Bargain Bentley? Salvaged 2014 Bentley Mulsanne

With even the roughest, high-mileage examples of the 2014 Bentley Mulsanne is capable of achieving a six-figure price, finding one advertised for sale at around half those sorts of figures has to be, on the surface, a tempting proposition. With those thoughts in the back of your mind, this particular car, which is advertised with a BIN of $59,850 or offer, is one that would seem to be well worth investigating. If it is a car that you would be inclined to want to pursue further, you will find it located in Houston, Texas, and listed for sale here on eBay.

When a prestige car is sold new for around $300,000, and a mere 5-years later it is being offered for less than $60,000, there is probable cause to examine exactly why this has occurred. With this car, there is a pretty good reason. The giveaway is the fact that the title has been listed as “salvage.” Yep, this Bentley has had a slightly troubled past. It had only accrued 5,000 miles on its odometer when, in 2017, it fell victim to the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. The car was eventually to receive flood damage, but it isn’t clear just how deep the water was around the car, or how long it spent submerged. Before we examine the damage that could potentially have been inflicted, it is worth examining the overall condition of the car. As you would expect from a hand-built vehicle of this age with such low accumulated mileage, it does present nicely. The panels are straight, with no signs of any dings or dents. The Black paint is as flawless as discerning owners have come to expect from Bentley, while the exterior trim is essentially perfect. There are no obvious issues to report, and the owner makes no mention of any rust problems. The big concern revolves around such questions as to how long the car remained submerged, how long it was left after this before any attempts were made to dry the car out, and exactly how this process was achieved. The owner uses the term “immediately” when describing the drying process, but the question remains as to whether we are talking hours, days, or weeks, from the time that the car was initially submerged. The build process for the Mulsanne is a very detailed one, and the rust-proofing steps during construction are quite involved. Rust treatment processes mimic the Rolls-Royce “Ro-Dip” system, where a complete body is immersed in several baths of different treating chemicals, and rotated a full 360º to ensure penetration of these chemicals into every nook and cranny to maximize the treatment. That means that the chances of rust developing have been dramatically decreased, but if the Bentley was left for an extended period with the carpet and sundry other items in a wet state, then unseen corrosion problems could potentially be developing. Of course, the only way to dry the car properly would have been to remove all of the interior trim, but it isn’t clear whether this was done.

It was when I looked in the engine bay of the Mulsanne that alarm bells began to sound in my head. If you give it little more than a cursory glance, the mighty 6,752cc twin-turbo V8 looks pretty good. Then I couldn’t help but notice the silt that still coats some of the hoses under the hood, and how numerous small screws, nuts, and bolts, are showing signs of corrosion. That is not a good sign and doesn’t auger well with what might be happening inside that engine. The owner states that all of the Bentley’s fluids have been flushed out, but given the fact that the car hasn’t run since the flood, it isn’t clear whether the engine still turns freely. In addition, that means that the 8-speed automatic transmission and its associated electronics have been immersed, and the twin turbochargers have also potentially had their fill of water and silt. If these components haven’t been cleaned properly, then there could be some hefty repair bills at some point in the future.

Owning a Bentley is a way of stating that you are unwilling to accept compromise when it comes to luxury and comfort features, and that was certainly the case with this Mulsanne. Honestly, it would be a shorter process to list the luxury items that this car isn’t fitted with, rather than those that it does feature. Apart from all of the items such as hand-stitched leather upholstery, 4-zone air conditioning, power windows, power locks, 12-way heated power seats with massage function, cruise control, and real timber trim, we can add items such as the amazing 2,200 watt Naim Audio sound system with twin subwoofer, hard drive, and headrest-mounted LCD DVD screens, along with timber veneer picnic tables, and even a bespoke Bentley Mulsanne umbrella. All of this is very sophisticated, the vast majority of these features are packed full of intricate electronic control systems, and all of this has been submerged for an undisclosed period of time. The owner says that there are a host of new parts, still in the original packaging, that have been included with the car to address the identified problems. However, for some of these features, it is entirely possible that any water damage may take an extended period of time to rear its ugly head. When, and if, this happens, replacement parts are not going to be anything remotely approaching cheap.

It is entirely possible that if this Bentley Mulsanne was not submerged in water for too long back in 2017, if the drying process was performed properly, and if the assessment process was completed thoroughly, then this could turn out to be one really good buy. However, if any of these steps was flawed in any way, then the future consequences could be quite expensive. I guess that makes me wonder just how many of our readers might be tempted to take this one further.

