Bentley was first start in 1919 by brothers Walter Bentley and Horace Bentley as the Bentley Motors Limited company delivering their first car in 1921. The first delivery of cars included a four valve per cylinder engine not seen before designed with aluminum pistons, as opposed to cast iron. Competing in the Indianapolis 500 in 1922, finishing in 13^th^ with an average speed of 75 mph. After years of being severely underfunded the company was financed by Woolf Barnato, this financing became a crucial part of Bentley’s ability to stay open during the end of the 1920’s. Barnato became the chairperson and the company enjoy success with the Bentley 3 Liter Sport, going on to win the Le Mans from 1927 to 1930. Continuing to endure financial struggles with the stock market crash of 29′, followed by the Great Depression where the demand of luxury vehicles and products took a drastic hit.
The company shortly thereafter was bought out by the British Central
Equitable Trust, essentially now owned by competitor Rolls-Royce. This
sparked a shift in the company, where soon original owner and then
designer Walter Bentley left the company where he then worked for
Lagonda. The original factory in Cricklewood, England was then shut down
and production halted from 1932-1934. Models of Bentley produced from
1931- 2004 are described by some were rebranded Rolls-Royces. Often
sharing or using old Rolls-Royce chassis, and slightly altered Royce
engines only with the Bentley brand attached.
In 1946, the Bentley Mark VI became the first car produced by the joint
companies that included a ready-to-drive package for the car. The need
to have the chassis bought and then taken to a coach builder specialist
was no longer a necessity, a standard pressed steel body was added and
then rolled out. The need for coach builder was eventually phased out by
1965, and replace by the chassis-less monocoque, T series.