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Bentley Automobiles Through the Years

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Bentley Motors Limited

A British manufacturer of automobiles founded on 18 January 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley (known as W.O. Bentley or just "W.O."). Bentley had been previously known for his range of rotary aero-engines in World War I, the most famous being the Bentley BR1 as used in later versions of the Sopwith Camel. Since 1998, the company has been owned by the Volkswagen Group of Germany.

The joining and eventual separation of Bentley and Rolls-Royce followed a series of mergers and acquisitions, beginning with the 1931 purchase by Rolls-Royce of Bentley, then in receivership. In 1971, Rolls-Royce itself was forced into receivership and the UK government nationalized the company—seperating into two companies the aerospace division (Rolls-Royce Plc) and automotive (Rolls-Royce Motors Limited) divisions—the latter retaining the Bentley subdivision. Rolls-Royce Motors was subsequently sold to engineering conglomerate, Vickers and in 1998, Vickers sold Rolls-Royce to Volkswagen AG.

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Cricklewood Bentleys (1921-1930)

Bentley 3-litre (1921-1929)

1921 Bentley 3 Litre Harrison Tourer
1921 Bentley 3 Litre Harrison Tourer
The Bentley 3 Litre was a car chassis manufactured by Bentley. The company's first it was developed from 1919 and made available to customers' coachbuilders from 1921 to 1929.

Bentley 4½-litre & "Blower Bentley" (1926-1930)

1926 Bentley 3-4 1/2 Litre
1926 Bentley 3-4 1/2 Litre
The Bentley 4½ Litre was a British car based on a rolling chassis built by Bentley Motors. Walter Owen Bentley replaced the Bentley 3 Litre with a more powerful car by increasing its engine displacement to 4.4 L (270 cu in). Bentley buyers used their cars for personal transport and arranged for their new chassis to be fitted with various body styles, mostly saloons or tourers. However, the publicity brought by their competition programme was invaluable for marketing Bentley's cars

Bentley 6½-litre (1926-1930)

1926→1928 Bentley 6½ Litre
1926→1928 Bentley 6½ Litre
Two Bentley Speed Sixes became known as the Blue Train Bentleys after their owner Woolf Barnato's involvement in the Blue Train Races of 1930.

Bentley 6½-litre Speed Six (1926-1930)

1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Speed Six Sportsman's Saloon
1930 Bentley 6½-Litre Speed Six Sportsman's Saloon
The regular Bentley 6½ Litre and the high-performance Bentley Speed Six were rolling chassis in production from 1926 to 1930. The Speed Six, introduced in 1928, would become the most successful racing Bentley. Two Bentley Speed Sixes became known as the Blue Train Bentleys after their owner Woolf Barnato's involvement in the Blue Train Races of 1930.

Bentley 8-litre (1930-1931)

1931 Bentley 8 Litre
1931 Bentley 8 Litre
The Bentley 8 Litre was a luxury car based on the largest rolling chassis made by Bentley Motors Limited at Cricklewood, London. Announced 15 September 1930, it was also the last completely new model by Bentley before the company's financial collapse and forced sale to Rolls-Royce Limited; a 4-Litre engine in a shortened chassis was announced on 15 May 1931. Intended to provide the basis for a super-luxury car for very wealthy buyers, the 8 Litre chassis was introduced a year into the Great Depression.

Bentley 4-litre (1931)

1931 Bentley 4 Litre Coupe by Mulliner
1931 Bentley 4 Litre Coupe by Mulliner
The Bentley 4 Litre was a motor car built on rolling chassis made by Bentley Motors Limited. The 4 litre chassis was conceived and built in a failed attempt to restore Bentley to a good financial state. Announced 15 May 1931, it used a modified four litre Ricardo IOE engine in a shortened 8 litre chassis at two-thirds of the price of the 8 Litre in an attempt to compete with the Rolls-Royce 20/25. Instead, Bentley went into receivership shortly afterward, from which it was purchased by Rolls-Royce Limited.

Rolls-Royce Bentleys (1931–1970)
Rolls-Royce took over the assets of Bentley Motors and formed a subsidiary, Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd. Rolls-Royce had acquired the Bentley showrooms in Cork Street, the service station at Kingsbury, the complex at Cricklewood and the services of Bentley himself. This last was disputed by Napier in court without success. Bentley had neglected to register their trademark so Rolls-Royce immediately did so. They also sold the Cricklewood factory in 1932. Production stopped for two years, before resuming at the Rolls-Royce works in Derby. Unhappy with his role at Rolls-Royce, when his contract expired at the end of April 1935 W. O. Bentley left to join Lagonda.

