Travel has often been considered as a way of life that people have been undertaking in order to gain some new and exhilarating experiences in life. Back in the 17th and 18th century, it was almost customary for British nobility to do the same by touring around Europe in a journey which came to be known as the ‘Grand Tour’.
Around 100 years later, this exciting experience gave birth to a car company known as ‘Bentley’, whose main motto was to combine a perfect experience of luxury and performance in order to redefine the terms of travelling. They were referred to as the ‘Grand Tourer’.
First-Ever Bentley Grand Tourer
The first-ever Bentley car was made in 1919. Designed by the founder, W.O. Bentley, the 3-litre model was a true symbol of the company’s passion to create luxurious cars that would travel long miles on the roads of Europe.
The car made its mark by taking the first-place podium at the Le Mans, the legendary 24-hour race of grit and determination in 1924 and 1927.
Bentley’s Second Model
After the success of the 3-litre model, Bentley decided to increase the capacity of the newer model to 6-1/2-litre. Launched in 1926, the car came with a heavy salon body that was the rage among the customers at that period. But even after its changed body, the performance of the car just improved drastically that won it the first place in Le Mans in 1929.
The Unfortunate Masterpiece
Following the culture of improving upon its predecessors, Bentley introduced the 8-litre in 1930. Proclaiming the car as his masterpiece, the beast could easily surpass 100 mph, no matter what type of body was placed on the car. But sadly, the Wall Street crash of 1930 ensured that only 100 models of these extraordinary machines were built ever, sending W.O. Bentley in a financial crisis.
The Arrival of Rolls Royce
With the company now in financial trouble, Rolls Royce bought the company in 1931 and moved the production line to Derby. The new owners respected the vision of the company and made sure they stuck to their core principles when they launched the Derby Bentley.
While it was initially built as a 3-1/2-litre model, it was later upgraded to a 4-1/2-litre one. The car was the epitome of long travels. It was fast, refined, easy to drive, and was one of the most stylish Bentley model built ever.
The Story After the Arrival of Embiricos
Andre Embiricos was a wealthy Greek racer, who commissioned a custom-built Bentley with a sleek and aerodynamic body made from duralumin, a lightweight aluminium alloy. The model was one of the finest performers of its time and inspired a line of cars to come in the coming years.
The Continental Models
The 1952 R-type model was the start of a new era in Bentley’s history. Designed for those seeking a true and exhilarating journey across the continent of Europe – the continental was made to annihilate long-distance travels with unmatched comfort and luxury.
With various versions coming in between the first Continental and the latest Continental GT, Bentley will continue to provide mean machines for long-distance luxurious travels in the years to come.