Bargain Bentley? 2000 Bentley Arnage

Buying a classic car will always involve taking a leap of faith. Just how large that leap is will depend on the vehicle in question and what issues and hurdles you could potentially face along the way. This 2000 Bentley Arnage is a perfect example of this. It offers its next owner unrivaled luxury and exclusivity levels, but it might come at a high price. It isn’t the sale price that is the issue here because that has been set at $14,999. There is something else important to consider, as you will soon discover. I have to say a huge thank you to Barn Finder rex m who spotted the Bentley for us and has given us a classic car to ponder over. It is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist.

The owner only supplies the single exterior photo of the Glacier White Bentley, and it doesn’t appear to be perfect. The paint on the front bumper wears a few marks, while the plastic headlamp covers have become cloudy. What we can see of the rest of the exterior looks good, with no evidence of accident damage or rust. The Arnage is not a vehicle prone to rust problems, so I am willing to accept that this one is structurally sound. When we turn our attention to the interior, we are faced with acres of timber veneer and leather upholstery. I always like the look of leather, and when it is a light color, it adds to the luxurious feel of the interior. This gives me the chance to throw some useless facts that you can use to dazzle your friends. When Bentley is sourcing their leather, they have several critical criteria as part of the selection process. The first is that it needs to come from an area that has few mosquitoes. The second is that all of their leather comes from bulls. That first is to ensure that insect bites haven’t scarred the leather, and it is also why they source the leather from areas that use minimal amounts of barbed-wire in their fences. The reason that they use the leather from bulls is that bulls don’t have calves. When a cow is calving, her skin will develop stretch marks as the calf grows. Bulls don’t have this problem, so those are the hides that Bentley uses. This interior looks lovely, with the leather appearing to be soft and supple. There is some slight wear on the driver’s seat, but a specialist should be able to address this. The timber trim glows richly, and there is no wear on the wheel. There are all of the usual luxury appointments in there, including air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power front seats, a premium CD stereo, cruise, an automatic trunk close, front and rear parking sensors, and tray-tables for rear seat occupants.

Under the hood of the Arnage, we will find a 6.75-liter turbocharged V8 that pumps out 395hp. The power from that V8 finds its way to the rear wheels via a GM 4L80-E 4-speed automatic transmission. The more luxurious and isolating a car is, the higher the overall weight will tend to be. That means that it is no surprise that the Bentley tips the scales at an incredible 6,548lbs. Even more astonishing is that despite that weight, it can demolish the ¼ mile in 14.8 seconds. This is the moment where we need to consider the leap of faith that I referred to earlier. It seems that the Arnage might not be in sound mechanical health. The owner has been told that it will need a head gasket. The car does run and drive, but this is an issue that will require attention sooner rather than later. I don’t know how much this sort of repair will cost, but I suspect that it won’t be a cheap fix.

So, what do you think? At the asking price, this 2000 Bentley Arnage has to be a tempting proposition. However, there has to be a question mark hanging over it due to the head gasket issue. Pulling the cylinder head has the potential to be the equivalent of opening a can of worms. If it is merely a gasket failure, that might not be so bad. If there are other problems like warped cylinder heads, this has the potential to be ugly. Would you be willing to take the leap, or would you choose to pass on this one?

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Few things in life are more expensive than a bargain of any sort. But at least if you don’t solve the gremlins on this beauty, you can lease it out as an air bnb.

    Like 12
  2. Jcs

    Make it easy, show up with 110 $100 bills, offer him 100 of them first. Load her up and take her home.

    Drop in a healthy LS1, or if pocket can take it an LSA and cruise in comfort and style. The trannys are already strong.

    Like 16
    • SirRaoulDuke

      You are not easily swapping a LS in this. But certainly there is some value here if one can bargain down. It ain’t for me though.

      Like 4
      • KenB

        Any swap into this will not just be the engine.. you need gearbox as well and all electrics has to be “joined witht eh cars ECU or it iwll just be a drving disaster :-p fix the headgasket – have the surface checked first and then check bores for evt. troubles.. even as a nonengine car this – if can be dealt at 10k USD is a REAL bargain :-)

        Like 2
      • Dave

        Apparently you’re not repairing the existing motor easily either. A big block Chevy and trans would easily and cheaply fix this car. The initial cost of the car is still too steep though

        Like 1
      • ChingaTrailer

        Dave – have you ever even seen one of these up close? Yeah, sticking a Chevrolet engine and transmission into the hole where the Bentley parts came out of may be relatively easy, but if you want to make a car of it, how you gonna make the brakes, suspension and electrics work?

