Bentley has been part of our British culture for many decades now. However, we very much doubt that most of the owners of these vehicles actually know the history of the famous Bentley brand. So in this week’s blog we thought we would talk you through a few key points in Bentley’s history.
It all began in 1919 when brothers W.O. Bentley & H.M. Bentley founded the company Bentley Motors Limited. After opening the UK organisation for DFP cars in 1912, W.O. Bentley started to dream of building his very own car line, little did he know that he would not only achieve this dream but it would become one of the most desirable luxury car brands in the world.
Fast forward a few years to 1924 and the Bentley 3 Litre Sport came 1st place in Le Mans, this was a massive turning point in the company’s history with luxury cars becoming the latest trend among the upper classes of Britain.
Not long after this a man named Woolf Barnato took control of the company due to some financial struggles the brothers were facing. He took the firm under his wing and built a collection of new models that enjoyed continued success and won Le Mans in 1927,1928,1929 and 1930.
After Napier and Son just missed out on the takeover of Bentley in 1931 the company was acquired by Rolls-Royce who were behind the British Central Equitable Trust. Once this deal had been finalised the Bentley factory in Cricklewood was closed and assembly was moved to the Rolls-Royce production facilities in Derby. Once W.O Bentley’s contract had expired in 1935 he chose to leave the company. He then went on to work for Lagonda creating a line of cars that he stated were “Bentleys in all but name”.
The Bentley brand changed owners a further two times before the end of the 20th century. After Rolls-Royce faced a financial collapse due to the development of the RB211 jet engine, the Rolls Royce car division was made an independent business – Rolls Royce Motors limited. Vickers acquired the company in 1980 and worked hard to restore the former reputation of Bentley the luxury sports car brand. Only after the Volkswagen Group took over the company in 1988 did the Bentley renaissance begin.
Here at Bentley Conversion we consider ourselves to be experts in our field, but also passionate towards the brand and it’s heritage. Contact us today for more information on the services we offer.