The Bentley Arnage was a full-size luxury executive car manufactured at their Crewe facility from 1998 to 2009. The Arnage and its Rolls-Royce-branded sibling, the Silver Seraph, were introduced in the spring of 1998. They were the first entirely new designs for the two marques since 1980.
The Arnage was powered by BMW’s potent M62 V8 engine, with Cosworth-engineered twin-turbo installation, and was paired with a five-speed ZF-sourced automatic transmission driving the rear axle. In early 1999, this Arnage was renamed the Arnage Green Label for its 2000 model year – a fine example of which is offered here.
In September 2008, Bentley announced that production of the Arnage would end during 2009 and be replaced with the Bentley Mulsanne.
Production of this striking Bentley Arnage Green Label concluded at Bentley’s Pyms Lane factory in Crewe on Tuesday, 19th January, 1999. It was dispatched to H. R. Owen plc in London where it received its first UK registration on 28th January, 1999.
Today, some 23 years later, its highly presentable condition suggests that each of this Bentley’s eight former keepers loved it more than the previous. The current owner – who has driven little else other than Bentley’s and Rolls-Royces – acquired the car in early February, 2019.
Having enjoyed just under 8,000 miles in the car since then, it is reluctantly offered for sale to a new keeper to make way for the imminent arrival of a new member of what is an evolving prestige collection.
The car has a valid MoT to 20th December, 2022. Of interest is car’s eighteen previous MoT tests, all were recorded passes except one in 2007, which received a fail due to an ineffective lamp bulb. For the past several years, the car has been dry-stored when not in use and driven under dry conditions whenever taken out.
Accompanying the sale of this stunning Bentley Arnage Green Label will be two sets of keys, the V5C registered in the current keeper’s name, the aforementioned MoT certificate, the original leather-bound Bentley-embossed holdall containing the Owner’s Manuals and fully-stamped service record books.
In addition, there is a raft of supporting service and maintenance paperwork, including the three most recent routine annual services undertaken by the current keeper intended to maintain and present the car in an exemplary condition for the new keeper’s benefit.
As may be anticipated of a high-end luxury marque, the interior of this Bentley presents in exceptional condition. While a little short of showroom condition, the interior offers up swathes of superior magnolia leather (code A3997) covering the armchair-like furniture, all elegantly trimmed with cobalt blue piping (code A4498).
The interior is a sight to behold and an olfactory delight. Each time you enter the cabin there is a pervading sense of luxury, supported by the deep, shag pile carpeting presented in matching cobalt blue (code 98). The rear of the cabin appears as though no-one has ever been back there.
A blend of fine-quality leather and pristine veneered wood trim covers the well-laid-out dashboard, centre console, door cards and roof lining. There is an Alpine CD shuttle concealed beneath the driver’s armrest which is compatible to the Alpine radio/cassette unit in the centre console.
While much mention has been made of the quality and perhaps quantity of the wooden veneered trim within this Bentley, it is all tastefully presented and its volume not remotely excessive. All the switchgear and interior electricals including seat adjustments and windows are said by the vendor to be in fine working order.
The condition of the exterior of this Bentley Arnage Green Label matches that of the pristine interior and is indicative of the love and care afforded the car during the past two decades. The light lenses are clear and show no hint of fogging that may sometimes be associated with a car of this age. The twin sets of headlamps are protected by glass covers which were replaced by plastic units from 2,001.
The front and rear bumpers are in remarkable condition and blemish-free. The handsome two-tone, five-spoke alloys are shod with a set of Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tyres all of which are in very good condition. The alloys show no scuffs or evidence of being ‘curbed’ and too are in superb condition.
The brightwork around the car – including the Bentley badges and Flying B on the bonnet – is in exceptional condition, none of which has a scratch or mark to its surface. A cursory glance down each flank of the car shows no evidence of damage and even the front valance and number plate, for all their vulnerability, remain blemish free.
It must be noted that there is a small indent to the leading side of the driver’s door mirror – likely to have been caused by an errant stone learning – but failing – to fly.
The driver’s door mirror is slightly loose in its housing, meaning that the electrical adjustment isn’t fully functional at present.
At the photo location, courtesy of the Lasham Gliding Society near Alton, Hampshire, the Bentley was frequently repositioned to obtain the best of the available light at this time of year. Somewhat naturally, the car started first and every time and settled into an appreciative V8 burble, albeit somewhat refined and understated compared to other more brash V8-powered motors we snappers usually encounter.
The five-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox connected smoothly and ‘Drive’ engaged with no drama, requiring a just the gentlest of revs to get underway.
The custodian reports the car to be in excellent mechanical condition with steering, brakes, engine, drivetrain and running gear performing as well as their respective and highly-skilled engineers intended over twenty years ago.
Like the immediately visible parts of this prestige Bentley, the underside and sills of the car present in good order with a degree of natural oxidation that may reasonably be expected on a car of this age and mileage. The current owner has treated the underside of the car with Dynax and Waxoyl protection every year while in his charge.
There are a number of Bentley Arnage models about in various states of presentability. However, according to the website howmanyleft.co.uk, the numbers of Arnage Green Label models registered in the UK peaked at just 19 cars in 2000. Since then, just 15 of those remain registered in the UK.
In N3 BKL, we have a rare but rudely healthy 1999 example of one of Bentley’s finest and most luxurious continent crushers as the Arnage commenced its production life.
In addition, membership to the Bentley Driver’s Club founded by Keston Pelmore in March 1936 is open to everyone with historic, current and future interest in this prestige marque and its members are as knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic as they come.
G’won…because you’re here, pop on a cheeky bid. If this writer could he most surely would…but alas, cannot, which makes for quite a sad day, if truth be told.
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1999 Bentley Arnage Green Label
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