Lost Car Dealerships

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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby moonbeam » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:35 am

Cousin worked for a Morris garage in the Glasgow area in the 1960s. Morris Minors gear levers used to rattle a bit. There was
a "fixing kit" to correct this. However the Morris garage slapped some heavy grease round the bottom of the gear lever and charged for the "fixing kit" and labour! Morris engines about 50,000 miles often needed new piston rings. Blue smoke and heavy oil consumption were what the customer came in with. Heavy oil ie an SAE 40-50 plus a can of that "restoral stuff" sold by motor factors bunged in the engine and a quick clean. Look no blue smoke! Customer away happy but a tad lighter in the pocket! I once went to the "father" and "son" at Trefoil to possibly buy a car. Genuine one owner my "ass". Only 18,000 on the
clock lady owner in Shawlands. Oh yes sir we will fix the spare wheel. No they did not come with a wheel jack. Yes this is the Delux model.My mechanic cousin came with me and recognized an ex Hertz rental car. Now his mate worked at Hertz. You guess. Quick call to Alan his mate "On that car. Punted it with 40,000 up the auction. Recon clutch on way out. Needs new tyres. Used by a sales rep under a fleet contract. Base unit without extras". Real Arthur Daly types. One even had a tatty camel coat the day I was their. I once had a car radio nicked from my car. Cousin told me to go down to a "sort" of second had car place at the Barrack Street area and ask for "Jono". Go to place ask for Jono. Anyway Jono looks me up and down I say Stewart (cousin) from BMC Morris Garage. Face lights up "Hows the wee man doing". Into the back past bits of cars into a sort of cubbyl hole "Now what radio do you want? Got A motorloa out a Jag or a nice one out a Merc. He had literally dozens of car radios. There is a good un out a Merc is £4 quid too much. Had that radio for years. I think this guy had the entire car radio market in Glasgow!
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby banjo » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:52 am

not the entire glasgow market moonbeam.a certain chinese take away in drumchapel did a roaring trade with stolen car radios.he would trade food for them then sell them on.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby bmwspecialist » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:08 pm

That was them exactly, Moonbeam ! The camel coat would have been Gerry. He didn't have the shades on at the time did he ? And was he not smoking a big cigar ? Aye, that was him. At least he had the decency to look like a dodgy bastard.
Probably the only genuine thing in the place was the relationship between Pop and Gerry.
But what amazed me was the number of repeat customers they got. There was one guy who just kept changing his cars. I think the longest he kept a car was three months. He actually traded in a Vauxhall Cavalier for a Cortina he'd had a year ago.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby moonbeam » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:59 pm

Yes the guy with the camel coat had a cigar that day. Another true story. Years ago gave a lift
to a friend who was picking up a company supplied car from a certain AC Renault dealership. Looked over the "new" car. Basically it had something like 1.8 or 1.9 injection badges and no side trims. Friend was signing for a 1.8 or 1.9 injection
which I knew should have side trims and fancy wheel trims. Opened bonnet-low and behold something like a
1.4 carb engine. Much " confusion" at dealership! Never really found out if they were trying it on. But anyway the upshot was
AC lost that car sale.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby moonbeam » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:48 pm

Re Trefoil Cars. ::): Forgot to mention the "finance deal". Oh and he did offer to fit a free car radio in the so called de lux Cortina!
The guy Gerry was trying to explain some form of "finance deal". By this time I was not interested. Maybe you know how it worked. Seemed I would be paying around 29% interest but that included some sort of "breakdown" deal or "warranty".
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby bmwspecialist » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:13 pm

Re the Motor Trade in the Seventies. You know, it's no surprise to me , and probably not to you either, Moonbeam, that there are so many Lost Car Dealerships in Glasgow. They really did get away with murder, didn't they ?
Trefoil Cars did their own finance and had the nerve to call it Safeway Finance, remember there was a Safeways in the Shawlands Arcade at the time ? The printing on the documentation was made to look as if it was a part of Safeways, it was only when you looked at the microscopic print that you realised it had nothing to do with Safeways.
The breakdown bit would mean that they would have given you a loan of something they had about the garage. The "Warranty" was very much at their discretion. If a camshaft went, and your face fitted you'd get a new camshaft. If you were classed as a "Moaner"....Pop's favourite description of customers with a grievance....you would get the tappets screwed right down to zero clearance and a couple of cans of Wynns thrown in and body swerved until either your patience or the warranty ran out.
You'll be asking why I stayed with them ? Unabashed Greed ! Every time I tried to hand in my notice, I got a substantial pay rise. At one point I must have been the best paid mechanic in Glasgow. I was a pretty conscientious mechanic and I always tried to do my best but there were better, I admit. It just shows you what a plonker the guy who was there before me was.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby moonbeam » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:30 pm

