Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc is a British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford. Steered from 1947 by David Brown, it became associated with expensive grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s, with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger, their sports cars are regarded as a British cultural icon. Aston Martin has held a Royal Warrant as purveyor of motorcars to the Prince of Wales since 1982, it has over 150 car dealerships in over 50 countries on six continents, making them a global automobile brand. The company is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Headquarters and main production site are in Gaydon, England, alongside one of Jaguar Land Rover's development centres on the site of a former RAF V Bomber airbase. One of Aston Martin's recent cars was named after the 1950s Avro Vulcan bomber. Aston Martin has announced plans to turn itself into a global luxury brand, is branching out into projects including speed boats, bicycles and real estate development submarines and aircraft on a licensing basis.
Aston Martin had a troubled history after the third quarter of the 20th century but has enjoyed long periods of success and stability. "In the first century we went bankrupt seven times", incoming CEO Andy Palmer told Automotive News Europe. "The second century is about making sure, not the case." Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford. The two had joined forces as Bamford & Martin the previous year to sell cars made by Singer from premises in Callow Street, London where they serviced GWK and Calthorpe vehicles. Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton, the pair decided to make their own vehicles; the first car to be named Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta Fraschini. They acquired premises at Henniker Mews in Kensington and produced their first car in March 1915. Production could not start because of the outbreak of the first World War, Martin joined the Admiralty and Bamford joined the Army Service Corps.
After the war they found new premises at Abingdon Road and designed a new car. Bamford left in 1920 and Bamford & Martin was revitalised with funding from Count Louis Zborowski. In 1922, Bamford & Martin produced cars to compete in the French Grand Prix, which went on to set world speed and endurance records at Brooklands. Three works Team Cars with 16-valve twin cam engines were built for racing and record breaking: chassis number 1914 developed as the Green Pea. 55 cars were built for sale in two configurations. Bamford & Martin went bankrupt in 1924 and was bought by Dorothea, Lady Charnwood who put her son John Benson on the board. Bamford & Martin got into financial difficulty again in 1925 and Martin was forced to sell the company; that year, Bill Renwick, Augustus Bertelli and investors including Lady Charnwood took control of the business. They renamed it Aston Martin Motors and moved it to the former Whitehead Aircraft Limited Hanworth works in Feltham. Renwick and Bertelli had been in partnership some years and had developed an overhead-cam four-cylinder engine using Renwick's patented combustion chamber design, which they had tested in an Enfield-Allday chassis.
The only "Renwick and Bertelli" motor car made, it was known as "Buzzbox" and still survives. The pair had planned to sell their engine to motor manufacturers, but having heard that Aston Martin was no longer in production realised they could capitalise on its reputation to jump start the production of a new car. Between 1926 and 1937 Bertelli was both technical director and designer of all new Aston Martins, since known as "Bertelli cars", they included the 1½-litre "T-type", "International", "Le Mans", "MKII" and its racing derivative, the "Ulster", the 2-litre 15/98 and its racing derivative, the "Speed Model". Most were open two-seater sports cars bodied by Bert Bertelli's brother Enrico, with a small number of long-chassis four-seater tourers and saloons produced. Bertelli was a competent driver keen to race his cars, one of few owner/manufacturer/drivers; the "LM" team cars were successful in national and international motor racing including at Le Mans. Financial problems reappeared in 1932.
Aston Martin was rescued for a year by Lance Prideaux Brune before passing it on to Sir Arthur Sutherland. In 1936, Aston Martin decided to concentrate on road cars, producing just 700 until World War II halted work. Production shifted to aircraft components during the war. In 1947, old-established owned Huddersfield gear and machine tools manufacturer David Brown Limited bought Aston Martin putting it under control of its Tractor Group. David Brown became Aston Martin's latest saviour, he acquired without its factory Lagonda's business for its 2.6-litre W. O. Bentley-designed engine. Lagonda moved operations to Newport Pagnell and shared engines and workshops. Aston Martin began to build the classic "DB" series of cars. In April 1950, they announced planned production of their Le Mans prototype to be called the DB2, followed by the DB2/4 in 1953, the DB2/4 MkII in 1955, the DB Mark III in 1957 and the Italian-styled 3.7 L DB4 in 1958. While these models helped Aston Martin establish a good racing pedigree, the DB4 stood out and yielded the famous DB5 in 1963.
