The ‘Extraordinary’ Story of Bentley Motors
By TMA Howe

Almost 100 years ago, in July of 1919, the first car with the famous Bentley name pulled out of a rather non-descript garage and onto the streets of London, England.

Walter Owen Bentley – always preferring to be called WO – was born in 1888 and from an early age had a love of things that moved. Working his way up from dismantling bicycles to being employed on the Great Northern Railway through to importing French cars and racing at Brooklands, WO was well on his way to founding one of the greatest luxury car manufacturers in the world.

Bentley Motors Born

After surviving the First World War, WO fulfilled his dream to found his own motor company, and Bentley Motors was born.

“The policy was simple,” WO said at the time. “We were going to make a fast car, a good car, the best in its class.”

Over the years, whilst under different owners, Bentley’s fortunes have certainly been up and down. However, today, under the ownership of Volkswagen, Bentley has gone from strength to strength and the range today is respected world-wide.


TMA Howe is Luxury Globe Media’s UK Automotive Editor.