  3. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    10 grand for the car…30 grand to swap out the motor…5 grand to freshen the trim bits and buff out the paint. That’s STILL a bargain for a Bentley…if you want the car.

    Like 2
  4. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    That is far too cheap.
    I was looking to buy one of these in recent weeks but after doing some research on the forums got scared off.
    I can’t risk random and possibly frequent $5k+ repair bills.
    May as well lease a brand new Range Rover and have a warranty.

    Like 6
  5. CJinSD

    I’m surprised by the listed weight of three and a quarter tons. I think the figure you saw was the gross vehicle weight rating, which is the car’s weight combined with its maximum capacity for passengers and luggage. The car itself weighs somewhere between 5,280 pounds and 5,556 pounds.

    Like 6
  6. Steve Clinton

    It always surprises me when these high-end once-expensive cars end up so cheap. (Jaguar especially comes to mind.)

    Like 3
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      It’s because the repairs will truly cripple most people.
      I am torn as I really want one.
      This one is suspiciously low though.

      Like 7
    • KenB

      Jaguar?? well had a few – serviced even more and sevel ever more again.. and yes if going to a robbing aut. dealer it might be expensive – but if you know what you are dealing with you will be shocked then to see how easy and cheap many parts can be found.. most from early 1990´ties and upwards can be foudn OEM for low bucks.. and late 1990´ties and up can often be found as Ford parts.. it is all about how and whom you adress a problem..

      Like 2
      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        I might consider a new XJ but the older cars are quite tight inside.

        Like 1
  7. That Guy

    I didn’t even have to read the writeup to know the fault was going to be “needs head gasket.” These engines are infamous for head gasket problems, and it’s apparently a five-figure repair, a massive job. I’ve seen otherwise magnificent-looking 1990’s-early 2000’s RR’s and Bentleys offered cheap by specialist repair shops because they know they’ll be upside-down on the car if they do the repair and try to recoup their investment. As tempting as it is, this car is at best a labor of love for someone who has massive skills and a lot of time.

    Like 6
  8. Larry Member

    I have a 1999 Bentley Arnage 4dr Sedan with 29,000 original miles for $45,000 USD, Delivery is available. Call 573-541-1970 or email collectorcarsandparts@yahoo.com

    Like 4
    • alphasud Member

      Why not list this with BarnFinds rather than cheating them out of a profit. Your marketing approach tells me all I need to know about your ethics.

      Like 37
      • Larry Member

        FYI, It is already advertised in Barn Finds

        Like 9
      • alphasud Member

        Sorry Larry, I take back the remark! Maybe BarnFinds can reference finds with listings to bring attention to cars for sale here. I often overlook the sale listings unless they show in this section.

        Like 9
  9. Steve Clinton

    I think the solution to a prohibitively expensive repair would be; buy a flatbed truck, park it on the back and go cruising.

    Like 4
  10. Steve Clinton

    From the craigslist ad…”Please don’t waste my time I’m very busy.” Possible buyers might see that and say ‘Fine, keep your damn car!”

    Like 18
  11. alphasud Member

    I know even as a technician who likes challenges I couldn’t afford the parts cost alone. For those of you thinking you will engine swap this think again. You will need to come up with a solution to the central hydraulics. So you are either finding another hydraulic pump that meets the system demands as this one is not a belt mounted pump but one that is bolted in the V of the engine. You will have more invested doing the swap than pulling this engine and resealing it.

    Like 10
    • Bill McCoskey

      I operated a restoration shop specializing in Rolls-Royce and Bentley, I’ve had multiple guys call me about helping them complete their change over from the original motor, to a GM or Ford motor. I say again, they were looking for help in completing their screw-up, because it’s a damn near impossible challenge if you do it to a reasonable degree of safety. 2 of the guys asking for help were experienced hot rod and custom car builders. They didn’t realize how unique and different these cars are.