Aston stayed true to its grand touring style with the DB6, DBS (1967–1
Rolls-Royce was a British luxury car and an aero engine manufacturing business established in 1904 by the partnership of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce. Building on Royce's reputation established with his cranes they developed a reputation for superior engineering by manufacturing the "best car in the world"; the First World War brought them into manufacturing aero engines. Joint development of jet engines began in 1940 and they entered production. Rolls-Royce has built an enduring reputation for development and manufacture of engines for defence and civil aircraft. In the late 1960s Rolls-Royce became hopelessly crippled by its mismanagement of development of its advanced RB211 jet engine and the consequent cost over-runs, though it proved a great success. In 1971 the owners were obliged to liquidate their business; the useful portions were bought by a new government-owned company named Rolls-Royce Limited which continued the core business but sold the holdings in British Aircraft Corporation immediately and transferred ownership of the profitable but now financially insignificant car division to Rolls-Royce Motors Holdings Limited.
This it sold to Vickers in 1980. Rolls-Royce obtained consent to drop 1971 from its name in 1977; the Rolls-Royce business remained nationalised until 1987 when, renaming the owner Rolls-Royce plc, the government sold it to the public. Rolls-Royce plc still owns and operates Rolls-Royce's principal business though since 2003 it is technically a subsidiary of listed holding company Rolls-Royce Holdings plc. A marketing survey in 1987 showed that only Coca-Cola was a more known brand than Rolls-Royce. In 1884 Henry Royce started an mechanical business, he made his first car, a two-cylinder Royce 10, in his Manchester factory in 1904. Henry Royce was introduced to Charles Rolls at the Midland Manchester on 4 May of that year. Rolls was proprietor of an early motor car dealership, C. S. Rolls & Co. in Fulham. In spite of his preference for three- or four-cylinder cars, Rolls was impressed with the Royce 10, in a subsequent agreement on 23 December 1904 agreed to take all the cars Royce could make. There would be four models: a 10 hp, two-cylinder model selling at £395, a 15 hp three-cylinder at £500, a 20 hp four-cylinder at £650, a 30 hp six-cylinder model priced at £890,All would be badged as Rolls-Royces, be sold by Rolls.
The first Rolls-Royce car, the Rolls-Royce 10 hp, was unveiled at the Paris Salon in December 1904. Rolls-Royce Limited was formed on 15 March 1906, by which time it was apparent that new premises were required for production of cars. After considering sites in Manchester, Coventry and Leicester, it was an offer from Derby's council of cheap electricity that resulted in the decision to acquire a 12.7 acres site on the southern edge of that city. The new factory was designed by Royce, production began in early 1908, with a formal opening on 9 July 1908 by Sir John Montagu; the investment in the new company required further capital to be raised, on 6 December 1906 £100,000 of new shares were offered to the public. In 1907, Rolls-Royce bought out C. S. Rolls & Co. During 1906 Royce had been developing an improved six-cylinder model with more power than the Rolls-Royce 30 hp. Designated the 40/50 hp, this was Rolls-Royce's first all-new model. In March 1908 Claude Johnson, Commercial Managing Director and sometimes described as the hyphen in Rolls-Royce, succeeded in persuading Royce and the other directors that Rolls-Royce should concentrate on the new model, all the earlier models were duly discontinued.
Johnson had an early example named, as if it were a yacht, Silver Ghost. Unofficially the press and public picked up and used Silver Ghost for all the 40/50 cars made until the introduction of the 40/50 Phantom in 1925; the new 40/50 was responsible for Rolls-Royce's early reputation with over 6,000 built. Its chassis was used as a basis for the first British armoured car used in both world wars. Aero-engine manufacture began in 1914. Rolls-Royce's Eagle, the first example was made in 1915, was the first engine to make a non-stop trans-Atlantic crossing by aeroplane when in June 1919 two Eagles powered the converted Vickers Vimy bomber on the transatlantic flight of Alcock and Brown. In 1921 Rolls-Royce opened a new factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in the United States where a further 1,701 "Springfield Ghosts" were built; this factory operated for 10 years, closing in 1931. It was located at the former American Wire Wheel factory on Hendee Street, with the administration offices at 54 Waltham Ave.
