Country of manufacture: United Kingdom
Bentley Motors, founded by Walter Owen Bentley, opened in Cricklewood in northern London in 1919.
The founder of the legendary aristocratic car brand, W. Bentley, developed his first car with a 3-liter “four” together with F. Barges and G. Varley. In the fall of 1919, Walter Bentley showed his first child at the London Motor Show, but the production was able to establish only after two years. By the way, from the very beginning, Bentley aimed at producing prestigious cars. A volume of three liters made the car unattainable for ordinary motorists, and the unique five-year warranty period attracted the attention of wealthy people. The car bore a simple name - 3L, which meant the presence of a 3-liter engine. In the future, this designation became traditional. And only somewhere in the mid-twenties did words begin to appear in the title, for example, Big Six.
Bentley, not burdening himself with designer refinements, paid special attention to the technical side of the issue. He saw the main purpose of his cars in victories in car racing. Indeed, it rarely happened that Bentley cars did not win sports. One such was the 4.5L model with a Roots rotary supercharger placed in front of the radiator. This car was specially designed for the famous racer and industrial tycoon G. Birkin. In those years, the car became one of the most powerful and fastest, and, despite the critical attitude towards it from Bentley himself, brought his company even more fame.
In 1928-30. in small quantities, cars of the 6.5L model and its sports version Speed Six are assembled. For three years, this car has twice won races in Le Mans and three times in Brookland.
The release of the 8L model - the most expensive and prestigious in the company's lineup - began in 1930.
The early thirties was marked by the loss of independence by Bentley. So, with the mediation of Napier, Bentley became part of another elite automobile company, Rolls-Royce. This began a new stage in the history of the company, which did not diminish the prestige earned earlier.
The first Bentley, created in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, is the 3.5L model (1933). In 1936, the 4.5L model appeared on the basis of the Rolls-Royce 20 / 25НР and Rolls-Royce25 / 30 НР. Since 1933, seven models very similar in construction and design have been produced.
Gradually, the production of Bentley cars began to move from Derby to the Rolls-Royce factory, located in Crewe. And the first fully created model there was the Mark-VI, launched into production a few months after the end of World War II. The basis for this car was Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. And since 1955, all Bentley models were copies of Rolls-Royce. Nevertheless, despite the structural similarity of both brands, there was a main difference between them: Rolls-Royce is a representative car, and its owner’s place is in the back. And Bentley, on the contrary, is a car for people who know how and love to drive a car.
In 1980, the presentation of the Mulsanne model took place, two years later the 300-strong turbocharged version was released, and a couple of years later - a simplified version of the Eight. The rest of the models were created according to the so-called project 90, with different bodies and some external differences from their counterparts from Rolls-Royce - Turbo R and Brooklands, only the Continental model did not have and has no analogues. The family of these expensive sports coupes is primarily intended for young and ambitious millionaires who find sports cars like Ferrari too utilitarian and lacking in comfort. Continental currently has three major modifications to the R, T, and SC. The R model is cheaper in the family ($ 314,000) and features a distinctive finish, as well as a comfortable and yet perfectly tuned suspension for fast driving. Model T has a 100 mm shortened base, a sportier suspension and a powerful engine of 426 hp. But the most interesting of this opera is the SC (Sedanca Coupe) modification with a rigid retractable roof. In normal condition, this is a closed compartment, however, if desired, part of the roof above the front seats is automatically removed.
In 1998, changes in the automotive world led Bentley Motors to take control of Volkswagen AG.