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  • Writer's pictureTim Jackson

British bring luxury front and center with Bentley

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

The Bentley car company, founded in 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley, also known as W.O. Bentley, started in Cricklewood, North London, with the aim of producing luxury cars that were reliable and fast. The first Bentley car, produced in 1921, was known as the Bentley 3 Litre.


Bentley cars are famous for their luxury, performance and elegance. They are often associated with high-end sports cars and have been used in many prestigious racing events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bentley cars are also known for their distinctive design, which includes a prominent grille and sleek lines.


In the early years, Bentley cars were primarily used for racing, and the company gained a reputation for producing high-performance vehicles. However, during the 1930s, Bentley shifted its focus to producing luxury cars for wealthy customers. The company continued to produce luxury cars throughout the 20th century, and today, Bentley is known as one of the most prestigious car brands in the world.


Famous movies and television shows that have featured Bentley cars include:


- James Bond films: The Bentley Mark IV and the Bentley Mark VI have both been featured in James Bond films.


- The Avengers: The Bentley S3 Continental was driven by Emma Peel in the popular British TV series.


- Downton Abbey: The show prominently featured a 1920s Bentley 4.5 Litre.


- Batman Begins: Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) drives a Bentley Continental GT in the film.


Famous people who have owned Bentley cars over the years:


- Queen Elizabeth II

- David Beckham

- Jay Z

- Kim Kardashian

- Simon Cowell

- Hugh Grant

- Tom Cruise

- Paris Hilton

- Donald J. Trump

- LeBron James

- Rihanna

- Elton John

- Cristiano Ronaldo

- Justin Bieber

- John Elway

- Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Ownership of Bentley car company has changed several times over the years. Here are some of the major changes:


- 1919-1931: Bentley Motors Limited was founded by W.O. Bentley. It was later acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1931.


- 1998: Volkswagen Group acquired Bentley Motors Limited from Rolls-Royce.


- 2002: BMW acquired the rights to the Rolls-Royce brand, but Volkswagen Group retained Bentley.


- 2020: Volkswagen Group announced that Bentley would become a subsidiary of Audi AG, another subsidiary of Volkswagen Group.


Throughout its history, Bentley has faced many challenges, including financial difficulties and changes in ownership. The company has managed to overcome these challenges and maintain its reputation as a leading luxury car manufacturer. Today, Bentley continues to produce high-end cars that are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.




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