Springfield was the earlier location for the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, the location where the first American gasoline-powered vehicle was built. Their first chassis was completed in 1921. Bodies were supplied by Rolls-Royce Custom Coachwork and by Brewster & Co. in Long Island City, New York. After the First World War, Rolls-Royce avoided attempts to encourage British car manufacturers to merge. Faced with falling sales of the 40/50 Silver Ghost in short-lived but deep postwar slumps Rolls-Royce introduced the smaller, cheaper Twenty in 1922 ending the one-model policy followed since 1908; the new 40/50 hp Phantom replaced the Silver Ghost in 1925. The Phantom III introduced in 1936 was the last large pre-war model. A limited production of Phantoms for heads of state recommenced in 1950 and continued until the Phantom VI ended production in the late 1980s. In 1931 Rolls-Royce acquired
Vickers plc was the remainder of Vickers-Armstrongs after the nationalisation of three of its four operating groups: aviation and steel. It was purchased by Rolls-Royce plc in 1999, the Vickers company name became defunct in 2004; the company was created in 1977 from the rump of Vickers-Armstrongs following the nationalisation of its aviation and steel businesses. During the 1980s the company acquired businesses in the Automotive Engineering sector, the Defence sector and the Marine Engineering sector. Rolls-Royce plc purchased Vickers plc for £576 million in 1999 for its marine engineering businesses. In 2002, Vickers Defence Systems was purchased by Alvis plc to form the subsidiary Alvis Vickers. In 2003, Rolls-Royce renamed its Vickers subsidiaries Vinters plc; the Vickers name lived on in Alvis Vickers. In 2004, the board of the parent group Alvis approved a £309m takeover bid by the American defence company General Dynamics. Within 3 months BAE Systems, which had a 29% stake in the company, bid £355m for the company.
The action was seen as a defence of the home market from a foreign rival. The bid was accepted by the majority of shareholders. In September 2004, BAE announced the creation of BAE Systems Land Systems, a new company bringing together the BAE subsidiaries, RO Defence and Alvis Vickers; this saw the end of the famous Vickers name after 176 years. In 2005, the acquisition of United Defense led to the creation of BAE Systems Land and Armaments Group. In 1980, Vickers plc acquired Rolls-Royce Motors; this was not Vickers' first involvement with Rolls-Royce. In 1966, Rolls-Royce Limited acquired Bristol Aeroplane for its Bristol Siddeley engine business, but declared it had no interest in Bristol's 20% shareholding in BAC. Despite this declaration Rolls-Royce had still not disposed of its BAC stake when the former was declared bankrupt in 1971; the 20% share was acquired from receivership by Vickers and GEC. In 1990, the Cosworth automotive engineering group was purchased. Vickers divested its automotive interests in 1998, selling Cosworth and Rolls-Royce Motors to Volkswagen Group.
The disposal of Rolls-Royce was a complicated affair, involving BMW and legal issues surrounding the use of trademarks which were shared with Rolls-Royce plc. In 1986, Royal Ordnance Factory Leeds was purchased and became the core component of Vickers Defence Systems; these interests were centred on land warfare products and brought the Challenger 1 tank into Vickers' portfolio. Vickers would develop this into the Challenger 2, the current main battle tank of the British Army and Oman. In 1999 Reumech, owner of OMC, the South African defence company was purchased and renamed as Vickers OMC. In 2004, Vickers OMC was sold to BAE Systems. Vickers was the parent company of the Brown Brothers group, which produced marine steering gear and stabilisers. In 1986, it purchased Kamewa a Swedish manufacturer of waterjets, followed in 1998 by Ulstein, a major marine propulsion and engineering company; the companies were formed up as Vickers Ulstein Marine. Companies House. Retrieved 22 June 2006 Documents and clippings about Vickers plc in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that has its main headquarter in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903; the company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors, it has joint-ventures in China, Thailand and Russia. The company is controlled by the Ford family. Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada and the Middle East since 1938.
