After reaching its zenith in the 1920s and 1930s, the Bentley began a long, slow decline in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the once-proud marque was reduced to a badge-engineered Rolls-Royce afterthought.
Finally realizing that this was an atrocious squandering of the heritage of a storied brand, managers in Crewe decided that a few pounds of manifold pressure might restore a bit of pride and self respect to the Bentley marque. The resulting Mulsanne Turbo (its name recalling long-ago Read More
Bentley’s magnificent Continental sports saloon has been synonymous with effortless high speed cruising at its grandest since its introduction on the R-type chassis in 1952. Unlike the ordinary, factory-bodied, “standard steel” R-type, the Continental was bodied in aluminum over a steel frame and first appeared with what many enthusiasts consider to be the model’s definitive style of coachwork-the lightweight, wind tunnel-developed, fastback of HJ Mulliner.
The Continental’s performance figures would have been considered excellent for an out-and-out sports car, but Read More
Recipe: Take a good 3-liter Red Label Bentley chassis, mix in a good 4½-liter engine, gearbox, and transmission and add a light body with accessories to taste. The result is a motorcar which, while still retaining a good vintage flavor, possesses a performance equaled by few other machines even of the most modern and expensive type.” (Captain J.G. Fry, The Autocar, May 14, 1943).
Captain Fry’s 3/4½ was one of several constructed by H.M. Bentley and Partners during the late Read More
Any slowdown in Vintage Bentley values due to the current economic climate is likely to push owners toward a cup of tea rather than Valium
Chassis 356 was the first “Red Label” Bentley produced, and it was this model that was to lay the foundations of Bentley’s financial success. The final specification of the first Red Label, short chassis, Speed Model (generally known in the works as “Speed One”) was Read More
It may not have been quite the “discovery” that the press suggested, but it was eagerly awaited
Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon succeeded to the peerage in 1929 on the death of his father, becoming the Fifth Earl Howe. At that time he resigned his seat in the House of Commons and began a long association with motor racing.
Howe’s place in the history of motorsport was assured by his 1931 Le Read More
I’d put this price down to the mystique of an auction and congratulate the owner on courage worthy of a Bentley Boy
Walter Owen Bentley’s automotive efforts were directed from the outset toward sporting motor cars, and the initial 4-cylinder, 3-liter models proved lively until burdened with saloon bodies. Bentley’s solution was to double displacement and horsepower to 6½ liters, but disappointing sales figures and steep production costs threatened the Read More
It never won a major race and proved almost sale-proof, but the macho Blower Bentley is Britain’s ultimate vintage sports car
Though only 50 production Blower Bentleys were built, experts estimate that 43 still exist. Of that number, few if any are as untouched as this car. Indeed, no less a vintage Bentley authority than Clare Hay has written about SM3916: “[It is] in such original order that the felt damping pad Read More
To find a vintage Bentley with its original engine and original body is rare indeed-and it’s the second-to-last built
Introduced at the London Motor Show in 1930, the Bentley 8-liter made an immediate impact. While the engine was an extension of the successful 6.5-liter engine that powered Bentleys to numerous race victories, the 8-liter was intended to knock Rolls-Royce from its pedestal.
The 8-liter was capable of 100 mph fitted with formal coachwork, while Read More
At the end of World War I, Walter Owen Bentley gathered a small group of dedicated and skilled artisans to create Bentley Motors. The first Bentleys appeared in 1919, a group of three experimental 3-liter cars. In the following decade, the 3-liter gave way to the 4 1/2-liter, the 6 1/2-liter, the Speed Six, the 8-liter, the supercharged 4 1/2, and finally the subdued 4-liter.
The 6 1/2-liter Bentley was introduced in 1926, but work soon began Read More
It bears no resemblance to a standard steel Mark VI, and may be the most valuable Bentley in existence
This elegant 1947 Bentley Mk VI Franay Drophead Coupe, with its outrageous coachwork and curlicue trim, really belongs with Figoni et Falaschi and Saoutchik offerings at Sunday afternoon shows in the Bois de Boulogne before WWII.
Considering its underpinnings stem from the mundane Bentley Mk VI, this car’s appearance in 1947 is doubly Read More