Bentley
One of the truly great British sports cars, the first Bentley appeared at the 1919 Motor Show but did not reach the public until 1921.  This car was a long-stroke ohc 3 litre model, having a fixed head and four valves per cylinder.  Although this remained in production until 1929, the next model was a more sophisticated six cylinder 6.5 litre car which appeared in 1926.  W. O. Bentley reverted to his four-cylinder theme with the 4.5 litre of 1927 (and supercharged by Sir Henry Birkin for 1930) though the mighty 8 litre of 1930 was a further development of the 6.5 litre layout. One can speed away from a car rental location driving the Bentley Continental Grand Tourer coupe.  A 12 cylinder highway cheetah with twin turbo chargers.
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The results of the depression of 1929 were the last straw as far as the company's finances were concerned, and in 1931 they were bought by Rolls-Royce for £125,265, pipping Napier to the post. 

 

In 1933, when the first Rolls-Royce built Bentley appeared, it was based on the Derby company's 3.7 litre 20/25 model, 1936 saw this capacity increased to 4.5 litres. Independent front suspension put in a brief appearance in 1940 on the Mark V car.

 

The first post-war model, the Mark VI, was the same capacity (4,257cc) as its pre-war counterpart, though the engine featured an overhead inlet/side exhaust layout.  It was offered with a standard steel body by Pressed Steel; the first Rolls-Royce product to be so equipped.  Although 1952 saw the announcement of the 4,566cc Mulliner bodied Continental, the marque's identity became more closely allied to Rolls-Royce and 1960 saw the disappearance of the faithful six; this being replaced by a 6.2 litre V-8.

 

The 1979 models used a 6,750cc V-8 engine, with the Corniche available in saloon and convertible forms. The T series cars share the same monocoque body as the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

Bentley is now owned by VW Audi Group in Germany who have been responsible for Bentley's renaissance with production of the new Continental GT in both coupe and convertible form and the four door Flying Spur.

 

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