With Bentley celebrating its centenary this year, take a look back at some of the brand’s most iconic creations.
Bentley is undoubtedly one of the most famous names to ever emerge from the automotive world and its rich history and heritage is being recognised this year as part of celebrations to mark the brand’s centenary.
The company has been involved in the creation of some truly incredible machines in the past 100 years and has even set its sights on the future by unveiling some new models at the recent Auto Shanghai event.
Here are five models which we think comfortably rank among the brand’s very best.
The 3 Litre
Where else could we start than at the very beginning? W O Bentley founded the company in July 1919 and set himself the target of simply making “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class”. In production from 1921 to 1929, the 3 Litre was his first effort at achieving that ambition.
Among the model’s greatest achievements was the fact that it won the 24 Hours race at Le Mans twice – in 1924 and again in 1927.
The 8 Litre
One of the classic cars on display during the brand’s appearance at Auto Shanghai, the 8 Litre was regarded as W O Bentley’s best Grand Tourer on its launch in 1930. The company’s founder said he always had a dream of creating a “dead silent 100mph car” and believed this model hit the target.
Incredibly, Bentley had to sell his own model in 1931 but it was then bought back and restored by Bentley Motors in 2006.
Bentley regards this car as having set the template for grand touring and the brand claims it remains an inspiration to this day.
Just 208 of the cars were made between 1952 and 1955 and weight was such a key factor in its construction that the bodywork was aluminium and a radio was not fitted as standard.
Jumping forward through the decades we are now looking at one of the brand’s modern classics. The third generation Continental GT is described by the company as the world’s pinnacle Grand Tourer and won a host of awards across the globe in 2018 alone.
The News UK Motor Awards named it Luxury Car of the Year, while BBC’s Top Gear magazine named it GT of the Year.
Mulsanne WO Edition by Mulliner
A car which made its debut at Auto Shanghai, the limited edition Mulsanne WO has been created in tribute to the company’s founder.
A slice of crankshaft taken from W O Bentley’s own 8 Litre is displayed in each of the 100 Mulsannes, with the models also boasting key features including a colour split interior cut from Heritage Hide and a handcrafted cocktail cabinet in the rear.