Ford is the second-largest U. S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2015 vehicle production. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe; the company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights. During the financial crisis at the beginning of the 21st century, it was close to bankruptcy, but it has since returned to profitability. Ford was the eleventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2018 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2017 of $156.7 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. Henry Ford's first attempt at a car company under his own name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902, after Ford left with the rights to his name; the Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge.
The first president was not Ford, but local banker John S. Gray, chosen to assuage investors' fears that Ford would leave the new company the way he had left its predecessor. During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue and its factory on Piquette Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car, assembling it from parts made by supplier companies contracting for Ford. Within a decade, the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept, Ford soon brought much of the part production in-house in a vertical integration that seemed a better path for the era. Henry Ford was 39 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, it has been in continuous family control for over 100 years and is one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world. The first gasoline powered automobile had been created in 1885 by the German inventor Carl Benz.
More efficient production methods were needed to make automobiles affordable for the middle class, to which Ford contributed by, for instance, introducing the first moving assembly line in 1913 at the Ford factory in Highland Park. Between 1903 and 1908, Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, S. Hundreds or a few thousand of most of these were sold per year. In 1908, Ford introduced the mass-produced Model T, which totalled millions sold over nearly 20 years. In 1927, Ford replaced the T with the first car with safety glass in the windshield. Ford launched the first low-priced car with a V8 engine in 1932. In an attempt to compete with General Motors' mid-priced Pontiac and Buick, Ford created the Mercury in 1939 as a higher-priced companion car to Ford. Henry Ford purchased the Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, in order to compete with such brands as Cadillac and Packard for the luxury segment of the automobile market. In 1929, Ford was contracted by the government of the Soviet Union to set up the Gorky Automobile Plant in Russia producing Ford Model A and AAs thereby playing an important role in the industrialisation of that country.
The creation of a scientific laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan in 1951, doing unfettered basic research, led to Ford's unlikely involvement in superconductivity research. In 1964, Ford Research Labs made a key breakthrough with the invention of a superconducting quantum interference device or SQUID. Ford offered the Lifeguard safety package from 1956, which included such innovations as a standard deep-dish steering wheel, optional front, for the first time in a car, rear seatbelts, an optional padded dash. Ford introduced child-proof door locks into its products in 1957, and, in the same year, offered the first retractable hardtop on a mass-produced six-seater car. In late 1955, Ford established the Continental division as a separate luxury car division; this division was responsible for the manufacture and sale of the famous Continental Mark II. At the same time, the Edsel division was created to design and market that car starting with the 1958 model year. Due to limited sales of the Continental and the Edsel disaster, Ford merged Lincoln and Edsel into "M
BMW AG is a German multinational company which produces automobiles and motorcycles, produced aircraft engines until 1945. The company is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria. BMW produces motor vehicles in Germany, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States. In 2015, BMW was the world's twelfth largest producer of motor vehicles, with 2,279,503 vehicles produced; the Quandt family are long-term shareholders of the company, with the remaining shares owned by public float. Automobiles are marketed under the brands Mini and Rolls-Royce. Motorcycles are marketed under the brand BMW Motorrad; the company has significant motorsport history in touring cars, Formula 1, sports cars and the Isle of Man TT. BMW's origins can be traced back to three separate German companies: Rapp Motorenwerke, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, Automobilwerk Eisenach; the history of the name itself begins with an aircraft engine manufacturer. In April 1917, following the departure of the founder Karl Friedrich Rapp, the company was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke.
BMW's first product was the BMW IIIa aircraft engine. The IIIa engine was known for high-altitude performance; the resulting orders for IIIa engines from the German military caused rapid expansion for BMW. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. To remain in business, BMW produced farm household items and railway brakes. In 1922, former major shareholder Camillo Castiglioni purchased the rights to the name BMW, which led to the company descended from Rapp Motorenwerke being renamed Süddeutsche Bremse AG. Castiglioni was an investor in another aircraft company, called "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke", which he renamed BMW; the disused factory of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke was re-opened to produce engines for buses, farm equipment and pumps, under the brand name BMW. BMW's corporate history considers the founding date of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke to be the birth of the company; as the restrictions of the Armistice Treaty began to be lifted, BMW began production of motorcycles in 1923, with the R32 model.
