20 Interesting Facts about Bentley
If you ask an experienced motorist to name a few good vehicle manufacturers, they will probably think of a dozen names. However, if you approach a regular person with the same question, they would probably name just a few luxury marques: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche… and Bentley. Bentley rightfully enjoys its reputation: The British automaker has always been creating only exclusive luxury cars for true gentlemen. Read more to find out how this famous British company makes its phenomenal vehicles.
1. Walter Owen Bentley was the famous British constructor and an engineer. In 1919, W. O. Bentley together with Frank Burgess and Harry Varley, founded the new company Bentley Motors Limited, which was supposed to build only high-quality sports cars.
2. Bentley 3L became the very first vehicle, built by the British automaker. 3L stands for 3 Litre, and as you may have guessed, refers to its engine volume.
3. Bentley Motors Ltd instantly gained a good reputation for building reliable, fast and expensive cars. The latter, however, was not beneficial for the company, since the low number of sales hardly covered the material costs of production.
4. Walter Bentley tried different means to attract more customers. One of them was to offer a 5-year warranty on his cars. At that time, this was an unthinkable bargain, since such a warranty had never been offered before in Europe.
5. Very soon, Bentley distinguished itself from other automakers by numerous successes in motorsports. In 1922, the British team won the prestigious Tourist Trophy. Later, they managed to gain victory in the famous endurance race 24 Hours of Le Mans. Between 1927 and 1930, Bentley gained four victories in different motorsports competition.
6. Traditionally, rich people like expensive cars, but some of them take it to extreme. In 1994, the famous British vehicle manufacturer created a unique vehicle called Bentley Dominator for the Sultan of Brunei. The four-wheel drive SUV had a price tag of 3,000,000 British pounds. Bentley would eventually produce six Dominators for the Sultan.
7. The Bentley enterprise was always underfunded. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the resulting Great Depression throttled the demand for Bentley’s expensive motor cars. This led to the bankruptcy of Bentley Motors Limited. Eventually, Rolls-Royce Limited acquired the well-known Brutish vehicle manufacturer. The Bentley 8 Litre is notable for being the last model, designed and built by Bentley Motors before its bankruptcy.
8. After becoming a division of Rolls-Royce, Bentley Motors had to change many aspects of it business practice. The British automaker was forced to end the participation in racing and to leave behind its rich motorsports heritage. The new Bentleys, designed and developed under the Rolls-Royce management, became akin to typical Rolls-Royce models, except they were somewhat more affordable and supported the image of sports cars.
9. Among other changes, Rolls-Royce introduced the new classification of Bentley models. All Bentley cars were divided into three types: Red Label, Black Label and Green Label. Red Label marked sophisticated and comfortable models, Green Label was given to race-type cars, and Black Label was reserved for especially powerful ones.
10. Since 1970, all engines on Bentley cars have had a capacity of 6.75 liters. This tradition is maintained to this day.
11. In 1998, Bentley Motors became a division of Volkswagen Group. This was a welcomed change indeed, since Bentley cars restored their former identity and finally returned to the racing track.
12. The interior upholstery of the modern Bentley requires exactly 480 leather elements laced with 40 thousand stitches and many of them are hand-stitched.
13. It takes sixteen selected cowhide skins to complete the interior of one Bentley. The proses of stitching a steering wheel cover takes about 15 hours. The exclusive paintwork of a modern Bentley is comprised of sixteen layers of highest quality paint. It takes 120 stages to complete the paint job.
14. Traditionally, the British royal family has always used either Rolls-Royce or Bentley as means of transportation. In 2001, Bentley State Limousine became the first official carriage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
15. The Bentley emblem is quite basic; the logo simply consist of two wings with letter “B” between them. Bentley’s emblem has been consistent throughout its long history; the classic design has remained unchanged apart from few minor cosmetic tweaks. The couple of silver wings around the letter “B” is the symbol of speed. This letter “B” simply stands for Bentley. The Bentley logo comes with three background colors: green, red and black. Those different background colors are there not just for a variety sake: the green background is given to race-type cars, the red marks to sophisticated models and the black points out especially powerful vehicles.
16. Bentley Continental GT Speed is by far the fastest car in the history of the luxury brand. The grand tourer is capable of the maximum speed of 331 km / h, and accelerates from zero to hundred in 3.9 seconds.
17. Bentley Mulsanne is an ultra-luxury car that is capable of the highest performance. The name Mulsanne is derived from Bentley’s motorsports history, which included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The so-called “Mulsanne Straight”, or Ligne Droite des Hunaudières, as it is known in French, is the famous stretch of the Le Mans racecourse where cars reach their highest speed. By the way, Bentley Motors offered more customization options for Mulsanne than most automaker offer for their entire line up, including 114 automotive paint colors and 24 alternative colors of leather upholstery.
18. Interestingly, it takes about two months to assemble a modern Bentley. One of the reasons, why Bentley is such an expensive marque, is that every car is handcrafted.
19. It is generally believed, that luxury vehicles are made for comfortable and enjoyable driving experience, rather than for breaking speed records in extreme environmental conditions. Even when we think of grand tourers that compete with each other, we usually imagine sunny French Riviera, poetic Italian countryside or even pragmatic German autobahn, not vast expanses of frosty Finland. Yet the Bentley Continental GT holds the speed record as the fastest car on the ice! The famous Finnish racing driver Juha Kankkunen was able to prove his skill once again by setting a speed record of 321.65 km / h while driving a car on the icy surface of the frozen surface of the Gulf of Bothnia. The particular car he drove was 6.0-liter all-wheel drive Bentley Continental Supersports convertible, running on Finnish tires Nokian Hakkapeliitta Sport Utility 5.
20. Bentley has always been expensive cars, even in comparison to other luxury brands. To own a Bentley is like to own a bottle of expensive wine: its price will only increase with age. For instance, today the cost of the 1925 Bentley Blower exceeds 3,500,000 British pounds. It should be noted that the car is extremely rare; the British manufacturer built only 54 of that vehicle in total.