One of the pleasures of owning and driving a luxury British automobile is that you become part of the legend. No one can deny the interesting histories behind Jaguar, Rolls Royce & Aston Martin. Histories that continue to be written today.
Exploring and telling you about the legends and “family trees” of British automobiles is something we’ve tried to do here on the Westminster Motors blog. In the past, we’ve told you about “How Rolls Royce Secretly Bought Bentley”, the “Oldest Surviving Open E-Type”, and the story of Aston Martin’s first 50 years, titled “It Could Have Been a Bamford Martin”.
More Things You Didn’t Know About Bentley
If there was one glimpse into the British automotive past that we enjoyed more than others, it was “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Bentley Automobiles”. When you think you know everything there is to know about something, its really fun to discover new and interesting tidbits.
So here are five more things that we bet you didn’t know about Bentleys.
- Bentley is the direct successor of Rolls Royce Motors. This gets too complicated to explain the complete story here. But, in a nutshell, through the machinations of corporate dealmaking, while BMW now produces automobiles under the Rolls Royce brand, Bentley is the real successor of Rolls Royce Motors, the company that manufactured Rolls Royce automobiles until BMW took over.
BMW has licensed the rights only to the Rolls Royce brand name and logo from Rolls Royce Plc. (the company that makes Rolls Royce jet engines) and the Spirit of Ecstasy grille shape trademarks from Volkswagen AG (the current parent company of Bentley Motors). The remaining assets of Rolls Royce Motors remain with Volkswagen under their subsidiary, Bentley Motors (told you it was complicated).
- Bentley has 193 dealerships around the world, located in 58 countries.
- Bentley’s famous cross-hatch grille pattern was borne of necessity. It was created during the height of the company’s racing glory days in the 1920s to help stop stones thrown up by other cars from damaging the radiator.
- Bentleys are now built in the old Rolls Royce factory. Before the start of World War II, the British government and Rolls Royce thought it would be wise to move their operations, particularly those for making aircraft engines, to Crewe in north-west England, out of range of German aircraft.
The now historic Crewe facility remained an asset of Rolls Royce Motors after BMW began making Rolls Royces, and is now the fully-integrated home of Bentley’s design, engineering, manufacturing, quality, and sales and marketing centres.
- Company founder, W.O Bentley’s company car, a 1930 8 Litre, is still on the road.
If you are a Bentley owner looking for dealer-equivalent Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover parts and service, get in touch with us here at Westminster Motors.
If you want to learn even more about Bentleys, check out our article “Bentley Engine Maintenance Tips to Maximize Resale Value”.