BMW's production of automobiles began in 1928, when the company purchased the Automobilwerk Eisenach car company. Automobilwerk Eisenach's current model was the Dixi 3/15, a licensed copy of the Austin 7 which had begun production in 1927. Following the takeover, the Dixi 3/15 became BMW's first production car. In 1932, the BMW 3/20 became the first BMW automobile designed by BMW, it was powered by a four-cylinder engine. BMW's first automotive straight-six engine was released in 1933, in the BMW 303. Throughout the 1930s, BMW expanded its model range to include sedans, coupes and sports cars. With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe; the factory in Munich made ample use of forced labour: foreign civilians, prisoners of war and inmates of the Dachau concentration camp. Among its successful World War II engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944–1945–era jet-powered “emergency fighter”, the Heinkel He 162 Spatz.
The BMW 003 jet engine was first tested as a prime power plant in the first prototype of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Me 262 V1, but in 1942 tests the BMW prototype engines failed on takeoff with only the standby Junkers Jumo 210 nose-mounted piston engine powering it to a safe landing. The few Me 262 A-1b test examples built used the more developed version of the 003 jet, recording an official top speed of 800 km/h; the first-ever four-engine jet aircraft flown were the sixth and eighth prototypes of the Arado Ar 234 jet reconnaissance-bomber, which used BMW 003 jets for power. Through 1944 the 003's reliability improved, making it a suitable power plant for air frame designs competing for the Jägernotprogramm’s light fighter production contract. Which was won by the Heinkel He 162 Spatz design; the BMW 003 aviation turbojet was under consideration as the basic starting point for a pioneering turboshaft powerplant for German armored fighting vehicles in 1944–45, as the GT 101. Towards the end of the Third Reich, BMW developed some military aircraft projects for the Luftwaffe, the BMW Strahlbomber, the BMW Schnellbomber and the BMW Strahljäger, but none of them were built.
During World War II, many BMW production facilities had been bombed. BMW's facilities in East Germany were seized by the Soviet Union and the remaining facilities were banned by the Allies from producing motorcycles or automobiles. During this ban, BMW used basic secondhand and salvaged equipment to make pots and pans expanding to other kitchen supplies and bicycles. In 1947, BMW was granted permission to resume motorcycle production and its first post-war motorcycle - the R24 - was released in 1948. BMW was still barred from producing automobiles, the Bristol Aeroplane Company was producing cars in England based on BMW's pre-war models, using plans that BAC had taken from BMW's German offices. Production of automobiles resumed with the BMW 501 large sedan. Throughout the 1950s, BMW expanded their model range with sedans, coupes and sports cars. In 1954, the BMW 502 was BMW's first to use a V8 engine. To provide an affordable model, BMW began production of the Isetta
The Ford Zephyr is a car, manufactured by Ford of Britain from 1950 to 1972. The four cylinder version was named Ford Consul but from 1962 both four- and six-cylinder versions were named Zephyr, the Consul name having been discontinued on this line of cars; the Zephyr, its luxury variants, the Ford Zodiac and Ford Executive, were the largest passenger cars in the British Ford range from 1950 until their replacement by the Consul and Granada models in 1972. The Mark I Ford Consul and Zephyr models were first displayed at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1950, they were the first British cars to use in mass production the MacPherson Strut independent front suspension, used today. Production began with the Consul on 1 January 1951; the Mark I model ran until 1956. From April 1956 the Mark II Consul and Zodiac went on sale and were known as the Three Graces; the Mark II range was popular and finished its run in 1962, when from April that year the Mark III Zephyr 4, Zephyr 6 and Zodiac went on sale. The Consul name was dropped, the car's place in the Ford UK line-up being filled by the first four-cylinder Ford Zephyr.