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Comments

  1. Sam61

    Run Forest run….!

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with Jerry’s stinky car.

    Handsome car…I’d give $500.00 to park it in my driveway, impress the neighbors then try to part it out or take to Pic A Part.

    Like 18
  2. Jwinters

    I Thought it was illegal to sell a flood car.
    and I always LOL because every single one I see for sale they always say ” shallow water only, only for a few minutes” like oh yea its perfectly fine it was just driven through a car wash is all…

    Like 16
    • grant

      Why would it be illegal? It might be illegal to hide the flood history but you can sell anything. We’ve seen the firewall and cowl to a Chevelle offered up for ridiculous money.

      Like 7
  3. Rob

    I’m positive the original owner could’ve afforded enough rice to put the car in to dry it out. I’m guessing he wanted to cash in his chips… lol

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      That’s why people pay for insurance.

      Steve R

      Like 7
    • Dave Mazz

      I think someone may have tried drying already…..I believe I saw a Craigslist ad for 3 tons of damp rice. :-) :-)

      Like 1
  4. Tom c

    Why would they wait so long to put this car up for sale , I doubt it took the insurance company two years to settle the claim. Awesome car though.

    Like 3
    • Paul Z

      It took that long to clean it.

      Like 8
  5. jwzg

    Why not just invest in a ZR1 drivetrain with controller and install it for about 30k. It’d be a hell of a lot cheaper over the long haul.

    It’s a crack pipe deal, but if you’re going all out…

    Edit: Just read the ad: “…buy of a lifetime” LMAO!!

    Like 5
  6. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

    In my dreams I’d just open a crate of Hellephant, be just like that can of whoopbutt.

    Like 4
  7. Shaun Dymond

    Far too risky in my humble opinion. Bespoke, hand crafted motor cars like this require an expert to cast their eyes over it thoroughly. I predict a myriad of hidden issues for the next owner. Probably better off as a parts car.

    Like 8
  8. Rob

    I’ve thought about this for a few minutes. In this day and age and with today’s mechanics, why not drop a cheap drivetrain in this and drive it for the “flash” nobody has to know it has an engine and tranny from a wrecked Hyundai Sonata.

    Like 13
  9. Car nut

    For those of you who don’t know.. last week Copart ran a big auction on “Flood Cars”.. (Largest dealer auction for Salvaged Cars).. In the business we say the guy with the best game wins the game.. Most likely this was bought at auction and the buying dealer could not handle the repairs. A Bentley is not for a amateur, parts are super super expensive, Only one man in the Country who can fix this on a budget .. he has fixed and built a ton of them since the 80’s and drives a Phantom as his daily.. Phil from San Bernardino CA he has been featured on Road and track.. guy is a automotive genius but if you meet him he will tell you he does not know anything about cars (real humble man). For those of you wanting to put a LS or Hellcat motor in it.. well first go online and see how many guys have done so.. that is not a easy deal.. look up the electrical on these.. are your gauges gonna work? find a shop who will attempt it?.. do some research.. only guy I know who would do it is Phil.. No one else is crazy or smart enough, he did it on a modern Ferrari and everything worked even the horn..and he did it in a month not a year. .. Happy Holidays –

    Like 12
  10. Brakeservo

    I bought a flood submerged Rolls-Royce out of Houston years ago – it was a classic 1955 SILVER DAWN so no Carfax or other documentation. I only learned when first the transmission failed and maybe a gallon of water was found in it. Then the rear end was found to have more silty water than oil and on it went. Ultimately flood cars are not even good parts cars. Forget about installing a new hot American V8 – these cars have expensively exotic brakes and suspension that will be trash also now.

    Like 8
  11. johnu

    All of this is very sophisticated, the vast majority of these features are packed full of intricate electronic control systems, and all of this has been submerged for an undisclosed period of time

    The ad says this. RUN!!!!!!

    Like 5
    • jerry

      another problem here I bet every electrical connection in this car is rusty now you are into a real nightmare best place for this car is norstroms wrecking yard in nebraskaI

      Like 1
  12. Del

    If fluids were flushed, why not start it ?

    60 grand for another non runner.

    No

    Like 5
  13. Chris Eddy

    Yep – this one had a good long swim …the corrosion of the screws on Top of the engine says it all …….. if you have a spare 150 grand (and 12 months) …..maybe you could get it back running again .. ….maybe not all features will work but most of them should ……..Alternatively rip out the dead motor & tranny and slam in a LS3 with a TH400 ……. but it would be hard to get any of that to relate to anything on the dash and the management systems ……brakes …..suspension…?? Difficult decision……Good Luck….

