Bentley celebrates its centenary at Chantilly

In 1919, Walter Owen Bentley founded a company whose aim was to “manufacture a quick, robust car, the best in its category.” To celebrate the make’s centenary, Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille is dedicating three classes to Bentley in the Concours d’Etat.

At the end of WWI, Walter Owen Bentley, an aircraft engine manufacturer, switched to motor cars and launched his first 3-litre machine, a sporting model, to seduce gentlemen drivers. It was a success! Unfortunately, the 1929 crisis didn’t spare the English manufacturer, and not until after the end of WWII did the make recover its past glory. The Bentley Continental, the most expensive production car in the world at the time, had an innovative design and was available in saloon, cabriolet and luxury coupe form. Today, the Mulsanne and Continental models perpetuate the tradition and style of the English make. The cars now attract younger buyers as they proudly combine comfort and character.

Six victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Bentley was a passionate motor racing fan and he realised very early the advantage he could gain from racing to promote his cars. Before WWII, the make scored five outright victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930), and the heavy Speed 6 exceeded the 160 km/h mark on the Mulsanne straight! Bentley returned to the Sarthe at the beginning of the 21st century and added another outright win to its laurels in 2003.

Three Bentley classes at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille

Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille is going to tell this marvelous story on 30th June. The fifth running of the event will be the theatre of the celebration of Bentley’s centenary with three classes creating one of the best exhibitions dedicated to the iconic British make.

  • Pre-war road cars  
  • Pre-war racing cars  
  • Post-war cars  

“Take care of your car in the garage, and the car will take care of you on the road.” Walter Owen Bentley