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Rich and famous love Bentley; Car Monthly Bentley.

NO car company in the world has a more illustrious history than Bentley, which is perhaps hardly surprising as it is the sporting arm of Rolls-Royce. Founded by Walter Owen Bentley in 1919 the early cars had won Le Mans five times by 1930, which was just a hint of what was to com e.

The company's ambitious sporting obsessions soon overstretched its resources and ownership passed to Rolls-Royce whose first Derby-built models became forever known as the Derby Bentleys.

The 90mph 3.5 litres became the 4.5 litres and gained the nickname of the silent sportsters combining massive performance and the last word in luxury.

The introduction of new models over the years has been prodigious, with Britain's best coachbuilders queuing-up to clothe the chassis in their most adventurous bodies including coupes, cabriolets, saloons and even wooden-sided estate models.

Throughout the years the cars have continued to compete and be victorious in motorsport, from Brooklands in the 1920s to Le Mans eight decades later.

Impossible to list the vast array of models, one of W.O. Bentley's favourites was the 1928 Speed Six, which won five major races and clinched four seconds in two years.

As long ago as 1929 a Speed Six was officially ordered to slow down during the 500-mile Brooklands race after registering a record fastest lap of 126mph and rendering its rivals unable to compete.

A combination of huge engines of up to eight litres and supercharging made the Bentleys virtually untouchable and they became the preferred choice of the rich and famous including royalty and the Hollywood elite.

Renowned coachbuilders such as Mulliner, Hooper and Park Ward excelled in the design of regal bodies and the public were treated to such beautiful sights as the Empress, Continental, Mulsanne, Flying Spur and the S1, S2 and S3 models from the 1950s and 60s.

Today Bentley is back with a vengeance thanks to an impressive line-up of the Arnage saloon and convertible plus the Continental saloon and GT Coupe and Convertible models.

In true Bentley tradition they combine the very highest standards of craftsmanship and luxury with gargantuan power outputs that give top speeds nudging an almost unbelievable 200mph.

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Top of the market: Bentley combine the very highest standards of craftsmanship and luxury with gargantuan power outputs that result in staggering acceleration and top speeds nudging an almost unbelievable 200mph. Above, the Bentley Brooklands. Right, the 1930 Bentley Limousine
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2007
Words:406
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