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New Bentley Boss Handed The Keys To W.O. Bentley’s Original Company Car

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W.O. Bentley and his 1930 8-litre saloon

W.O. Bentley and his 1930 8-litre saloon

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In a symbolic transfer of leadership at Bentley, outgoing chief Wolfgang Dürheimer has handed over the keys for Bentley founder W.O. Bentley’s original company car to Wolfgang Schreiber, who takes up the leadership role at the British automaker on September 1. Dürheimer headed Bentley for less than two years, though during his tenure he oversaw the introduction of the updated Continental range as well as the laying of groundwork for the brand’s first SUV. His next role will be head of R&D at Audi.

Like Dürheimer, Bentley’s new chief is formally trained as an engineer. Schreiber has been working for the Volkswagen Group since 1984, during which time he has focused mostly on the development of transmission and drivetrain technology.

Not only did he help develop drivetrain technology for the Continental GT and Arnage models at Bentley, but he is also credited with helping bring the Bugatti Veyron supercar to production. It should come as no surprise then that Schreiber has also been named the head of Bugatti, where he will likely oversee the development of a successor to the Veyron as well as a production version of the Galibier sedan concept

As for W.O. Bentley’s original company car, Schreiber isn’t likely to be taking it for a spin anytime soon, though now that he has the keys he certainly could should he desire so--the car is still drivable.

It is a 1930 8-Litre. It represented the pinnacle of founder W.O. Bentley’s engineering career and had an impressive--for the time--top speed of over 100 mph. Unfortunately, it was launched at the start of the Great Depression, so only saw production for nine months before Bentley was placed into receivership and eventually purchased by Rolls-Royce.

Wolfgang Dürheimer and Wolfgang Schreiber

Wolfgang Dürheimer and Wolfgang Schreiber

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