Bentley Cars and a New Era – A Brief Guide

The Bentley Motor Company’s pedigree stems from its humble beginnings as far back as 1919 at the company’s inception, when the first Bentley cars bore the name of their maker Walter Bentley (or W.O. Bentley, as he is also referred to). Walter Bentley started out designing and manufacturing engines for the famous Sopwith camel aeroplane.

He used this valuable knowledge and design technology to manufacture his first motor cars in 1921, but it was three years later when Bentley Motor Cars was put on the automotive world map, as the Works Bentley car was entered in the ‘Le Mans 24 Hours’ and won the race. This was the first of many victories at the Le Mans race circuit in France where Bentley cars went on to win no less than four times consecutively in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930. This gave Bentley world recognition and legendary status.

Today, Bentley Motors are still a supreme luxury car marque and represent high quality in modern motoring. The Crewe based UK company is enjoying healthy sales in emerging economies like Asia and the Far East, with countries like India and China creating a growing demand for the highly regarded luxury Bentley brand.

There is no sign of let up from the Bentley Motor Company, as 2012 so far has seen the world launch of the new ‘Bentley Continental GT V8’ at the Detroit Motor Show. This all-new Bentley has been met with much praise from the motoring world and the car buying public, as the company is enjoying advance orders for this supreme ‘grand tourer’.

The new Continental GT features an all-new V8, with a hefty 500bhp twin-turbo V8 engine under the hood, and can easily accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.6sec, reputed to return a 40 per cent increased fuel economy against the current 6.0-litre W12 engine. The new Continental GT is currently doing the world circuit of motor shows with its respective launches in each country.

Another Bentley making news for the company is the flagship luxury model, the Bentley ‘Mulsanne’. The Mulsanne has recently been awarded the ‘Best of the Best’ luxury sedans accolade by the Robb Report at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Robb Report is a highly regarded world luxury resource, and a discerning panel of expert judges selected the Bentley Mulsanne for this prestigious accolade, ahead of its many luxury peers.

What next for Bentley? Well, the much talked about Bentley SUV is on the horizon and should be available sometime in 2013, plus there is even talk of a plug-in hybrid model intended for production in the not too distant future.

Gregory Greene is writing on behalf of Bramleys in Surrey, the best choice for a Bentley Specialist or when choosing a Classic Car Dealers for purchasing your next prestigious or luxury motor car.

GM To Speed Up Work On Its Volt Plug-In-Electric Car

General Motors Corp. announced at its annual shareholders meeting that it would introduce four new hybrid models this year.

A company spokesperson said four new models, all previously announced are the two-mode electric gas systems in the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon large sport utility vehicles and introduce hybrid systems for the Saturn Aura and the new Chevrolet Malibu sedans.

Gm also awarded two contracts to Compact Power Inc. and Continental Automotive Systems that will help to speed up development of its plug-in-electric car called the Chevrolet Volt. The contracts are to design and test lithium-ion batteries.

Given the huge potential in lower oil consumption and lower carbon gas emissions that the Volt and its E-Flex system offers, GM stated that producing the Volt is a top priority program and will produce the Volt as soon as it can.

The Volt which was unveiled in January at the Detroit Auto Show, uses a battery powered electric motor that can operate the car for up to 64 city kilometres on a single charge. Beyond that, a one litre three cylinder gasoline-powered engine can generate electricity to recharge the battery, giving the Volt a range of up to 1,300 kilometres.

The battery system can be plugged into a home outlet for recharging and the gasoline powered engine can recharge the batteries while moving.

GM has cut more than $7 billion (U.S.) in annual costs, shed more than 34,000 hourly workers and introduced more than 20 new models since Novemeber 2005, this is in an effort to regain sales lost to Asian competitors.

If the Volt can be introduced in a timely manner, it just might be the vehicle that can put GM back on track for the coming years.

Used Bentley – The Legendary Automotive Brand

Unfortunately I am not lucky enough to own a Bentley. I am not even lucky enough to own a used Bentley. If I am being honest with you, I am not actually lucky enough to own anything other than a slightly battered Vauxhall Corsa. Whilst this may be a good car, it is practically non-existent alongside the might of the legendary Bentley car brand.