While the Mark II Zephyr and Zodiacs had shared the same body, the new Zodiac and Zephyrs launched in 1962 shared few body panels. With the Mark III, Ford sorted out problems that had beset previous models and the Mark III proved to be popular and the most durable of the range; the model sold at a rate equal to or better than the Mark II both in the UK and overseas, but was in production for a shorter time. During the last months of production, an up-market Executive version was added to the Mark III range; the Mk III range was discontinued in January 1966 and the new Zephyr / Zodiac Mark IV range was released in April 1966. This car's design anticipated the Consul/Granada range with V-engines and independent rear suspension, but the development of the model was rushed and this was reflected in its durability, it was one of the first medium priced cars to feature rear disc brakes. Although the Ford Zephyr never saw American production, a limited number were imported into the U. S. and the name itself has appeared on other American Ford-related cars.
The first use of the Zephyr name was in 1936 with the Lincoln-Zephyr a smaller companion to the full sized Lincoln sedan sold at the time, followed in the late 1970s with the Mercury Zephyr, an upscale version of the Ford Fairmont. The Lincoln Zephyr name was resurrected for a new model in 2006 but was changed to Lincoln MKZ the following year. Model number EOTTAThe first of the Zephyr range was a lengthened version of the four-cylinder 1,508 cc Consul, with a 2,262 cc six-cylinder engine producing 68 bhp. Like the Consul, the Zephyr came with a three-speed gear box, controlled by a column-mounted lever; the front suspension design employed what would come to be known as MacPherson struts while a more conventional configuration for the rear suspension used a live axle with half-elliptic springs. The car could reach just over 23 mpg; the Ford Zephyr Six was available with 4-door saloon and two-door convertible bodies. The convertible version had a power-operated hood. In addition to the main British Ford factory in Dagenham, the Consul and Zephyr were assembled at Ford New Zealand's Seaview factory in Lower Hutt from CKD kits.
The large Fords competed with the locally built Vauxhall Wyvern and Velox and the Australian Holden. When the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II visited New Zealand as part of a Commonwealth tour in the early 1950s, she was pictured watching Zephyrs being built at the local Ford plant. In 1953, a Ford Zephyr Six driven by Maurice Gatsonides won the Monte Carlo rally, pushing a Jaguar Mark VII into second place in the process. Two years a Ford Zephyr Six driven by Vic Preston and D P Marwaha won the East African Safari Rally. A saloon tested by The Motor magazine in 1951 had a top speed of 79.8 mph and could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 20.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.7 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost £842 including taxes but was fitted with optional leather trim and radio. Model number EOTTAThe Zephyr Zodiac was an upmarket version of the Zephyr launched at the London Motor Show in autumn 1953, it had two-tone paintwork, leather trim, a heater, windscreen washers, whitewall tyres, spot lights.
The engine had a higher compression ratio – 7.5:1 instead of 6.8:1 – increasing the maximum power to 71 bhp. A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1955 had a top speed of 80 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.2 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost £851 including taxes. There are no official records of Zephyr Zodiac convertibles being produced, but there were a few estate cars. Model number 206EIn 1956 the Consul and Zodiac were all restyled; the 6-cylinder cars' engines were enlarged to 2,553 cc, with power output correspondingly raised to 86 bhp. The wheelbase was increased by 3 inches to the width increased to 69 inches; the weight distribution and turning circle were improved. Top speed increased to 88 mph and the fuel consumption was improved at 28 mpg‑imp; the Zodiac and Zephyr were offered in two body styles these being the "Highline" and "Lowline", depending on the year of manufacture — the dif
Bentley Motors Limited is a British manufacturer and marketer of luxury cars and SUVs—and a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1998. Headquartered in Crewe, the company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by W. O. Bentley in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London—and became known for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 2003. Prominent models extend from the historic sports-racing Bentley 4 1/2 Bentley Speed Six. Today most Bentleys are assembled at the company's Crewe factory, with a small number assembled at Volkswagen's Dresden factory and with bodies for the Continental manufactured in Zwickau and for the Bentayga manufactured at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant; the joining and eventual separation of Bentley and Rolls-Royce followed a series of mergers and acquisitions, beginning with the 1931 purchase by Rolls-Royce of Bentley in receivership. In 1971, Rolls-Royce itself was forced into receivership and the UK government nationalised the company—splitting into two companies the aerospace division and automotive divisions—the latter retaining the Bentley subdivision.
