Bentley

Bentley

Rolls-Royce took over the assets of Bentley Motors (1919) Ltd and formed a subsidiary; Bentley Motors (1931) Ltd. Rolls-Royce had acquired the Bentley showrooms in Cork Street, the service station at Kingsbury, the complex at Cricklewood and the services of Bentley himself. Production stopped for two years before resuming at the Rolls-Royce works in Derby. Unhappy with his role at Rolls-Royce, when his contract expired at the end of April 1935 W. O. Bentley left.
When the new Bentley 3½ litre appeared in 1933, it was a sporting variant of the Rolls-Royce 20/25, which disappointed some traditional customers yet was well received by many others.  Rolls-Royce’s advertisements for the 3 1⁄2 Litre called it “the silent sports car” a slogan Rolls-Royce continued to use for Bentley cars until the 1950s.  All Bentleys produced from 1931 to 2004 used inherited or shared Rolls-Royce chassis, and adapted Rolls-Royce engines.
In preparation for war, Rolls Royce and the British Government searched for a location for a shadow factory to ensure production of aero-engines. Crewe, with its excellent road and rail links, was a logical choice. Construction of the factory started on a 60-acre area on the potato fields of Merrill’s Farm in July 1938. After the war in Europe was over Rolls Royce concentrated its aero engine operations at Derby and moved motor car operations to Crewe.
Like most high-end motorcar manufacturers Bentley and Rolls-Royce did not supply complete cars right after WW II. They sold rolling chassis, near-complete from the instrument panel forward. Each chassis was delivered to the coach builder of the buyer’s choice. The biggest specialist car dealerships had coachbuilders build standard designs for them which were held in stock awaiting potential buyers.
To meet post-war demand, particularly UK Government pressure to export and earn overseas currency, Rolls-Royce developed an all steel body using pressings to create a “standard” ready-to-drive complete saloon car. The first steel-bodied model produced was the Bentley Mark VI: these started to emerge from the newly reconfigured Crewe factory early in 1946. Some years later, initially only for export, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn was introduced, a standard steel Bentley but with a Rolls-Royce radiator grille for a small extra charge, and this convention continued.
Chassis remained available to coachbuilders until the end of production of the Bentley S3, which was replaced for October 1965 by the chassis-less monocoque construction T series.
The Continental fastback coupé was aimed at the UK market, most cars, 164 plus a prototype, being right-hand drive. The chassis was produced at the Crewe factory and shared many components with the standard R type. Other than the R-Type standard steel saloon, R-Type Continentals were delivered as rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of choice. Coachwork for most of these cars was completed by H. J. Mulliner & Co. who mainly built them in fastback coupe form. Other coachwork came from Park Ward (London) who built six, later including a drophead coupe version. Franay (Paris) built five, Graber (Wichtrach, Switzerland) built three, one of them later altered by Köng (Basel, Switzerland), and Pininfarina made one.James Young (London) built in 1954 a Sports Saloon for the owner of James Young’s, James Barclay.
The early R Type Continental has essentially the same engine as the standard R Type, but with modified carburation, induction and exhaust manifolds along with higher gear ratios.[32] After July 1954 the car was fitted with an engine, having now a larger bore of 94.62 mm (3.7 in) with a total displacement of 4,887 cc (4.9 L; 298.2 cu in). The compression ratio was raised to 7.25:1.
The problems of Bentley’s owner with Rolls-Royce aero engine development, the RB211, brought about the financial collapse of its business in 1970.
The motorcar division was made a separate business, Rolls-Royce Motors Limited, which remained independent until bought by Vickers plc in August 1980. By the 1970s and early 1980s Bentley sales had fallen badly; at one point less than 5% of combined production carried the Bentley badge. Under Vickers, Bentley set about regaining its high-performance heritage, typified by the 1980 Mulsanne. Bentley’s restored sporting image created a renewed interest in the name and Bentley sales as a proportion of output began to rise. By 1986 the Bentley:Rolls-Royce ratio had reached 40:60; by 1991 it achieved parity.
Models we can work on include:
Derby Bentleys
1933–37 3½-litre
1936–39 4¼-litre
1939–41 Mark V
1939 Mark V
1946–52 Mark VI
1952–55 R Type
1952–55 R Type Continental
1955–59 S1 and Continental
1959–62 S2 and Continental
1962–65 S3 and Continental
1965–77 T1
1977–80 T2
1971–84 Corniche
1975–86 Camargue
1984–95 Continental: convertible
1992–95 Continental Turbo
1984–88 Mulsanne L: limousine
1982–85 Mulsanne Turbo
1987–92 Mulsanne S
1984–92 Eight: basic model
1985–95 Turbo R: turbocharged performance version
1994–95 Continental S: intercooled
1996–2002 Continental T
1999–2003 Continental R Mulliner: performance model
1996–98 Brooklands R: performance Brooklands
1994–95 Turbo S: limited-edition sports model
1994–95 Continental S: to order only version of Continental R with features of Turbo S incorporated
1995–97 New Turbo R: updated 96MY Turbo R with revised bumpers, single front door glazing, new door mirrors, spare in trunk, engine cover, new seat design, auto lights, auto wipers etc.
1995–2003 Azure: convertible Continental R
1996–2002 Continental T: short-wheelbase performance model
1997–98 Turbo RL: “new” Turbo R LWB (Long Wheel Base)
1997–98 RT Mulliner: Ultra exclusive performance model

Skills

Posted on

November 8, 2015

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