Carlaw's BMC garage at Finnieston. Brother had an A40 Farina bought new from Carlaws. Had to get a new
ring gear on the flywheel fitted. Carlaws put the ring gear in the wrong way round. Dad had a Mk1 Escort. Went into Croft in Gallowgate for a 12,000 mile service. Mechanic put the wrong cap back on the radiator. That cause all sorts of engine problems until spotted. Some SAAB and Merc dealers charged for using cleaning rags. Brother bought a new SAAB 96 had it serviced at a place near Crow Road. He was being charged I think £85 plus £40 or so labour for a cracked headlight unit when someone tipped him off you could actually buy the unit for £18. That was around 1974.I think some main dealers thought they could get away with charging what they liked. However I think the car manufacturers did not help. As a former Mk1 Escort owner I would agreed with comment of the time that Fords were made to last 6 years as that was how long the rust bug took to eat its way through the car.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby bmwspecialist » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:36 am

That's true about the rust ! Remember it was second MOT for front suspension top plates to get welded in, third MOT for new sills and fourth MOT for the bin !
I worked for Fairbairns Fiat in Irvine in the early eighties and remember the fiasco with undersealing Fiats when they were sold. There was no attempt whatsoever by the factory to compensate for the British road and weather conditions, the underside of Fiats had a couple of coats of paint and that was it ! And inside the box sections of the chassis it was just the photomeric dip that was applied to the bodyshell before painting. This was the condition in which dealers received Fiats in those days. What you did, when the car was sold, and not before, was to apply underseal to the car and make an attempt to spray inside the sealed chassis members like the sills etc. This, of course, was a complete waste of time as we were often getting cars to be registered as new that had been lying in a big compound on the coast in Deal in Kent for the last two and a half years. In a nice damp salty atmosphere ! I remember the sales guys having to wriggle off the hook quite a few times when people complained that the spec of their new car was nothing like the latest catalogue.
There was a lot of redundancies in Irvine at that time and a lot of folk thought they had enough money to treat themselves to a brand new car. Unfortunately, a lot of them were buying Fiat 126's as they were about the cheapest new car on the market.
They were cheap because they were crap !
At that time they were being built in Poland and the quality control was just non-existant. I think Harry Fairbairn lost money and reputation on every one of these damn things.
For example, during Pre Delivery Inspection, we found carburettor jets not drilled, oil pressure lamps not going off because there was no oil pressure because there was no bloody oil pump fitted, steering rack mounts welded 25mm out of line making it impossible to set the front wheel geometry correctly, door hinges not welded on properly resulting in doors dropping right off when opened etc; etc. They were great fun !
And does anyone remember the Lancia scandal from that time ? When they were about three years old the engines would drop out pulling the throttle cable taut leaving you with a runaway car tearing down the road using it's sump as a drag brake. Again that was just rust in a chassis member.
My, how we can laugh about it now !......Aye right ! It made me sick !
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby moonbeam » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:59 pm

I know the Lancias were really bad. One of the bosses at work was a car enthusiast. He saved hard and bought this fancy Lancia. Polished. Waxed. Washed. Pride and joy. First MOT at 3 years failed on rust. He took the car home from MOT station to ponder the future ie what to do next when in the dark hit some kind of pothole in Maryhill Road. Anyhow as I was nearest had to go and rescue him. As you described the car was a write off as the engine and/or sump had sort of fallen through the engine bay. I thought FIAT stood for fix it again tony. On the other side of the coin so to speak. In 1991 bought a Rover 414 SLI a so called factory demonstrator with low mileage. When I got it had had -no idea if this was done at the factory or where- antirust wax injected into every nook and cranny. Small plugs everywhere on it. The car never rusted-kept it 10 years or let me down- I know they had K series head gasket problems but I had absolutely no trouble with that car and traded it for a VW Polo. Got very little as a trade in but saw it only two years ago at a filling station looking a wee bit tired! So was still on the go back in 2011. Re the Mark 1 Escort. The passenger foot well filled up with water. Rain ran through some kind of gap either in the windscreen surround or at top of the bonnet. Silicon bath sealant sort of cured it for a few months. I actually drilled a hole under the so called floor cover to let the water out. Yes the suspension top plate got welded in. But they rusted between the new and old metal. Sold it to a friend who had to weld front wings on it after someone lent on a wing and it sort of fell in.
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby RapidAssistant » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:06 pm

When I was a kid we had a '77 Fiat 127 - the first of the Series II versions. I've written mostly about it in the "Dud Cars" thread, so not going to repeat myself - but save to say my old man was a regular visitor to Ritchies on the Shields Road for (expensive) parts - they were the main Fiat/Lancia dealer for Glasgow if I remember right. Remember sitting in the Uno when it first came out in 1983 (I was 6 at the time!), and thinking just how futuristic it looked with the strange Citroen style switch banks on the dashboard compared to our terminally rusty, dated and decrepit 127 (by this time the doors didn't shut properly and the floor was letting in water!), I think that Uno was one of the first cars that made an impression on me and wanted my dad to get....by this time of course he'd made his mind up that he was having no more Fiats!!!
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby deconstruction » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:29 pm

