Updated: October 29, 2013 3:00 PM | By Steve Walker & Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos, Ed Soluk
The men behind the world’s biggest car brands

Walter Owen Bentley

Walter Owen Bentley (© Getty)
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The man behind one of the grandest names in British motoring history was a car dealer selling models built by the French brand DFP before the first world war. Walter Owen Bentley longed to design and build his own car though, and in 1919 that’s exactly what he did. Bentley Motors Ltd was registered in August of that year and by October a chassis was on display at the London Motor Show. The first Bentleys were delivered to customers in 1921 and throughout that decade the brand set about building a winning reputation for itself on track. The highlight was four back-to-back victories at the Le Mans 24-hour race between 1927 and 1930 in the hands of the famous ‘Bentley Boys’. 

Pictured: W O Bentley (1888-1971) and the Bentley Continental GT3

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