It's the Rolls-Royce of Bentley websites.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hooper Empress II bodied Bentley Turbo R

Many articles have been written about the history of the Hooper coachbuilding company that dates back to 1805 when they made proper coaches, as in carriages. I suggest Colin Hughes article for The Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club here.

Hardly any information is available post the wars regarding their coach building, especially relating to modern cars.

This is primarily due to the nature of the monocoque construction of modern cars. Rebodying cars costs an extraordinary amount, but on occasions companies still build coach built cars. Mostly they are stretched limousine versions of saloons and on very very rare occasions they are actual rebodied cars to a different design.

Presenting a proper coach built car by Hooper - The Empress II.

This car is based on a 1987 Bentley Turbo R.

Limited information is available on this car, but after extensive research I have found out some details.

Six were produced and the cost was 2.75 million French Francs or 270,000 pounds.

The car was mentioned in an article by Michael Booth published in The Independant in 1998 called 'Motoring: How to get the perfect body' when writing a piece about the history of Hooper. It was described as 'ungainly'.

Now for the surprising part. One would expect the 6 examples of this extraordinary and extremely expensive car to be garaged in large private collections, but no!

A Bentley, Rolls Royce and Mercedes spotter called D. Agobet has photographed one recently on the streets, and where else but Monaco!

The pictures were from a gallery of cars sighted in Monaco from and the direct link to the gallery is here

Now again on another occasion, it is really good to see such a car on the streets and getting use. It was labelled as a Rolls Royce, but no real matter, it is just surprising to actually see it!

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