Bentley.....the name of this famous car manufacturer is recognised worldwide for their luxury and rather expensive auto-mobiles. The Bentley brand is synonymous with style, opulence and grandeur and it’s a mixture of these aspects and a self-perpetuating brand image that is part of the reason why Bentley have been at the top of the car manufacturing business for just shy of 100 years. From sports coupes like the Bentley Continental GT to the highly anticipated new SUV model, Bentley offer a menagerie of cars to suite any particular buyer so long as you have the means to buy one.
Bentley started its life rather humbly in the mind of the man from which is takes its namesake Walter Owen Bentley, the man below with the rather dashing tweed blazer…
Walter, an engineer by trade, was in partnership with his brother Horace Bentley selling French DFP cars (an old make of French cars to you and me) in the early 20th century. During his work in the trade, Walter one day took particular notice to an Aluminium paperweight thinking to himself 'why don't people create engines pistons out of lightweight metals instead of the cast iron pistons used by the industry to date' and so that's exactly what he did. Always having dreamed of creating a car range with his own name on it, Walter quickly put these Aluminium pistons into productions and they were first used in the plane engines for the Sopwith Camel during WW1.
The first fully produced Bentley wasn’t ready for sale until 1921, but they quickly garnered a good reputation for their reliability and durability. Due to this reputation Bentleys became popular with a group wealthy men in England who became known as the Bentley Boys – favouring the cars and using them to win numerous events such as the 24 hours at Le Mans (which as it sounds is a 24 hour endurance race). Bentley actually won the Le Mans 3 years consecutively between 1927 and 1930. This was also where the seed was likely planted for Bentley to become attributed with wealth and stature.
After some financial issues throughout the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that followed (that American economy eh?) during which the sales of luxurious items such as cars took a hit, Rolls-Royce ceased the opportunity and bought Bentley in 1931. Both companies were then amalgamated into one entity under the name Bentley Motors.
Bentley has gone from strength to strength in many respects and not only does it offer luxury such models as the Flying Spur but also sporty cars which can be more of a fashion statement such as the aforementioned Continental GT. The later has been particularly popular with modern day celebrities, socialites and business people. Everyone from Robert Downey Jr to Mario Balotelli owns or has owned a Bentley, with Mario even getting a rather garish and characteristically loud Army print paint job.
For more information on the new Bentley SUV you can visit their site www.bentleymotors.com but you cab check out the sexy promo for it below.