Bentley 3½-litre (1933-1937)

1933 Bentley 3.5 Convertible
1933 Bentley 3.5 Convertible
The Bentley 3½ Litre (later enlarged to 4¼ Litre) was presented to the public in September 1933, shortly after the death of Henry Royce, and was the first new Bentley model following Rolls-Royce's acquisition of the Bentley brand in 1931.

Bentley 4¼-litre (1936-1939)

1936 Bentley 4¼ Litre
1936 Bentley 4¼ Litre
Beginning in March, 1936, a 4¼ Litre version of the car was offered as replacement for the 3½ Litre, in order to offset the increasing weight of coachwork and maintain the car's sporting image in the face of stiff competition. The engine was bored to 3½ in (88.9 mm) for a total of 4.3 L (4257 cc/259 in³). From 1938 the MR and MX series cars featured Marles steering and an overdrive gearbox. The model was replaced in 1939 by the MkV, but some cars were still finished and delivered during 1940-1941.

Bentley Mark V (1939-1941)

1939 Bentley Mark V
1939 Bentley Mark V
1941 Bentley Mark V
1941 Bentley Mark V
The Bentley Mark V was Rolls-Royce's second Bentley model. Intended for announcement at the Earl's Court Motor Show set down for late October 1939 it had much in common with its predecessor. War was declared on 3 September 1939 and a few days later Bentley announced it had ceased production of civilian items.

Bentley Mark VI (1946-1952)

1946 Bentley Mk VI
1946 Bentley Mk VI
1951 Bentley Mk VI
1951 Bentley Mk VI
The Mark VI 4-door standard steel sports saloon was the first post-war luxury car from Bentley. Announced in May 1946 and produced from 1946 to 1952 it was also both the first car from Rolls-Royce with all-steel coachwork and the first complete car assembled and finished at their factory. These very expensive cars were a genuine success; long-term, their weakness lay in the inferior steels forced on them by government's post-war controls

Bentley R Type (1952-1955)

1952 Bentley R-Type Saloon
1952 Bentley R-Type Saloon
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon
1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Saloon
The Bentley R Type is the second series of post-war Bentley automobiles, replacing the Mark VI. Essentially a larger-boot version of the Mk VI, the R type is regarded by some as a stop-gap before the introduction of the S series cars in 1955. As with its predecessor, a standard body was available as well as coachbuilt versions

Bentley S1 and Continental (1955-1959)

1955 Bentley S1
1955 Bentley S1
1958 Bentley S1
1958 Bentley S1
The Bentley S1 (originally simply "Bentley S") was a luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited from 1955 until 1959. The S1 was derived from Rolls-Royce's complete redesign of its standard production car after World War II

Bentley S2 and Continental (1959-1962)

1959 Bentley S2
1959 Bentley S2
1961 Bentley S2
1961 Bentley S2
The S-series Bentley was given the Rolls-Royce - Bentley L Series V8 engine in late 1959 and named the S2.

Bentley S3 and Continental (1962-1965)

1962 Bentley S3
1962 Bentley S3
1965 Bentley S3
1965 Bentley S3
Twin headlamps and a facelift to the front arrived in late 1962, resulting in the S3.

Vickers Bentleys (1970–1998)

Bentley T1 (1965-1977)

1967 Bentley T1
1967 Bentley T1
1971 Bentley T1
1971 Bentley T1
1972 Bentley T1
1972 Bentley T1
1976 Bentley T1
1976 Bentley T1
In late 1965 the S3 was replaced by the new unitary construction Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow-derived T series.

Bentley T2 (1977-1980)

1977 Bentley T2
1977 Bentley T2
1979 Bentley T2
1979 Bentley T2
1980 Bentley T2
1980 Bentley T2
The upgraded T2 featured rack and pinion steering, improved air conditioning, rubber-faced bumpers, a new fascia and for Non USA Spec. cars a front air dam, along with Bosch CIS Fuel Injection introduced for late 1979 and 1980 models for the USA and other markets, similarly to the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II.

