Bentley Automobiles bentley logo

W.O. Bentley was only at the helm of Bentley for 12 short years. During that time, however, Bentley dominated the racing world with innumerable wins.

Bentley won at Le Mans five times in a row. The Drivers were called the "Bentley Boys." Barnato, the best known of the Boys drove his 6.5 Bentley from Nice to London, competing against the "Blue Train" and beating the train to Victoria Station by 4 hours.

Photos were taken at Laguna Seca at the Monterey historic Races in 2001 when Bentley was the featured mark.


In 1931, Bentley Motors was in receivership and Rolls Royce took over.

Even if W.O. Bentley was under contract until 1935, the Bentleys were Rolls Royce in disguise, sporting a different grille and once in a while some light modifications. A few Bentleys such as the Embirico designed by Paulin and bodied by Pourtout, and the Continental bodied by Parkward and Mulliner were amazing automobiles.

During the Rolls Royce ownership, the cars were still designed and manufactured in England, and Don Nordeman wrote in AQ "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on.

In 1998 Bentley was absorbed by Volkswagen, and Rolls Royce by  BMW. A long time since the "Dixie" was built under license from Austin, Volkswagen is today making "Exotic People Cars," such as the Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini.

The Engine of the new Bentley Continental is based on the "W" engine made by Volkswagen with some input from Audi. Both the engine and the body are manufactured in Germany, and assembled at the Crewe plant in England. Making the Bentley a British product.

The Bentley Continental (British or a German product) is a very nice car with superior engineering. Unfortunately the brain (computer) of the car is a gremlin named "Kessy.Kessy is also of German descent.

When Kessy has a stroke, the Bentley has brain damage, displaying a mysterious warning "steering work needed." The result is immobility: No ignition, no steering, four wheels locked and side effects such as non functioning phone and windows.

The first occurrence was late at night in a parking lot. Even the experts from the dealership could not unlock the wheels, and the Bentley was dragged on a flat bed after spraying silicone fluid on the asphalt and on the tires. At the Dimmitt Dealership, a new brain "Kessy 2" shipped directly from England was implanted.

Unfortunately, a few weeks later Kessy 2 had a stroke, but this time inside a building. The recovery of the car ( see video) was vastly improved, placed on dollies the Bentley was towed to Dimmitt. This time the cause of death was diagnosed as drowning, from drains being plugged by leaves and water accumulating below the windshield. But, no screen was installed to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

After picking up Kessy 3, we decided to take the Bentley out for Diner at the Tampa International Plaza. Once again, the Bentley, this time with Kessy 3 left us to hitchhike home at midnight. The recovery, now a well tuned process, was done the following day and the Bentley went once more to receive another transplant at Dimmitt.



Alain Cerf

Kessy #4 is less than one week old and still in good shape, Oh! But wait! The right side window does not close anymore! So my Bentley is once again going home to Dimmitt, it used to visit, now it calls the dealership home.

It is a real shame that a car with great mechanical engineering has to be turned into junk metal by awful electronics. In addition to the major problems with Kessy, the car has been plagued with minor electronic problems since delivery, such as false readings like: No oil pressure, four flat tires, windows not closing, phone not working, radio being very temperamental, automatic mode for wipers...

UPDATE - August 29, 2006

After less than 250 miles, Kessy #4 is not communicating.
Time for another trip home to Dimmitt.
Click below to see the latest in our series of towing videos.