I have, however, been lucky enough to both drive and be driven in the luxury of a Bentley – in fact, the luxury of two Bentleys. Nope, I am not absurdly rich or successful – but I was given a ticket for a day driving beautiful Bentleys to see just what they felt like. It was, I have to say, one of the best Birthday presents I have ever been given, and I thought I would share the experience with you here. This is part to make you insanely jealous, and in part to share just how special these historical and traditional cars actually are!

So, what did I drive? My first car, in the morning, was one of Bentley’s huge behemoths, monstrous creatures with insanely huge engines and enough leather spread around inside to have felled an entire heard of cows. It was a big one, but a fun one – the well known and well loved Bentley Azure T. I felt like I was sat in the world’s longest car, an effect that I am sure was enhanced by the fact that my car is quite so tiny!

As I drove this baby, I was impressed by how smooth the ride was – and how nice the seats felt. Considering that the Azure was essentially a used Bentley, you would never have guessed that anyone else had ever had the pleasure of driving it – which has something to say for the cleaning crew that look after the centre’s supercars! As I swung it gracefully around the tarmac, I was also struck by the fact that despite the obscene 6 ¾ litre engine, this car didn’t roar, but purred instead a deep smooth rumble, surely a sign of great workmanship.

Although this first drive was wonderful, after lunch I decided that something a little sportier was on the cards. After all, I will probably never have enough money to own one of these wonderful cars, and I wanted to take advantage of the situation whilst I still could. It isn’t everyday one gets to drive a Used Bentley! The Continental Supersports that I picked was interesting, because despite having a distinctly Bentley styled grille, this was undeniably modern – more so since mine was a glistening bright white!

This was my favourite drive, maybe because it felt a little wilder, like a horse pulling at the reigns. I think the W12 power unit really did it, although all I was really paying attention to as I drove it around the circuit was the acceleration, which was fast, and the steering which felt light as a feather for such a massive car. Again, I loved it!

Early Automotive History – Henry Ford’s Legacy

Born in 1863 on a family farm in Michigan, Henry Ford showed great talent for machinery repairs early on in his life. Mainly attempting to make daily farm life easier for his family, he studied every possible mechanical angle of farm machines and tools. At the age of 16, Henry started working as an apprentice machinist studying how to operate and repair steam engines for the next three years.

While nurturing his natural abilities and developing engineering skill, Henry Ford supported his family by running a sawmill. Soon enough, Edison Illuminating Company spotted the young talented man and offered him a job as an engineer. It proved a wise decision on their behalf, since he became Chief Engineer shortly after and gave a new impulse to the entire company. At that time Henry Ford had sufficient money and security to follow his dreams and explore internal combustion engines.

Most of the vehicles of the era were handcrafted, expensive and unreliable. As a result, the majority of the people relied on traditional horse and carriage methods of transportation. After spending years of studying latest trends, Henry Ford finally started in 1903 the Ford Motor Company. The future giant of American automotive industry began producing cheap, efficient and reliable cars which sparked a genuine revolution in transportation. Mass production allowed control over the costs, along with multiplying the production numbers. In 1908 Henry developed Model T, also called Tin Lizzie, a model that stands as a symbol of industrial revolution in automotive industry.

Edsel Ford

Henry Ford wasn’t alone in his efforts to create something unique. Many great minds of the time tried to match his accomplishment, but only one could be the market leader. The truth is that as the competition grew, people began looking for more than just efficient cars. They began to look for style and early automotive industry adapted to the trend. Here another Ford came into the picture, a natural successor of Henry – his son Edsel Bryant Ford.

Edsel grew up tinkering on cars, watching his father assembling, testing and approving engines. He understood the vehicle mechanics and made his own prototype sketches. At the University School Detroit, young Edsel wrote numerous essays about cars. Taking charge for sales, purchasing, advertising and other business aspects of the Ford Motor company, he learned the importance of styling and marketing.

Different visions often led to conflicts in the Ford family, but love for each other always prevailed. Edsel managed to create his vision in Lincoln Continental, one of the most beautiful classic cars ever built. The model was sold in around 5,000 units with many innovations at the time.

Strong foundations live on

It is hard to imagine a life without cars. Ford Motor Company grew at a tremendous rate in the early few years, as demand greatly exceeded supply. Father and son managed to combine their ideas in a way that allowed the company to keep sound principles of affordable cars for every market segment. There are many who also deserve a reputable place in the Ford Motor company history. Time has brought many changes since, but Henry and Edsel will remain forever remembered as the pioneers and founders of early American automotive industry.