Bentley Corniche (1971-1984)

1971 Bentley Corniche
1971 Bentley Corniche
1984 Bentley Corniche
1984 Bentley Corniche
The Corniche was a development of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, with the two door variants of that model marketed as the "Silver Shadow Mulliner Park Ward two door fixed head coupé & drop head coupé" until March 1971 when the Corniche name was applied. The exterior design was by John Polwhele Blatchley.The model was assembled and finished in London at Mulliner Park Ward as continuation of the 1965 Silver Shadow coupe and 1966 drophead. A Bentley version was also sold, becoming known as the Continental in 1984.

Bentley Mulsanne (1980-1997)

1980 Bently Mulsanne
1980 Bently Mulsanne
The Bentley Mulsanne is a handmade full-size luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom. The car is named after the Mulsanne Corner of the Le Mans racing circuit, Bentley cars having won six victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the past.
The problems of Bentley's owner with Rolls-Royce aero engine development, the RB211, brought about the financial collapse of its business in 1970. The motorcar division was made a separate business, Rolls-Royce Motors Limited, which remained independent until bought by Vickers plc in August 1980. By the 1970s and early 1980s Bentley sales had fallen badly; at one point less than 5% of combined production carried the Bentley badge. Under Vickers, Bentley set about regaining its high-performance heritage, typified by the 1980 Mulsanne. Bentley's restored sporting image created a renewed interest in the name and Bentley sales as a proportion of output began to rise. By 1986 the Bentley:Rolls-Royce ratio had reached 40:60; by 1991 it achieved parity

Crewe Volkswagen Bentleys

Volkswagen (1998–present)

In October 1997, Vickers announced that it had decided to sell Rolls-Royce Motors. BMW AG seemed to be a logical purchaser because BMW already supplied engines and other components for Bentley and Rolls-Royce branded cars and because of BMW and Vickers joint efforts in building aircraft engines. BMW made a final offer of £340m, but was outbid by Volkswagen AG, which offered £430m. Volkswagen AG acquired the vehicle designs, model nameplates, production and administrative facilities, the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks,

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Bentley Arnage (1998-2009)

1999 Bently Arnage
1999 Bently Arnage
2009 Bently Arnage
2009 Bently Arnage
The Bentley Arnage was a large luxury car produced by Bentley Motors in Crewe, England from 1998 to 2009. The Arnage, and its Rolls-Royce-branded sibling, the Silver Seraph, were introduced in the Spring of 1998, and were the first entirely new designs for the two marques since 1980. Another break from the past was to be found under the hood, for decades home to the same 6.75-litre V8 engine, a powerplant which could trace its roots back to the 1950s.

Bentley Mulsanne (1998-present)

2009 Bentley Mulsanne
2009 Bently Mulsanne
2019 Bently Mulsanne
2019 Bently Mulsanne
2020 Bently Mulsanne
2020 Bently Mulsanne
The Bentley Mulsanne is a handmade full-size luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom. The car is named after the Mulsanne Corner of the Le Mans racing circuit, Bentley cars having won six victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the past.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur (2005-present)

2005 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2005 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2017 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2017 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2018 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2018 Bently Continental Flying Spur
2019 Bently Flying Spur
2019 Bently Continental Flying Spur
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a four-door saloon produced by Bentley Motors Limited since 2005. It is a four door variant of the 2003 Bentley Continental GT coupé, and like the Continental GT shares its platform with the Volkswagen Phaeton, and powertrain components related to the Audi A8 and S8.

Bentley Continental GT (2003-present)

2003 Bently Continental GT
2003 Bently Continental GT
2012 Bently GT
2012 Bently GT
2018 Bently Continental GT
2018 Bently Continental GT
2019 Bently Continental GT
2019 Bently Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT is a grand tourer manufactured and marketed by British automaker Bentley Motors since 2003. It was the first car released by Bentley under Volkswagen AG management, after the company's acquisition in 1998, and the first Bentley to employ mass production manufacturing techniques.

Bentley Bentayga (2016-present)

2016 Bently Bentayga
2016 Bently Bentayga
2017 Bently Bentayga
2017 Bently Bentayga
2018 Bently Bentayga
2018 Bently Bentayga
2019 Bently Bentayga
2019 Bently Bentayga
The Bentley Bentayga is a front-engine, all-wheel drive, five-door ultra-luxury crossover SUV marketed by British car manufacturer Bentley, beginning with model year 2016. Its body is manufactured at the Volkswagen Zwickau-Mosel plant which is then painted by Paintbox Editions in Banbury then finally assembled at the company's Crewe factory.

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Bently Continental Scale Model Shown
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