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Want a Bentley Convertible?

The car is $200,000, but it costs $60,000 just to get on the waiting list.

What’s it worth not just to keep up with the Joneses but to leapfrog ahead of them?

For Tiane Mitchell Gordon, an AOL vice president, the price tag was $60,000. That’s how much she bid to go to the top of the waiting list for Bentley’s new 2007 GTC Continental convertible. The money’s not for the car itself, just the top spot on the waiting list to buy the $200,000 car.

“It’s just an exceptional automobile,” says Gil Hofheimer, Bentley manager at EuroMotorcars/Bentley Bethesda, one of 37 US dealerships selling the car and cosponsor of the auction at the annual YouthAIDS gala that Gordon attended.

Hofheimer says the dealership’s waiting list stands at about 120 local names, which means that people who want to buy cars today won’t see delivery until mid-2008.

Gordon gets to skip the line and pick up her convertible as early as March. It’ll have wood paneling, custom colors in and out, and the option of a jeweled gas cap.

The car’s 12-cylinder engine provides a top speed of 195 miles per hour—190 with the roof down. That’s slightly above the takeoff speed for a Boeing 747 and a lot faster than the average cruising speed on the Beltway.

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