  14. Dave

    Bought one flood car and that was enough for me. Lost my butt on it. Although it would look nice sitting in the driveway, I’m afraid the wife would plant flowers in it and all would be lost. This car may come back to Barn Finds in the future with a lower price, but even then, it will still be too much.

    Like 4
  15. luke arnott Member

    No good when it was new!

  16. Comet

    A flooded base model domestic car is one thing. I’ve brought three (fresh water, low level) flood cars back to life without any long term issues. A flooded Bently is something altogether different. The seller then goes on to state that the engine hasn’t been fired up since the flood. RUN!

    Like 5
  17. Lee

    If I had it I would push it out front and put a mailbox on the hood. What most say is RUN.

    Like 2
  18. mark houseman

    $5,000 car……

    Like 1
  19. Karl

    This was at one time one of the most sophisticated, beautiful cars built in its day everything about it speaks deep expensive quality in every way! With that said even if the engine is fine you would likely be chasing electrical Gremlins for the rest of your life! What a sad ending to a car like this!

    Like 3
  20. Clinton

    I would run not walk away. Just looking at the sellers other sales. He had two other Harvey vehicles that he repaired and drove. If this was easy to fix he would have done it. Plus the others had non repairable titles that were washed through KY and given salvage titles.

    Like 5
  21. Michael

    Think of the tail you could get in this machine. Ooo doggie!

    Like 3
  22. Joe Machado

    Couple of these live on my street. Ugly new, uglier wet!
    Normally they drop from 300-400 thousand new to under 100 anyway.
    If you gotta get one, clean ones around here for sale.
    You need one tool if you have any issues, a phone!
    No other tools needed.
    Just make sure the phone is Fully charged.

    Like 6
  23. alphasud Member

    In my opinion places like Copart and insurance companies are doing a disservice to the public. Now you have people on YouTube bragging about all the great finds and bargains to be found on salvage auction sites. What viewers fail to realize is they are getting paid to promote the salvage sites. The result is more garbage being put back into the market for some poor fool to loose a lot of money on a shady purchase.
    I’ve been in the auto repair side for over 30 years and have seen a lot of misery out there. Even if they managed to get the smell out of the car modules and electric terminals in the connectors will fail one after another. You will have failures never encountered in the repair shops and loads of diagnostic time spent to source the issues. Just let them die in piece!

    Like 4
  24. Superdessucke

    I honestly don’t see what could go wrong here. Great deal!

    Like 6
    • jerry

      hey I know a hot woman who is looking for a boyfriend ? you game the last guy she cleaned out was 60 grand deep in credit cars when he cut her off and she dumped him you next! buy this heap and make happy!

  25. Alan

    Should have been crushed, end it’s misery, it’s a beutifull well engineered car, that needs main dealer work all its life, if you don’t do this, it’s description ends up on here, being picked to pieces because it’s unreliable, that’s what you end up with. To put this silted up wreck put back on the road would’ve a folly, kill it now,

    Like 1
  26. Rob

    I bet the manufacturer would pay $30,000 to make it go away, let’s say someone gets it running, they would never tell their friends about it being a salvage car. They see the electronics messed up and all the “defects” the car has. Oh man, what a poorly built car… ehh just a thought.

    • Brakeservo

      And why pray tell, do you think that the electronics in any 15 year old exotic car made in England, flood or no, might retain any semblance of reliability,??

      Like 3
  27. Ike Onick

    50 inches of rain in Houston during the Harvey storm. 50 inches. Probably a good idea to avoid any car from Texas for at least forever.

    Like 4
  28. TimT

    Brilliant taking pics of the car sitting over a water puddle, like the car is still drying up .

    Like 2
  29. 71MKIV

    anybody else see the hood of a Studebaker Hawk in that first picture?

  30. Johnu

    $25,000 for a wiring harness, answered a tech on a Rolls site.

    Like 2
  31. Chris Eddy

    Yep you would get zero change out of $150K…. and then expect to be fighting every day in trying to keep everything (semi) functional ……

  32. Dougie Member

    Why is anyone even talking about this, as he scratches his head…….

  33. Mike

    Purchase a flooded Dodge Neon for my Daughter back in the day. Replaced a lot of parts including the Transmission in the Neon. Imagine the cost of a trans for this thing. Run do not walk to the nearest exit.

  34. Danh

    Flooded cars should not be re-sold, period.

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