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.