Arizona | Lot 224
1991 Bentley Turbo RL Empress II Coupe by Hooper
The Calumet Collection
$128,800 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
18 January 2019
- Offered from the Calumet Collection
- A fully coachbuilt creation; one of two left-hand-drive examples built
- Featured when new in Hooper’s corporate advertising
- Accompanied by a report from Rolls-Royce historian Diane Brandon
- Excellent overall cosmetic and mechanical condition; 7,228 miles
In the late 1970s, Hooper & Company, the revered British coachbuilders once favored by the Royal Family, was revived under new management and ownership. The new Hooper produced highly unique coachbuilt creations in limited series, based upon modern Rolls-Royce and Bentley models, including coupes and limousines. They were sold to a wealthy and discerning worldwide clientele.
Among Hooper’s offerings was the Empress II, a two-door coupe based upon the architecture of the long-wheelbase Bentley Turbo RL, with fully unique streamlined aluminum coachwork that borrowed virtually none of its features from the stock sedan. A sumptuous interior featured power-adjustable front and rear seats, a unique sports steering wheel, a glass ‘sunshine roof,’ an Alpine 12-speaker stereo system, and a rear seat whose passengers could enjoy a cocktail cabinet and an Asprey silver vanity set. Only five examples were built, and just two of them had left-hand drive.
The car offered here was the fourth Empress II made and one of the two left-hand-drive models. Finished in an eye-catching Tudor Red over Magnolia interior, it was used by Hooper in their advertising, after which one of their investors took it to Los Angeles. It was eventually acquired by the Calumet Collection, where it resides alongside other significant coachbuilt Rolls-Royce and Bentley models, and remains in excellent condition. Featuring the original and striking chrome wire wheels, it remains in largely original and unrestored condition, and is in superb order throughout, with 7,228 actual miles noted at the time of cataloguing. Further, it is accompanied by its original luxury accessories, including the original cocktail set and Asprey vanities.
Including assorted build and historical documentation, as well as a report by Rolls-Royce expert Diane Brandon and a clean CARFAX report, this is inarguably the finest surviving example of this modern coachbuilt rarity.