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Tag: Bentley

July 27, 1948 – Bentley Boy Woolf Barnato dies
This Day

July 27, 1948 – Bentley Boy Woolf Barnato dies

On this day in 1948, British auto racer “Bentley Boy” Woolf Barnato passed away at the age of 52.  Barnato began his racing career in 1921, just two years after Bentley was founded, when he imported a Locomobile from the US to race at the Brooklands Easter meeting. Not long after, he earned the chance to drive a prototype Bentley 3 liter, and he became hooked on the brand. His love of Bentley led to him heavily investing in the company, a move that would keep the automaker afloat.  Using a large inheritance, Barnato purchased a controlling share of the struggling Bentley Motors in the mid 1920s, saving it from bankruptcy. It would be from behind the wheel of a Bentley that he would win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, in 1928, 1929 and 1930. These victories helped to secure the...
January 18, 1919 – Bentley is founded
This Day

January 18, 1919 – Bentley is founded

While touring the DFP automobile factory Walter Owens Bentley noticed an aluminum paperweight and had the idea of using aluminum to produce lighter cylinders. W.O., as he was known, took the idea home to North London and began producing aluminum cylinders for the Sopwith Camel airplane during the Great War. His success in manufacturing led to the founding of Bentley Motors Limited on this day in 1919.  W.O. Bentley The first of his vehicles would be delivered in September of 1921 and featured an innovative 4-valve per cylinder engine designed by Clive Gallop. Bentleys were soon tearing up the tracks in hill climbs and races at Brooklands. In some of the brands first major competitions, a Bentley placed 13th at the 1922 Indianapolis 500 and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans the next y...

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