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Bentley Reviews

Bentley was founded on 18 January 1919 by W O Bentley, and the company quickly established itself as a member of the British automotive aristocracy. But it was Le Mans where the company made its true claim to fame. WO designed and made production cars that won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930.

The company was purchased by Rolls-Royce in 1931, when the factory was sold, and production stopped for two years, the name alone was used for a Rolls-Royce silent sports car made at the Rolls-Royce factory in Derby, and after 1945 in Crewe. Rolls-Royce Motors, minus the Rolls Royce name, has been owned by Volkswagen Group since 1998. The business is now based in Crewe, Cheshire, England, with the Central Production Facilities there.

Good: Advanced chassis technology meant a comfortable ride, powerful engine (although Bentley never quoted its output) gave good performance for such a hefty car
Bad: Finding saloons now is difficult thanks to the sheer number that were sacrificed to become coachbuilt versions
Good: More flowing styling than the MkVI, option of automatic transmission makes driving simpler
Bad: Rust, restoration costs
Good: One of the most beautiful cars ever made thanks to the efforts of coachbuilder HJ Mulliner
Bad: You'll pay handsomely for the privilege of owning one
Good: Even better to drive than before thanks to power steering, elegant and timeless in saloon form, beautiful as a coupe
Bad: Now effectively a badge-engineered Rolls-Royce in saloon form
Good: V8 power made the Bentley experience even smoother and more restful, coupes and dropheads still incredibly gorgeous
Bad: Lost a little more of its sporting DNA in the process, now effectively another Rolls-Royce variant
Good: Twin-headlamp front looks more modern than S2
Bad: A Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III wearing different shoes
Good: Less obvious than a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, elegant and good to drive, still well-supported and capable of being run on a (relative) budget
Bad: A bit 'wedding car' in its image, looks like a big Hillman Hunter, and built in an era when Bentley had been completely subsumed by Rolls-Royce
Good: Good value, luxurious, still imposing, great parts and specialist support
Bad: Effectively a facelifted T2/Silver Shadow and less stylish, dear to run in relation to its bargain price
Good: Brilliant effortless performance, incredible road presence, still looks good in the right places, lounging room for four, even more if you buy a long-wheelbase version
Bad: Huge thirst and running costs are intolerable if you want to put miles on it
Good: Imposing road presence yet surprisingly easy to drive, luxurious in a traditional British way
Bad: Can be hard to obtain spares, contemporary rivals go round corners better