      The incredibly complicated braking system, dating back to 1965, uses 2 hydraulic pumps driven off the engine camshaft, to supply hydraulic fluid to a pair of hydraulic [nitrogen gas pressurized] storage spheres [the grenades] with dual valving systems, that directs the fluid thru a special dual proportioning valve acting as a high pressure side of the master cylinder, to send high pressure fluid [up to 2,500 psi] to the 4 huge calipers on the front wheels, as well as 2 calipers on the rear wheels.

      PLUS, there is a non pressurized system master cylinder and calipers on the rear wheels, that act both as a 3rd backup brake system, and a way of providing a “feel” to the brake pedal, using a balance beam between the high side and the low side systems. Just bleeding the brake system requires expensive equipment,

      And don’t forget the same hydraulics are used to level the car using high pressure fluid shock absorbers [on all 4 wheels on the earlier cars, and on the rear 2 rear wheels on later cars including this one. All flexible lines and fittings are subject to micro leaks, as the fluid is a special mineral oil, much thinner in viscosity than regular DOT3, 4, or 5 fluid.

      And what you read above is an overly simplified version just to try to explain the basics. I’m a factory trained R-R mechanic for these brakes, and every time I had to work on them, it was important to first consult the manual for the constant updates.

      Depending on the model year and the authorized dealer performing the repairs, a TOTAL brake & hydraulic suspension system overhaul can cost $15,000 and up.

      Like 3
      • james

        Once upon a time: I was the proud owner of a 1987 Silver Spirit named appropriately ‘Henryetta – purchased from Henry Preen no less. Worst car I ever owned ! I live in Orange county ca. and we see lots of cars here, except those 80’s Rollers, just don’t see them because they don’t hold up because not only the above described complications and defects but let’s not forget to mention the…..yes, Wiring !

  12. SMOKEY Member

    No, No and NO !!!! Unless you are very wealthy and really want this particular Bentley. Against my better advice, I helped a good friend buy essentially the same car same year as a Rolls Royce. That car was trouble, even tho brand new, from the beginning. No local dealer in town here so it always had to be driven north to San Francisco for warranty work.. One trip was not fun. Driving north to the dealer in 100 degree summer heat with ALL the windows stuck in the down position due to a failed ancient designed hydraulic design. A/C on full blast was no help. A few months later, he donated the car to a religious charity. It had just 23,000 miles on it.

    Like 3
    • A.J.

      Rolls and Bentley are not ” essentially the same car as a Rolls Royce.” Bentley, owned by VW , Rolls Royce owned by BMW.

      Like 2
      • ChingaTrailer

        Suggest you study your history. There was an event in 1931 you don’t know about!

        Like 3
  13. Superdessucke

    Bargain Bentley? Such a thing does not exist, at least not in this space time continuum.

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      ‘Beam me up, Scotty!’

      Like 1
  14. DON SICURA

    Looks like an ideal car for a movie production company to destroy on film.

    Like 8
  15. James C Simpson

    I have been repairing Exotic car parts since 1990. In that time I have repaired Q=4 Discontinued Bentley Arnage ignition switches. The COMPLEXITY is beyond reasonability. A rotary encoder having 16 to 32 tiny frail contacts in it can be fried- simply by momentarily reversing polarity during a jump start. The delicate encoder switch is embossed with the logo “ITT”. The last encoder I fixed had additionally added line “Made In China”. I research and found the ITT version lost in a corporate takeover. Apparently, China picked up the fumbled ball, and ran with it. Yes, I DID fix them–after they signed my disclaimer. Many parts are simply NLA–for all practical purposes. I also fixed rear window regulators by casting new gears. Thank you, Bentley, for keeping my trade alive! My ability to repair is simply tied to the high value of the repairs, otherwise, I could not entertain the time.

    Like 9
    • Ike Onick

      Hmmm. “Close Encoders of The Third Kind” Not so good.

      Like 2
  16. Chinga-Trailer

    This parts car is very seriously over-priced! Blown head gasket is Craig-Speak for blown engine usually, cost of repairs will exceed the $6500 – $7000 realistic retail price level at which running examples really trade hands for.

    Like 1
    • KenB

      Chinga-Trailer – please let me know where running examples of the 2000+ Bentleys can be hand … never foudn one not even in the UK.. nor in Western America.. the older silver Spirit etc.. yes.. especially as most US companies know sh** about British high end cars (good for us as this measn we can actually get them at a price where even shipping across the Atlantic to EU or even to Russia can be doen incl. repairs then) and STILL make a profit.. :-)

      • Steve Clinton

        Spell Check?

