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Bentley Cars

Bentley was originally established in 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley. W.O. Bentley's mission statement has since changed to building a top-class automobile, the ultimate in its category. The very first Bentley car, EXP 1 was completed in London, at the tail of the Great War. It was the vehicle that won the Car of the Year award at that time. It is said that this was the first Bentley that won the prestigious Sports Car title.

Today Bentley is headquartered in Crewe, West Sussex, England. There are two production plants for the company and they are located in Birmingham and Merced, California. Production of Bentley cars continues worldwide, however, the Bentley name is particularly well recognized in the U.K. The company produces three types of Bentley cars.

The most popular model is the Bentley Continental. The convertible model is also known as the Convertible or Two Door Bentley. A production made Continental has an aluminum body and a steel chassis. A production car with a manual transmission will have a gasoline engine, while all others have a diesel engine. The Bentley name carries over into the Bentley Motors Limited range of cars.

The very first Bentley cars were little more than a restoration project. The new cars were a complete replacement for the cars that were involved in the smash-up of the 1930s. The first Bentley car was produced in July 1931. It is still a favorite today, a true reminder of the days when life was simple.

Production continued for twelve years until mid the thirties when plans for mass production of the cars began. In the meantime, the Bentley name continued to take on its prestige. The two-door Bentley remained in the Bentley factory production line while production shifted to the Rover/Bentley combination in the U.K. Production moved to Scotland, and then on to Australia. When the Second World War broke out, work at the factory moved to France.

In the mid-nineteen eighties, the British government wanted a new Bentley for their air force. Their new Bentley model was to be built by the now-famous U.K.A Bentley Engineering Ltd. The new Bentley cars were to be designated "Mulsanne" by the British. The name was due to the new ten-gallon fuel cells, which replaced the older six-gallon gas tanks. The new fuel cells were also patterned after the U.S. military flying spur.

Although Bentley cars are now almost entirely electric, they were originally gas-powered. The first Bentley cars were powered by a w12 engine developed by the now-bankrupt Coventry Motor Company. This motor was a modified version of the later 3.2-liter w Bentley "Weslo" engine. In addition to the power w12 engine, there were a three-cylinder air pulling diesel engine and an automatic transaxle drive. All these engines were developed in house at Bentley Engineering Ltd. Bentley continued this project into the early eighties with the development of the "Mulsanne" series. The "Mulsanne" was basically a stretched Mulsanne body shell, without the fuel tank and with a stretched drive.

After some time, the Bentley team had developed a new design for the new cars. This new design called for a grille to be attached behind the headlights rather than at the front. This new design would allow for better airflow around the headlights and also improve the cooling of the radiator. Bentley continued this new design until the introduction of the "TBA" (Thames) in the third series. The new Bentley engines were now built on the same lines as the earlier cars except that the "TBA" was fitted with a flat roof rather than the previous design, which had a sloped roof.