Few motor manufacturers can boast a history going back 100 years, yet one that can is Bentley, founded in 1919 and celebrating its centenary in 2019.
Having passed through many owners, Bentley today is stronger than ever with a wonderful range of luxury, fast tourers – exactly what the company founder intended.
W.O. Bentley, who founded the company all those years ago, did so to design, engineer and produce ‘a fast car, a good car, the best in its class’; there can be few who do not agree that Bentley lives up to that desire even today.
So far, Bentley has said very little about the centenary celebration model, except that it will be ‘a special edition model inspired by one of its racing models’. Bentley, of course, has a history of motor racing success going back to its very early days.
The sight of the powerful, yet wonderful, Racing Green Bentleys roaring down the Mulsanne Straight in the Le Mans 24 Hours – which the marque won in 1924 for the first time, and then four times in a row from 1927 to 1930 (and again in 2003) – has become an iconic image in many a painting, and set the tone for Bentley’s sporting heritage to continue.
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The Bentley and Rolls-Royce brands spent some time under the same ownership – and even sold models that were the same car with different treatments – yet it has always been Bentley that offered the more sporting luxury automobile.
The trend continues to this day with models such as the beautiful and very fast Bentley Continental GT taking its styling cues from great Bentleys of the past, and with excellent sales success.
The centenary model is set to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, where it will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the show. Bentley’s centenary falls on the 10th of July, 2019, a date to mark in your diary.