Bentley has a rich history that dates back to 1921, when founder W.O. Bentley translated his love for motorsports into the first publicly available Bentley: the 3-liter. Bentley has since weathered changes to its ownership and continues to build performance-oriented luxury automobiles in 2010.Bentley thrived as an independent luxury car maker in its first ten years. Depression-era economics led to their sale to Rolls-Royce in 1931, and for much of the next 70 years, Bentleys were essentially performance-oriented rebadged Rolls-Royces. The 1990s saw the return of purpose-built Bentley luxury sports models. The marque is owned by Volkswagen in 2010.Bentley Motors was synonymous with racing in its early life. They won numerous races in the 1920s and 1930s, including several 24 Hours of Le Mans victories for the Bentley Speed 6. Since being acquired by Volkswagen, Bentley has returned to the racing scene. Two Bentley Speed 8 models finished first and second at the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans.As of 2010, the Bentley lineup encompasses four model lines. The Mulsanne sedan is Bentley’s flagship, a huge made-to-order luxury sedan that can travel 184 miles per hour. The Brooklands coupe and Azure convertible are closely related, eschewing “modern” styling in favor of the classic, squared-off Bentley lines. Bentley Continentals are the brand’s bread and butter; they are differentiated into sedans, coupes and convertibles, with several special editions. The Continental received a significant redesign for the 2011 model year.