        Like 3
  17. Chinga-Trailer

    KenB – A friend bought a very similar car at auction for $6500 and drove it home. He then paid $500 for a matching parts car similar to the one at hand here. These are not desirable cars and perhaps Craigslist in L.A. or S.F. will find those owned by people desperate to dump them! Large metro areas where significant numbers were sold when new are the best place to find them now.

    Like 3
  18. Frank Sumatra

    Bentley+head gasket+Craigslist= Disaster

    Like 8
  19. Norman McGill

    These are very nice cars but I wouldn’t buy anything that didn’t come from an American factory. That’s it, plain and simple.If you can afford to buy this car and spend the money to fix it then you can afford to buy a new one. Personally I rather have a 1960 Continental convert with AC. It’ll last a lot longer.

    Like 1
  20. Earl Chambers

    WOW. Show ya how little I know, only thing I thought was wrong was the foggy headlights.

    Like 1
    • robert semrad

      LOL….good one….

  21. Twinstick

    The problem with Bentleys is the cost of maintaining them. This one needs engine work. Then, there’s the cost of maintaining the wood veneers and leather. Finally, you’ll have to get the rest of the chassis serviced. If have the cash, then this is the car for you.

  22. David

    You can’t repair a car like that because cost of repair are tooooo expensive unless you have an unlimited amount of dough. This is only good for a good looking paper weight.

  23. Sunshine

    An engine or transmission shifter photo would be helpful to discern if this is a non-turbo BMW/ZF-auto 5 speed [Green Label] or a traditional 6.75 RR/Bentley V8 turbo with a GM-auto 4 speed [Red Label]. 2000 Was still during the breakup of RR/Bentley to BMW & VW. The Arnage was the last “hand-built” bespoke Bentley.

    Like 2
    • Brent Schneider

      1998/1999 was the breakup. This car is not a red or green but just Arnage. As a 2000, it was probably made prior to the October 1999 nomenclature of red or green.

  24. Mountainwoodie

    What a tasteless example of incompetence, bad design and needlessness. A potential buyer would be better off investing in counseling. Maybe a daily dose of BF would be the cheapest form of therapy.

    Sad.

    Like 7
  25. Rick

    Bargain Bentley is a misnomer if there ever was one.

    Like 1
  26. Paul R.

    Despite everything, sure is a beautiful interior.

    Like 1
  27. Paolo

    Nope.

    Like 1
  28. Matt c

    Why not throw in a Mercedes diesel, less emissions issues and easier to re register as a diesel

  29. gary martin

    Two words money pit,you could break it for 6000 so 4000 would be my bid,like all Bentleys not worth a dime after 5 years,you mess well set fire to your hard earned dollars if you buy from new,not sure why people get caught up in this RR and Bentley hype, bespoke cars for the first owner then who gives a hoot after that,them used car dealers like these as they can pinch them cheap then put some hype on the ad then sell them high!! will people never learn just price up stuff that wears like brakes and then check what a service is for 70000k,mind boggling!!!

  30. pacekid

    What a dream! I have been in one and the leather is undefinably super soft. Soooo Luxurious. I had a Cadillac with a Northstar, actually my third. Unfortunately, the one I bought used had a head problem, the bolts loosened out of the soft aluminum block. The price to fix it was $7,800, ouch! The thing drove fine until 13 months later when the fixed head bolts also loosened from the block. One month after the warranty ended. I donated the car.

    The moral of the story is that a fix will be pricier, who knows how long it will last, maybe the block is also cracked. IF you really need to have one spend the money on one that was babied , has all the documentation, and maintenance history. Otherwise, a fool and their money will surely be separated.

    No question she is very pretty!

    Like 2
    • robert semrad

      They over-torqued the head bolts on the aluminum heads….had they not over-torqued them, they would have been fine….

      • Pacekid

        R Semrad. Dang I wish Earnhardt Cadillac in Phoenix got it right as it was a magnificently kept, ‘GrandPa’ Cadillac!

  31. Steven M Dempsey

    I really want one of these but the repair cost is absurd. For the money these cost new they should be extremely reliable.

  32. Steve

    They’ve owned the car for 7 years and there is still a lien on the title. I wouldn’t trust the maintenance during this period.

