Walter Owen Bentley produced his first motorcars in 1919, the Bentley legend had begun. By the mid-1920's the company had established an enviable reputation for producing sports tourers which were incredibly fast as well as being attractive and imposing to look at. A series of wins at the Le Mans 24 hour race looked set to safeguard the companies future, alas a misguided change of direction (the large 8 Litre model) forced the company into liquidation in 1931.
The company was quickly rescued from collapse by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and production moved to the Rolls-Royce headquarters at Derby. Rolls-Royce quickly introduced a new range of touring models based on its own 20/25 chassis, these cars were heralded as the "Silent Sports Cars".
Following the end of W.W.II Bentley found itself supporting Rolls-Royce with sales of the new Mk VI thanks to its less ostentatious image. By the mid-50's Bentley was becoming little more than a badge engineered sister to R-R models and demand began to drop. The 1980's witnessed a Bentley revival (due mainly to the powerful Turbo models) leading to the recent purchase of Rolls-Royce and Bentley by the VW Group.