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Six facts about Bentley that might surprise you

5th November 2019 Print

After making its debut to the road in 1919, car manufacturer Bentley is celebrating its centenary this year. Over the past hundred years, this brand has gone from strength to strength and it is now one of the most highly regarded motoring brands in the industry. There are many reasons why this brand has achieved critical acclaim and a loyal customer base the world round. Behind the famous ‘B-Wings’, there are many of facts about this mega-brand that you may never have known. Along with Vindis, who offer Bentley and Skoda servicing amongst other services, let’s take a look at some lesser known facts. 

The iconic wings  

The classic wings motif will always be iconic. Back, when the company was gaining traction in the early 1920s, founder W.O. Bentley called upon the help of close friend and designer, Crosby, to establish a badge that could not be fraudulently reproduced. Therefore, he requested one which featured asymmetric downward aiming feathers. Although ‘wings’ were a popular choice for many car manufacturers when establishing a badge during this era, rumour has it, Bentley’s logo was designed to represent W.O.’s background as an aeronautical engineer during the Great War.

Quality comes first 

These days, it can be difficult to find something that is truly built to last. Bentley, however, makes sure that its cars are an exception to the rule. The manufacturer’s overarching commitment is to quality engineering. Considering 80 per cent of all Bentleys ever built are still on the roads today, it appears they are doing a rather good job. Also, despite the fact the brand may hold connotations of heavy fuel consumption and a lack of concern for sustainability, CO2 levels across the fleet have been driven down by 30 per cent in recent times. 

It’s not all about the car

Even Bentley knows that it’s customers might have interests that don’t revolve entirely around cars. For this reason, they offer a specialised, one-off kit for their owners to fulfill their hobby — the hobby being falconry, of course. Bentayga falconry by Mulliner is, admittedly, a rather obscure optional extra, but it depicts exactly what Bentley is about — creating a car for their client, catering to their wants and needs during development. The flight master station, which is stowed neatly in the boot space of the Bentley Bentayga, includes a GPS tracking system, binoculars, and hand-crafted leather bird hoods. Don’t be concerned if falconry isn’t your forte, however. Bentley promise to appease customers by asking to submit their requests, and their bespoke service will attempt to create a package for any lifestyle or hobby. 

Introducing the Bentley Boys

The Bentley Boys, a group of affluent motorists, were instrumental in securing Bentley’s famous status. In 2019, Lewis Hamilton was ranked by Forbes at the world’s 13th highest paid sports star, however, the Bentley Boys, which featured Capt. Woolf Barnato, J.D Benjafield, Tim Birkin, S.C.H Davis, Glen Kidston, John Duff, and Jack and Clive Dunfee, were unpaid. These men had a true passion for racing, moreover, racing Bentleys. Their relationship with the brand, which led to five Le Mans victories in eight years, was apparent. It was often the young men exhilarating attitude which helped both them, and Bentley, gain an outstanding reputation.

Not one to turn down a party

The Bentley Boys arrived back to London victorious, after excelling in the Pays de la Loire. The boys were, of course, in a mood to celebrate. Alongside being the only British team surrounded by French and Germans, this was only the second endurance event these men had competed in. So, when they landed back in Mayfair, trophy in tow, they were irritated by the fact the bar had been left, well, dry — with the exception of Calvados and Dubonnet. 

The Bentley Cocktail


- 1 and a half ounces of Calvados or Apple Brandy 

- 1 and a half ounces of Dubonnet Rouge

- 1 lemon twist – garnish 

After combining all of these ingredients and stirring well, pour the mixture over ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and enjoy, just like a Bentley Boy!

Some big money at auction 

The Bentley brand has made history in auction houses throughout the years. In July 2004, during Christie’s Le Mans Classic Auction, the Works No.2 Bentley Speed Six Tourer, which laid claim to second place at Le Mans in 1930 and won ‘The Double Twelve’ was sold for £2,784,741. A press release prior to the auction noted, ‘no other car has accomplished so much and, most importantly ‘No.2’ remains in the same conditions since its early racing days in the 1930’.

Over the years, Bentley has excelled beyond its competitors. Its contribution in regard to the automotive industry over the past century has been phenomenal. No doubt the next hundred years will provide us with even more amazing feats.