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Rent a Bentley - The most famous secret agent in fiction, James Bond, had a long and happy relationship with Bentleys. This may come as surprise to those who only know 007 from his movie outings, but the Bond of the original novels was a man who admired Bentleys. To Bond, Bentleys were the ultimate in British cars as he remembered their glory days at Le Mans between the wars, when teams of Bentleys seemed to brush the opposition aside at will.
Those who want to read more about Bond’s love for Bentleys should revisit Ian Fleming’s original novels. In both Casino Royale and Moonraker, Bond drives one of the last of the famous 4.5 litre Bentleys fitted with the Amherst Villiers Supercharger. These convertible coupes, with their superchargers projecting forwards, were known to fans as ‘Blower Bentleys’. Bond’s Bentleys see plenty of action in the two novels in Casino Royale Bond drives to rescue the heroine Vesper Lynd in his Bentley but falls into a trap in Moonraker Bond and his Bentley chase the villain, Sir Hugo Drax, through the darkened and twisting country roads of Kent in a thrilling sequence. In Moonraker Bond also shows his devotion to Bentleys in another way when he wins £20,000 at bridge he contemplates investing £5,000 in a new Rolls-Bentley convertible and plans to visit his dealer that afternoon. Rent a Bentley and create your own incredible adventure like Bond or the Villain!
Both Bond’s and Fleming’s admiration for Bentleys, so clear in the novels, is not surprising when we consider the legendary performance of the Bentleys which competed in the 24 hours of Le Mans races in the 1920s. Bentleys won the event in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 and would probably have carried winning regularly if it had not been for financial events at home. The financial crash of 1929 affected the Bentleys badly and the charismatic director of the business, Woolf ‘Babe’ Barnato felt he had to sell his business to Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce discontinued production of Bentleys for two years and ended the racing programme.
When production of Bentleys resumed it was at Rolls Royce’s Derby plant rather than the Bentleys’ old home at Cricklewood. It was at around this time that the father of the Bentleys, W.O. Bentley, designer of many of the Bentleys’ famous engines moved from the company that bore his name to Lagonda. For over seventy years after the Rolls Royce buy-out, Bentleys and Rolls Royces shared common chassis design. Some people, including James Bond, felt that Bentleys were never quite the same again. In place of the hard driving, high endurance, multi race winning old style Bentleys came a newer breed of luxury cars that, to the eyes of some traditional Bentley fans, lacked the excitement of the old-style racing Bentleys of the ‘20s. But it is only fair to note that the new Bentleys were very well regarded and successful. They continue to be so to this day. Bentleys are still outstanding, at the top-end of the luxury market, craftsmen built, durable, elegant. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II owns a Bentley State Limousine, Bentleys are still a status symbol for many. Rent a Bentley and fill your days with ease and elegance behind the wheel.
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