Walter Owen Bentley gained fame long before it built its famous cars. He began his career as a representative in England of the little-known French company DFP. For the first time, BENTLEY was talked about when he started producing aluminum pistons and then star-shaped aircraft engines.
BENTLEY developed its first car with a 4-cylinder 3-liter engine in collaboration with colleagues F. T Burgess and Henry Varley, and in August 1919 registered a car company of its name. In the autumn of the same year, the model was shown at the London Motor Show, but only two years later they were able to start production of the first cars, for which an unprecedented guarantee of 5 years was given.
The firstborn, simply called “3 L”, was produced almost unchanged until 1929 and equipped with various bodies, of which outdoor sports prevailed. In 1925, a new, externally very similar to the “3 L”, model “Big Six" with a 6-cylinder engine with a displacement of 6597 cm3 and 147 hp at 3000 rpm was added.
In 1927, BENTLEY returned to its first model “3 l”, increasing its engine capacity to 4.5 liters. In 1930, this motor was equipped with a rotor volumetric supercharger “Roots" The new model “4.5 L” was produced by the company, which was led by Henry Birki), a former race car driver and one of the regular customers “BENTLEY”. This car was one of the most powerful and fast in those years and brought the “BENTLEY” a huge fame.
In 1928-1930, the “6.5 L” model was assembled in small quantities in the “Speed Six” version with a motor of 180-200 hp. The model became legendary, having won nine high awards in 3 years (it won twice in Le Mans and three times - in Brookland).
The most expensive and prestigious model was the “8 L”, which came out of the workshop in Crickpwood at the end of 1930. The most luxurious and expensive closed bodies were installed on it. Bentley attracted more sports and racing cars, which brought the designer a lot of top awards in the most prestigious competitions. Five times (in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930) “BENTLEY” cars won the 24-hour race in the French city of Le Mans. Three times in a row (in 1928-1930) they were won by the racer Woolf Barnato, and in 1929 “BENTLEY" won all prizes. By the way, it was Barnato that was obliged not only by sporting success. He was not just a racer, but a very rich man and patron of the arts. Only thanks to Woolf Barnato "BENTLEY" was able to calmly survive the difficult 1929 year.
In the crisis year of 1931, after negotiations with Napier, the new owner of BENTLEY was suddenly the well-known Rolls-Royce. Thus began a new page in the history of BENTLEY, which, having lost its independence, still retains its high authority .
The first “BENTLEY”, born in the walls of “Rolls-Royce" in Derby in 1933, was the model "3,5 L", advertised as a "silent sports car". She had a 6-cylinder engine of 3669 cm3, which allowed her to reach speeds in excess of 150 km / h. In 1936, the variants were built “4,5 L”. The base for them was the “Rolls-Royce 20 / 25HP” and “Rolls-Royce 25 / 30HP” models.
The first BENTLEY machine manufactured at the Rolls-Royce plant in Crewe was the Mk-VI, which was put into production several months after the end of World War II. pushed the exhaust valves, while the intake valves were driven by a system of pushers and rocker arms. The base of the model was the “Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith". In 1951, the last copies of this series were supplied with engines of 4566 cm3.
In 1955, the “S” series was introduced, demonstrating the final technical convergence of “Rolls-Royce” and “BENTLEY”. Model “BENTLEY S-1” was a copy of “Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith” and was equipped with a 6-cylinder 4.9-liter engine and automatic transmission. In 1960, following the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud "on the BENTLEY S-2, a 630 cm3 V8 engine appeared. It was followed in 1962 by the BENTLEY S-3, similar to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud-I" The only priority for “BENTLEY” was in those years of the “Continental" coupe, which were not used on the “Rolls-Royce”. The 1965 BENTLEY-T Sedan was a simplified version.
“Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow".
The modern program “BENTLEY" has been forming for about 20 years. In 1980, its firstborn appeared - the model “Mulsanne" with a V8 engine of 6,750 cm3. After 2 years, a 300-strong version with a turbonadsuv was seen, and after a couple of years - a simplified version “Eight. The rest of the models were born on the basis of “Project-90", which provided for the release in the 90s of a unified range of “BENTLEY" with different bodies and a specific appearance, allowing to distinguish them from similar models of “Rolls-Royce”.
Today, the “BENTLEY” almost manually collects 5 models on the “Rolls-Royce” chassis with a V8 engine with a working volume of 6750 cm3 with turbocharging and a 4-speed automatic transmission of American production.