An $11,000 Bentley Continental GT Comes with Loads of Pricey Problems

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Popular Youtuber’s 2004 Bentley Continental GT needs more than a wash and wax. It needs a new engine.

As painful as it may be to realize at times, you really do get what you pay for. If you skimp on something because you want to save money, the odds are that you’ll end up paying for it in another way (usually frustration and regret). Youtuber Tavarish (whose real name is Freddy Hernandez) paid only $11,000 for a 2004 Bentley Continental GT. Considering that the British grand touring car had an original starting price of $150,000, he got exactly what he paid for: a disaster of a project car.

Good thing Hernandez is willing and able to wrench every day. He’ll need to if he’s going to be able to enjoy his new purchase. Problems with $11,000 Bentley Continental GT

The exterior looks decent from 10 or so feet away. According to Hernandez, “It’s not too bad. It doesn’t have any damage from any accidents and it’s also … pretty darn straight.” However, upon closer inspection, it’s clear his new car is going to require a lot of cosmetic work. The wheels need spacers and fresh rubber. The back bumper is a flaky mess. The front clip has numerous gaps in it.

You see that residue below the green house on the driver’s side? That’s from tape that Hernandez used to help cover the hole where the back side window was supposed to be. The glass should be intact, but the window regulator needs to be fixed in order for it to be pushed up into place.

The interior is not much better. Hernandez will need to make some repairs to the sliding wood veneer cover between the two front seats, which also need to be cleaned. That’s minor compared to what Hernandez needs to do in the second row. He tore out both seats trying to get to the manual trunk release because the battery that controls the various electronic functions in the Continental GT (there are two batteries – one for the engine and ECU, and one for the Continental GT’s various accessories and electronics) was low and didn’t have enough juice to allow Hernandez to pop the trunk.

The Continental GT’s damage is more than just sheet metal-deep. Electrically, it’s a mess. Even after Hernandez zeroes out his code reader, the battered Bentley throws a long list of fault codes. Problems with $11,000 Bentley Continental GT

The Continental GT’s biggest problem is also its most important component: the filthy twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 under the hood. Hernandez quips, “This thing looks like a nightmare to work on. Good thing I bought it.” He’s confident there’s a significant vacuum leak. He points to the driver’s side of the engine and says, “This bank is running low on compression on all of the cylinders which means that it could either have a set of burnt valves or it could have a timing issue.” Whatever the problem is, Hernandez is going to yank out the power plant and replace it with a new-to-him engine. He’s got his work cut out for him…and us eager to see if he can pull off this unusual restoration.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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