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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: Walter Owen Bentley
Walter Owen Bentley (16 Sep 1888 – 3 Aug 1971), was the founder of the prestige Bentley Motors company. He can be seen in the centre of this photo to the right.
One of five brothers and four sisters, he was educated at Clifton College, a boarding school near Bristol, England from 1902 until in 1905. Then aged 16, he set off on his bicycle to work at the Great Northern Railway Locomotive Works in Doncaster, northern England to become an apprentice railway engineer with the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster Plant Works.
He then joined the National Motor Cab Company and in 1912 joined his brother, Henry Bentley, in forming a company called Bentley and Bentley.
During World War 1 Bentley designed rotary aeroplane engines for the British Government. When the war was over Bentley set up his first proper car production workshop with the help of F T Burgess and Harry Varley.
Bentley produced a car known as The Blower in 1929 with an engine redesigned by Amherst Villiers. The project was encouraged by the racing driver Sir Henry Birkin. The car (an un-supercharged version) went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1928.
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