Bentley Motors Limited may be most well known for being partnered with Rolls Royce, after being purchased by the company in 1931. As a result of the partnership, Bentley today is an automotive brand synonymous with luxury and reliability, but prior to being coveted by luxury car enthusiasts worldwide, British manufacturer Bentley had humble beginnings as the brain child of rotary aero-engine expert Walter Owen Bentley.
On this date, January 18th, in 1919, Bentley Motors Limited was founded by W.O. Bentley. W.O. gained acclaim by producing famous aero-engines, such as the Bentley BR1 in World War I. At the end of the war, Bentley would use his extensive knowledge of engines to branch out into the automotive world. After developing and selling his first cars in September of 1921, Bentley made cars would be most well known for high achievement in the 24 hour of Le Mans Grand Prix Endurance race.
After being purchased by Rolls Royce, Bentley Motors would no longer participate in racing competitions, but the company’s appeal would only increase. Bentley automobiles have continued to be a symbol of status for decades. Licensing to the Bentley name would be purchased by Volkswagen in 1998.