My First Car: Bentley boss started off with a Maestro

He has a choice of some of the world’s best cars these days but Bentley’s UK director Richard Leopold’s first car was rather more humble: an Austin Maestro.

Richard Leopold

It was chocolate brown and he paid very little for it. “I’d bought it for £200 as the clutch had gone,” said the Yorkshire-educated car boss.

“My dad had rebuilt many cars in his time and his advice was “get a car with solid bodywork - the mechanics are easy to fix!” We spent the following week stripping down the engine on a workbench and rebuilding the lot.

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“I ended up keeping it for about five years, driving to/from Germany for my first automotive job and flogging it for £450 on return! I did all the service/maintenance myself, so learnt a lot about cars from the old Maestro.”

Austin Maestro

He has had some good cars over the years such a classic Saab 900 Turbo convertible when he worked for the Swedish firm More recently, he privately owned a Porsche 911 as a daily driver – “it put a smile on my face every day”.

He said: “I recently took a new Bentley Continental GT Speed around the UK in my new role and thoroughly enjoyed eating the miles in such a relaxed, yet incredibly potent car – this has to be my new benchmark for grand touring and I can’t wait to get back out on the road for my next trip.”

Mr Leopold was educated at Humberside University and spent quite a few weekends over in Sheffield and Leeds.

“More recently, we’ve enjoyed some very pleasant holidays in the Yorkshire Dales where the walks and views are really hard to beat. As we live in Cheshire, Yorkshire is thankfully very accessible for us.”