Bentley is a British automaker that was founded in 1919 by W.O Bentley, often simply referred to as W.O. Mr. Bentley was not new to the auto world, in fact he worked with his brother in selling French DFP cars, however Mr. Bentley wanted to somehow venture out on his own and begin making cars that he wanted to see on the roads, thus the birth of Bentley motors.
At the beginning of the Bentley history, things were tough. For starters, Bentley was using new material in order to make the pistons, which turned out to be a huge success and one that all automakers use now. In addition, the company promised the first vehicles to consumers in 1920, however, with the difficulties that they were having, most consumers did not have a Bentley until 1921. But, the biggest problem was simply the fact that Bentley was in poor financial health. That is why Mr. Bentley decided to utilize the financing of Woolf Barnato, who because of the large stake in Bentley, soon became the owner of the company.
Bentley during the early years was known for the performance of their vehicles, simply because their cars had won four 24 hour of Les Mans, which was a prestigious race for any car maker to win. But to do so four times during that period of time was unbelievable. Thus, the rumor of Bentley having the fastest and best performing deciles was started, and it is something that stuck with the automaker for the next few years. The company continued the high of their success until the time of the Great Depression.
The Great Depression put many businesses, including automakers out of business simply because there was no money anywhere. Because of this, Bentley was sold to Rolls Royce. During this time period, the Bentley cars started to be a cheaper version of the Rolls Royce which pleased many consumers, yet upset many others. It was during these years that the reputation that the Bentley company had tried so hard in achieving was destroyed. However, by 1980, the company was slowing regaining its title as being one of the best producers of performance vehicles.
In 1998, the current owner of Bentley, Volkswagen, purchased the company. Volkswagen did some major redesigning in these vehicles to give them more of a taste of today's time. They wanted to keep the performance aspect of the cars alive and well, however, they wanted to add a touch of class and luxury to each and every Bentley that would be produced while VW owns the company. Thus far, the company has succeeded and those that purchase Bentley know that they are getting a car that performs to the highest of standards, yet looks and rides amazing. However, the price of the Bentley is something that keeps only a very few elite in the running to afford one of the Bentley's.