Thursday, 7 June 2012

“Bentley” convertible on eBay conceals a different winged automaker’s work

In these hard times, everyone feels the need to save where they can. If you're accustomed to driving a Bentley Continental GTC convertible, the $200,000 sticker price of a new model might seem too much for your neighbors to bear. Why not consider this "Bentley" for sale on eBay, with a bid just one-tenth the price of a new one? It's not a real Bentley, but the original Michigan-built convertible also had a winged badge on its hood.

Located just two hours west of its namesake Florida city, underneath what looks like a well-crafted copy of Bentley bodywork lies a 2003 Chrysler Sebring, which the seller says has just 134,000 miles on its chassis. The ad unearthed by Carscoop includes a lengthy list of upgrades for viva la Bentley, and there's a claim of all original badges, fully functional lighting and $3,000 in wheels. But the upgrade list ends at the interior, which not only gives away the Chrysler heritage -- namely a 2.7-liter V6 where a W-12 should reside in the engine bay -- but sports a good-size tear in the driver seat, nothing a good cover from Pep Boys couldn't take care of. The trunk photo also shows some unfinished business relating to the relocated battery.

It's easy to find some poor sap who thought they could enjoy the attention of a Ferrari while driving around a Fiero with some extra fiberglass. But this conversion was clearly done by someone with an eye for proportion and detail; at speed, you'd be hard-pressed to spot the fakery as long as the top's not up or the owner slows down enough to let the plastic wood inserts shine. With 22 bids and a price of $21,600 so far, there's significant interest in this Bentley Sebring as a summertime boulevard cruiser. What better way to psych the grandkids into thinking you've spent the inheritance?

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