    Like 1
  33. Bob Mck Member

    The most expensive Bently is a cheap Bentley.
    The car is ugly….run!

    Like 1
  34. Richard

    The only Arnage that does not have the head gasket ISSUE is the 1999, and I think, the 05+. I bought a 1999 for this reason. It has the BMW engine used in the 7 series. The realistic cost to do the head gasket is $10,000+. One must order all parts through Bentley which stinks! I love my 99. The car is ONLY for those who are financially secure to service/maintain them. They are not in a class with Mercedes, Lexus, or BMW!!!!!

  35. Jcs

    Ok, the official results are in, based on the plethora of comments….

    This car is a STEAL, if you are close you would be a fool not to buy this beauty of British, German, and Chinese engineering.

    Like 1
  36. Paulv8

    US built cars use x10 times the value per year the amount of Chinese components than the Germans do.
    German car manufacturing is 50% larger than US domestic production so I would say I would be far, far more cautious in buying a US built car if you are worried about too many Chinese components.

    Like 2
    • Norman McGill

      Maybe so but when I drop thirty grand for anything I want the profit to stay in my country.

  37. Stan Marks

    Absolutely, Paul. Some old timers, still have that mind-set of only buying American. What ignorance. American cars have been using foreign parts, including many from Mexico, for years. I’ll take a Honda/Toyota, over any American-built car, as far as quality, durability & service.

    Last year, after 20 years, I finally traded in my 2000 Honda Accord EX V6 coupe. Best car I ever owned. Only part I had to replace, was the alternator.
    It was American-built. I just wanted something newer.

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      For those who are ready to get on my case…. I’m not anti-American. I like quality for my Benjamin’s.

      Like 1
      • Smokey Member

        I certainly understand this Stan!! For years after college I had nothing but Hondas and Toyotas. Never had a major problem with any of them, even with a lot of long range driving. Then in 1985 I was making more money and got a new Mercedes 300D. It was a constant headache. The only thing on that car that DIDNT break was the transmission. Even the sunroof stopped working early on and was going to be $$$ to fix. I was then talked into getting a new 1990 300D MBZ and overall it turned out to be worse than the ’85 300D. I gave up on it and got a new Honda Accord and have had FOUR Accords since, soon to be five. Never a major problem with them at all. There are now eight Accords in my extended family.

        Like 3
  38. Stan Marks

    Good for you, buddy. Great story……

    Like 1
    • Stan Marks

      Remember this, Smokey. Short, in town driving, causes more mechanical problems, in the long run, than highway miles.
      Every car should open up, on the highway. Great way to clean the pipes out. Lord knows, I sure feel better, after my pipes are cleaned out. LOL!!!

      If you see a late model car, with high mileage, chances are they were highway miles. As long as the car was properly serviced, oil change, etc.., they’ll probably outlast an older car, with much less miles. You want a late model full size car, with high mileage? Go to a police auction. Every police unit gets the best care, like clockwork.

      • Smokey Member

        Hi again Stan…..I should add that my two ill performing Benz’ diesels were both driven a great deal and both gathered high mileage. .I was in outside sales for my own company dealing in computer hardware and software all over this part of Central California. I chose the diesels for that very reason. Also I am very aware of the importance car maintenance. I have also carefully maintained a series of four Porsches through the years along with my daily drivers. My Porsche friends razz me a lot about my choice of Honda Accords and Porsches in my stable! For me its a perfect combo.

        Like 1
      • Stan Marks

        There are always exceptions to the rule, Smokey. I’ve never owned a diesel. Back in the day, they were too noisy.

  39. Bob Roller

    These high end cars and their captive market parts are a bad idea.If I were to ever buy one I think a Lincoln 460 with a C6 transmission would be a way to fix it.I like the looks of this car but have no interest in fixing it.

  40. Stan Marks

    I’m sure glad I was born good looking, instead of rich.

  41. Dennis David

    I bought a 79 RR Wraith II ten years ago for a bargain 5K. I knew it needed the brakes redone, but the car looked showroom perfect. I bit the bullet, brought it home and had the brakes done. It’s now a marvelous car that rides like no other. Repairs can be expensive, but so is rebuilding your Packard V-12 or painting your Corvette. Did I mention this one now has 206,000 miles and wins the preservation class in every show it’s in. The important thing is to enjoy the hobby!

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