The first Bentley was driven out of the WO Bentley garage in London in 1919. Besides their luxury, Bentleys are traditionally known for their sporty character. Bentley saw motorsport as a great way to generate publicity and showcase the quality of its cars. The brand already won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1924. And it did that again from 1927 to 1930.
Bentley taken over by Rolls-Royce
At the end of 1931, Bentley was in financial storm and it was taken over by Rolls-Royce. Since then, Bentley’s models have increasingly matched those of Rolls-Royce. Nevertheless, Bentleys always had more of the image of driver’s cars and the corresponding Rolls-Royces were mainly car-with-driver.
In 1998 Volkswagen took over Rolls-Royce Motors, including Bentley, from the English aircraft manufacturer Vickers. Ultimately, it turned out that VW had only become owner of Bentley. In 2001 Bentley returned to the Le Mans 24-hour race and in 2003 the brand won the 24-hour race again. Bentleys are now subtly based on Volkswagen technology, but are still manufactured in England.