Rolls-Royce Motors was subsequently sold to engineering conglomerate, Vickers and in 1998, Vickers sold Rolls-Royce to Volkswagen AG. Intellectual property rights to both the name Rolls-Royce as well as the company's logo had been retained not by Rolls-Royce Motors, but by aerospace company, Rolls-Royce Plc, which had continued to license both to the automotive division, thus the sale of "Rolls-Royce" to VW included the Bentley name and logos, vehicle designs, model nameplates and administrative facilities, the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks —but not the rights to the Rolls-Royce name or logo. The aerospace company, Rolls-Royce Plc sold both to BMW AG. Before World War I, Walter Owen Bentley and his brother, Horace Millner Bentley, sold French DFP cars in Cricklewood, North London, but W. O, as Walter was known, always wanted to build his own cars. At the DFP factory, in 1913, he noticed an aluminium paperweight and thought that aluminium might be a suitable replacement for cast iron to fabricate lighter pistons.
The first Bentley aluminium pistons were fitted to Sopwith Camel aero engines during World War I. In August 1919, W. O. registered Bentley Motors Ltd. and in October he exhibited a car chassis, with dummy engine, at the London Motor Show. Ex–Royal Flying Corps officer Clive Gallop designed an innovative four valves per cylinder engine for the chassis. By December the engine was running. Delivery of the first cars was scheduled for June 1920, but development took longer than estimated so the date was extended to September 1921; the durability of the first Bentley cars earned widespread acclaim and they competed in hill climbs and raced at Brooklands. Bentley's first major event was the 1922 Indianapolis 500, a race dominated by specialized cars with Duesenberg racing chassis, they entered a modified road car driven by works driver, Douglas Hawkes, accompanied by riding mechanic, H. S. "Bertie" Browning. Hawkes completed the full 500 miles and finished 13th with an average speed of 74.95 miles per hour after starting in 19th position.
The team was rushed back to England to compete in the 1922 RAC Tourist Trophy. In an ironic reference to his heavyweight boxer's stature, Captain Woolf Barnato was nicknamed "Babe". In 1925, he acquired a 3-litre. With this car he won numerous Brooklands races. Just a year he acquired the Bentley business itself; the Bentley enterprise was always underfunded, but inspired by the 1924 Le Mans win by John Duff and Frank Clement, Barnato agreed to finance Bentley's business. Barnato had incorporated Baromans Ltd in 1922, which existed as his investment vehicle. Via Baromans, Barnato invested in excess of £100,000, saving the business and its workforce. A financial reorganisation of the original Bentley company was carried out and all existing creditors paid off for £75,000. Existing shares were devalued from £ 1 each to 5 % or their original value. Barnato held 149,500 of the new shares giving him control of the company and he became chairman. Barnato injected further cash into the business: £35,000 secured by debenture in July 1927.
With renewed financial input, W. O. Bentley was able to design another generation of cars; the Bentley Boys were a group of British motoring enthusiasts that included Barnato, Sir Henry "Tim" Birkin, steeple chaser George Duller, aviator Glen Kidston, automotive journalist S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis, Dudley Benjafield. The Bentley Boys favoured Bentley cars. Many were independently wealthy and many had a military background, they kept the marque's reputation for high performance alive. In 1929, Birkin developed the 4½-litre, lightweight Blower Bentley at Welwyn Garden City and produced five racing specials, starting with Bentley Blower No.1, optimised for the Brooklands racing circuit. Birkin overruled Bentley and put the model on the market before it was developed; as a result, it was unreliable. In March 1930, during the Blue Train Races, Barnato raised the stakes on Rover and its Rover Light Six, having raced and beaten Le Train Bleu for the first time, to better that record with his 6½-litre Bentley Speed Six on a bet o