By: Graham Robson ., 2nd edition, ISBN: 9781844254910
Bentley is one of those charismatic marques that, throughout its long and turbulent history, has produced some of the most famous cars of the time. Founded in 1919 on high hopes but scant capital, the marque delivered a wealth of cars as diverse as Le Mans-winning sports cars and a massive State Limousine, elegant drophead coupes, turbocharged sports saloons and peacefully specified touring cars. Controlled since 1998 by the German automotive giant VW, Bentley is now associated with an entirely new breed of supercar.
The company, on the way to its 90th anniversary, has been the 'Best of British' throughout that period, and this book traces an informative, yet entertaining, path through its complex history. Early Bentleys were high-performance sports cars, but all that changed when the company failed in 1931. Later in the 1930s, Bentleys built at Derby by Rolls- Royce were advertised as 'The Silent Sports Car', and those built at Crewe since 1946 were always the equal of the Rolls- Royce models to which they were closely related. Today, Bentleys are still among the most desirable cars on the road.
This lavishly illustrated and authoritative book — the first to trace the tenuous link between the company's founder, W.O. Bentley, and its modern heritage — covers every new model, every technical advance, and many of the important personalities who influenced the marque's legendary progress. The story is set against world events, the financial manoeuvres and the corporate ambitions that have made Bentley's life so fascinating.
Graham Robson has been an avid Bentley-watcher for many years. He drove R-types in the 1950s, road tested T-series models in the 1960s, and has delved deeply into Bentley's heritage on many occasions. Regular contact with a number of the personalities involved makes him the ideal author of this fascinating history.