Founded in 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley, the British prestigious car brand is currently located in Crewe, England and now owned by Volkswagen AG.
With his love of motion and engineering comprehension, a dream to produce British cars with the ultimate luxury experience would one day come true. But ambitions were halted back in 1912 when the engineering skills of Mr Bentley were put to use during World War One. As a captain of the Royal Naval Air Service, Bentley designed a rotary aircraft engine which overcome many overheating problems of the era, and ended up powering the most successful British fighter aircraft of the time, the Sopwith Camel.
After the war, Bentley’s engineering contribution was awarded an MBE and earned him £8,000 from the Commission of Awards to Inventors. With the cash injection and now with a personal pursuit to combine both performance with luxury, Bentley’s first classic vehicles achieved success of 5 victories in the 1920s Le Mans races which cemented the early ambitions of the brand.
Over many decades later, ownership changed many times but most notable the acquisition by Rolls Royce, which after a recession and a British Government buyout later created the Rolls Royce Motors Limited entity. But it was to be the 1980’s takeover by Vickers PLC which restored the brands former ambitions and reputation as a luxury supercar brand. Models such as the Mulsanne between 1980 and 1992 made Bentley the absolute icon for executive travel of rich CEO’s across the globe.
With sales rising and a global recognition for luxury established, the business was later acquired by the Volkswagen Group at the time when the Flying Spur was in design. Under new management the model evolved into further releases of the Continental Flying Spur, the Qatar Edition and Linley Limited Editions.
Keen to build on the brands origin’s but lift it’s supercar image, VW’s first full design and build production in 2003 was the Bentley Continental GT; V8 or W12 engine models. The success was outstanding with the car praised as one of the world’s most amazing grand tourers which remains in production to date.
More recently, Bentley also released an SUV, the Bentayga model which highlights that no brand is immune from the popular demand of a higher driving position, family space and better visibility for an improved feel of safety. Although as we would expect, Bentley’s SUV is unlike no other, combining exhilarating performance with exquisite luxury.
Bentley’s British manufacturing ties are a very different story these day, with the brands upgraded facilities at Crewe now receiving bodywork fully sprayed and most supercar parts manufactured from Germany for final assembly.
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