Continentals were lightened versions of the standard steel-bodied cars, built for high-speed cruising
The post-war heyday of Bentley was with the Continental models, from their introduction in 1952. The combination of sporting performance and a beautifully clothed chassis made for the ultimate in long distance luxury touring. The name itself became synonymous with elegance.
With the arrival of the 4.9-liter S1, the final edition of Crewe’s historic straight-six, there Read More
At the heart of the Speed Six legend was a phenomenal chassis, which led to many original bodies being replaced with lightweight, homemade, “boy-racer” coachwork
The Bentley Speed Six positively shone in long distance endurance racing. At Le Mans in 1929, Woolf Barnato and Tim Birkin stormed to victory at an average speed of 73.62 mph. A year later, the fearless Barnato repeated the performance in the same car, this time accompanied Read More
In 12 short years, Bentley became one of Britain’s most revered marques through its cars’ technical sophistication and enviable record in long-distance racing events, including winning the Le Mans 24-hour race five times.
Designed by Walter Owen Bentley and his colleagues, the 3-Litre was the progenitor of the 4.5-, 6.5- and 8-Litre Bentleys. The 3-Litre combined several developments not previously seen in road-going cars, including an overhead camshaft driving four valves per cylinder, the first use of aluminum Read More
Although the 6½-liter had been conceived as a touring car to compete with Rolls-Royce’s new Phantom, in Speed Six form it proved admirably suited to competition: in 1929 Barnato/Birkin’s Speed Six won the Le Mans 24 Hour race ahead of a trio of 4½-liter Bentleys and Barnato/Kidston repeated the feat in the following year’s Grand Prix d’Endurance at the Sarthe circuit ahead of similarly mounted Clement/Watney. Small wonder, then, that the fast yet refined Speed Six was W. O. Read More
The first Abbott two-door coupe to grace the R-type chassis made its debut at the 1952 Earls Court Motor Show, alongside an equivalent drophead design. The chassis on which these and the fourteen subsequent cars built differed from standard, having a lowered radiator and steering column rake, and carrying a 3.41 rear axle ratio. The Abbott coachwork, of similar design to that of the Mulliner-built Continentals, was penned by Peter Woodgate. It was not until May 1953 that a Read More
Designed in 1919, first produced in 1921, and drawing on aero-engine technology, the 3-Liter Bentley is to many, the archetypal vintage sports car. Second, fourth and fifth in the 1922 Tourist Trophy against out-and-out racing cars, first at Le Mans in 1924 and again in 1927. The holder of 24-hour records at over 95 mph, the 3-Liter Bentley is truly a legend. It was built to be a comfortable, user-friendly, road-going sports car that could be raced; a formula Read More
Perhaps the worst-kept secret among “the right crowd” in motor sport circles in 1929 was the development of the supercharged Bentley. As early as 1 January, 1929 the “Morning Post” suggested that two UK companies would be entering supercharged cars for Le Mans that year and in July 1929, when the “Morning Post” announcement had proved premature, “The Autocar” reported: “It is no secret that experiments have been carried out for a very long time with 4.5-liter Bentleys and Read More
The 4 1/2-liter Bentley was the last of the traditional big sporting cars with four-cylinder engines. In concept it was a scaled up three-liter with the same bevel-driven overhead-camshaft and non-detachable cylinder head, but output was up to 110-115 bhp and maximum speed to over the 90 mph mark. The supercharged version first seen at the 1929 London show wore its Amherst Villiers blower and twin SU carburetors between the front dumb-irons, and with 182 bhp, speed rose to Read More