Englishman Walter Owen, or W.O., Bentley founded Bentley Motors to launch his life as an entrepreneur. Bentley Motors, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, is widely known for the luxurious nature of the classic vehicle. Bentley has been in operation since 1919 and has been a popular and reliable vehicle ever since. Most models were built for racing, further proving W.O.’s passion for race cars. His goal was to create the best racecar in the world, and while reaching to achieve the aforementioned Bentley was acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1931 to avoid financial distress during the great depression. As years have passed the combined forces of Bentley and Rolls-Royce have built some of the most prominent vehicles we have today. In 1998 Bentley was sold to Volkswagen to continue making the high performing models.
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The Bentley car mark has been around for a hundred years, over which they have undoubtedly cemented their place in automobile history. The British manufacturer has been a symbol of luxury and refinement ever since its inception back in 1919, when brothers Walter Owen and Horace Millner Bentley established the company in London.
It took almost two years for the first Bentley model to be ready for delivery, upon which the batch earned widespread acclaim in terms of resistance and durability. The models went on to participate in hill climbs and races at the Brooklands circuit in Surrey. In 1922, the mark entered a modified road car into the Indianapolis 500, where it finished the 500 miles course at an average seed of 74.95 miles per hour and came in 13th.
In 1931, Rolls-Royce purchased the Bentley company, which was in and of itself bought in 1970 by the Vickers engineering conglomerate. Almost thirty years later, Vickers sold the Rolls-Royce division, including the Bentley name, designs, nameplate, log, and facilities, to the Volkswagen group.
Nowadays, Bentley cars are still being assembled in England, with their headquarters located in Crewe. However, a fraction of the brand’s models are produced at Volkswagen’s Dresden factory in Germany. Still, the cars remain a staple of British car-making and classics in their own right.