Bentley Motors Limited is a British automobile manufacturer that makes luxury cars. Their vehicles are held to the highest standards around the world and consistently amaze the public with their fine interiors, superior drive quality, and sleek, smooth design. Although the cars are priced far out of the range that an average person can afford, they are still admired everywhere that they go.
The Bentley company has been building and selling quality vehicles for the socially and financially privileged since 1919. The founder, Walter Owen Bentley, became a leader in the luxury car industry and even made vehicles for the Queen. Walter is best known for the cars that he has produced, but what few people know is that he manufactured engines for airplanes during World War I as well. Without a doubt, he has solidified himself in British history through all of his outstanding accomplishments.
Because Bentley cars are so famous, and they have been around for almost 100 years, they are highly popular among collectors. Some people find and rebuild the older, worn down Bentleys, while others search for the rarer ones that are still original, but in good condition. No matter what collectors are seeking, there are many historical Bentley models to consider.
Walter Owen Bentley got his start as a 22 year old who love speed and the possibility of creating bigger and better motors. He founded the company in 1919 and exhibited an engine and chassis prototype at the London Motor Show. His design made a big hit and soon the company was receiving so many orders that they could not keep up and the first cars were not completed until a year after they were due.
Despite the great success that Bentley Motors experienced, the company changed ownership so many times during those first few years that they suffered financially and were only able to stay open due to their wealthy investors. In 1925, things were looking up for the company when a millionaire and Bentley enthusiast purchased the company and began pouring cash into it. However, his purchase was ill-fated because the Great Depression killed the luxury automobile market almost completely.
When the company started to sink again, they were rescued by Rolls Royce who bought them out in 1931. Though things were still far from perfect, fortunes began to change when the Bentley cars began winning at the Le Train Bleu race.
Despite all of their hardships, Bentley has kept their doors open since their inception in the early 1900s. The biggest more recent change for the company took place in 1998 when they were bought out by the German owned Volkswagen company.
Many collectors adore the Bentley cars for their beauty, quality, and rich history in the UK automobile industry. Since the company has been around for so long, there are many different models which buyers can choose between that range greatly in age and price. The following are 6 Bentley cars to consider.
The Bentley Mark VI Saloon was an iconic car with elegant styling and a reputation for being expensive. It was built to the highest standards and was a huge success during its production from 1946 to 1953. The Mark VI was Bentley's first car to be completely made in their own factory and it was the company's first vehicles to have an all-steel frame. The chassis was so popular that many other automobile manufactures purchase the frame to build their cars with as well. Bentley's Mark VI was set up with a Rolls Royce-based 4,257cc twin SU carburetor engine and had a top speed of 156 km/h. Because of the pre-war style of these saloons, they are highly sought after by collectors and are very expensive to purchase.
In 1955, Bentley released its S1 model to the market. It was a luxury vehicle that was nearly identical to the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud I. The only difference between the two was the front grille design and the radiator shell. It came with a 6-inline engine and a 4-speed automatic or a 4-speed manual transmission. It had a top speed of 166 km/h and could get from 0 to 100 kph in 12.9 seconds.
The T1 saloon was first marketed in 1965 and again was nearly identical to another Rolls Royce vehicle; this time the Silver Shadow I. The T1 had a slightly different front grille and its body was a lighter weight than that of the Rolls Royce. It was also equipped with a more powerful V8 engine that could reach 190 km/h and go from 0 to 100 kph in 10.9 seconds. Originally, the T1 was only available as a 4-door saloon, but later on Bentley made a 2-door version of it.
Like the T1, the Bentley T2 was similar to its Rolls Royce counterpart, the Silver Shadow II. This time the car had a different bumper and grille than the Silver Shadow. Bentley made a few upgrades and changes to their T2 model including an improved 6.75 litre engine, new rack and pinion steering, and more standard upgrades. Rather than just coming with electric locks and windows, the T2 also came standard with air conditioning and rear headrests. However, performance-wise, the T2 still got the same 190 km/h top speed and the 0 to 100 kph in 10.9 seconds rating as the T1.
When the Bentley Arnage Red Label was introduced in 1999, it received critical reviews from customers for its poor road performance. Bentley quickly responded to the issues and re-configured the car with a 6.75L Garret T4 turbo charger V8 engine which had the most amount of torque out of any other saloon on the market. It could reach up to 250 km/h and get from 0 to 100 kph in just 6.3 seconds. The car became very popular due to its high amounts of power and several other versions of the car were subsequently produced including Blue Train Series and a limousine.
While not a car collectors can aspire to acquire, Bentley's State Limousine was certainly a car to take note of. A limited edition model that was built to be Queen Elizabeth II's official car, the design came from the Arnage Red Label and it was fitted with a twin-turbocharged V8 that delivered 400 hp. The State Limousine model had a longer wheelbase along with a wider and taller interior. This car was also fitted with armoured glass and a mine-resistant floor to keep the Queen protected at all times. The top speed was lower at only 193 km/h, but that was because the car was much larger than the Arnage Red Label. Only two State Limousines were ever made by Bentley, making it one of the most exclusive vehicles ever made.
Shopping for collectors' vehicles is much different than shopping for a daily driver. Since these cars are older, and often rare, it is more difficult to find them. It is rare that they show up at dealership because most private owners sell the cars on their own.
One way to locate the older Bentley models is to see what's available on eBay. Sellers from around the country can list their cars for sale on the site. To see what's available, type the name of the car into the eBay search bar. For example, you can enter " Bentley T1" and then click on the search button. You can then begin shopping for a collector's car without ever having to leave the house. After you have looked at all of the pictures and read the description, feel free to contact the seller on eBay and see if you can set up a time to take a look at the vehicle in person. Most automobile sellers are more than accommodating on eBay.
Few other automobile manufacturers have a British history as long and solid as Bentley Motors does. The company has never failed to stick to their tradition of producing the most luxurious, high class vehicles that they possible can. Their cars are a symbol of good taste and a lavish lifestyle. A Bentley can rarely roll down the street without attracting stares from everyone around.
Because these cars are so well known, all of the makes and models are highly collectible, but the oldest ones are the most sought after. Even at an older age, Bentleys are still expensive, but by shopping online it may be possible to find one at a more affordable price. Buyers just have to choose the models that they are interested in and then check daily to see if there are any listings within their price range.