Being Australian, I know that particular parts of the Northern Territory are indeed extremely beautiful, but the parts Top Gear visited weren’t. Nor was I in awe of the scope of their journey. It was essentially a drive of a few hundred kilometres from Darwin to a cattle station in the middle of nowhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. But I must admit, as hardcore car fan I was cringing for almost the entire show, as I watched three of my favourite super cars being treated with brutality.
The sight of them being hurled across the Australian landscape – from washboard dirt roads, through a quarry and then finally to one of the countries biggest farms was incredible, but so was the toll it took on all three cars. While they were all still working perfectly by the end, they were all very much battered and bruised.
Richard Hammond’s Bentley Continental GT in particular suffered from extensive stone chipping to the paintwork – a result of all the high-speed driving undertaken on rough Northern Territory roads. There were also reports of extensive under-body damage.
But now you can buy it, for just AU$429,990.
Looks like new, doesn’t it? That’s because for all intents and purposes, it is. We’ve had reports that all of the Bentley’s damaged or worn parts have been replaced and the vehicle has also undergone a complete body respray. Probably a few hundred hours worth of detailing too, to get rid of every last spec of red dust. But would you actually buy it? Knowing where it has been and what it has gone through? I’m not so sure that I would. Without a doubt, it is now a part of Top Gear history. Richard Hammond drove it personally. And with just 7,000kms on the clock. But these points alone certainly aren’t enough to sway my opinion.
If you were in the market for a Bentley, would you consider it?