Who remembers BMC / BL / Austin-Rover dealer Queensborough Motors in Hyndland?
There were three locations:
- a showroom on Clarence Drive beside the railway bridge
- workshops / service and parts in Queensborough Gardens either side of the pedestrian tunnel entrance to Hyndland Station
- a petrol-station, showroom and lock-up-garages on Prince Albert Road
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby Hendry » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:06 am

deconstruction wrote:Who remembers BMC / BL / Austin-Rover dealer Queensborough Motors in Hyndland?
There were three locations:
- a showroom on Clarence Drive beside the railway bridge
- workshops / service and parts in Queensborough Gardens either side of the pedestrian tunnel entrance to Hyndland Station
- a petrol-station, showroom and lock-up-garages on Prince Albert Road


I vaguely remember them, they had quite a few franchises as well as Rover, they were Mazda dealers for years right up until closure, same with Skoda, and they also had Daihatsu and Kia franchises in the early 90s for a few years.

They also owned (as far as I know) Hyndland Honda on Dumbarton Road (now Phoenix) and Henry Bros BMW (now Parks) and their cousin owned St Andrews Garage Honda at Maxwell Road and later and still is, Crossmyloof, now called Henrys Cars and also owns the Skoda dealership at Kyle Street. Apparently there were a few cousins and brothers in the Henry family who were all involved in the motor trade, and a story I got told by an ex workmate who started as an apprentice at Queensborough and was a mechanic there for years was that they were mormons.

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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby octavia » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:53 pm

what about archers Yugo langside,stupid me in my youth 1989. new car only2999 quid ,as advertised daily record .took the bait and purchased it .model was Yugo 311 dark blue,all seemed well at first,front wheel drive ,modern fiat derived engine.but soon after with maybe 150 miles on it gearbox oil leak ,took it back ,they said it was fixed, nope,back again still leaking smelly gearbox oil onto floorpan and hot exhaust stunk.soon after clutch cable snapped on the whirlies roundabout east Kilbride ,hilarious,back to archers,they didn't have any spares so sent me to a fiat dealer on paisley road by taxi for a replacement,gearbox still losing oil, I learned then how to top up gearbox oil did it every week ,the original factory fitted tyres were a brand called Tigar,they duly wore out at arounr 6000 miles electric fan on radiator went early on ,plus many other faults had this car for 2 years ,not even long enough for an mot, paid 2999 quid ,sold it eventually for 800 quid to some poor guy who thought it was fixable, feel guilty about that .think Archers also sold lada and proton cars rest my case..........
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Re: Lost Car Dealerships

Postby Hendry » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:30 am

octavia wrote:what about archers Yugo langside,stupid me in my youth 1989. new car only2999 quid ,as advertised daily record .took the bait and purchased it .model was Yugo 311 dark blue,all seemed well at first,front wheel drive ,modern fiat derived engine.but soon after with maybe 150 miles on it gearbox oil leak ,took it back ,they said it was fixed, nope,back again still leaking smelly gearbox oil onto floorpan and hot exhaust stunk.soon after clutch cable snapped on the whirlies roundabout east Kilbride ,hilarious,back to archers,they didn't have any spares so sent me to a fiat dealer on paisley road by taxi for a replacement,gearbox still losing oil, I learned then how to top up gearbox oil did it every week ,the original factory fitted tyres were a brand called Tigar,they duly wore out at arounr 6000 miles electric fan on radiator went early on ,plus many other faults had this car for 2 years ,not even long enough for an mot, paid 2999 quid ,sold it eventually for 800 quid to some poor guy who thought it was fixable, feel guilty about that .think Archers also sold lada and proton cars rest my case..........


As I understand it, Archers were once Britains biggest Lada dealers and Europes largest Yugo dealers. The langside garage had been acquired/opened by them in the mid 80s when it was a Peugeot/Talbot franchise, They also had dealerships at Tynecastle Street in Carntyne (next door to Tomkins Vauxhall), Carlisle Road in Airdrie, Baltic Street in Leith and Calder Road in Edinburgh, as you say they were also Lada and Proton dealers, they also had another branch at Glasgow Road, Camelon in Falkirk called Frasers of Falkirk, at some point in the early 90s the Carntyne and Leith branches closed, Langside became a Hyundai franchise called Hytec and closed around 2011, Airdrie became a Kia dealer in the mid 90s and later a Suzuki dealer and was called Airdrie Suzuki and Arch Suzuki for a while, eventually they sold their premises to TOM Vehicle Rental who operated on the same plot as them in 2012, they lost their Suzuki franchise to Parks at the Whifflet in Coatbridge and relocated to the Whirlies in East Kilbride right next to Parks huge multi franchise place, called themselves Arch @ The Whirlies and eventually Parks took them over to use their site for a Douglas Park BMW Motorbikes showroom. Edinburgh branch became Hyundai eventually in the early 2000s, but were taken over by Macklin Motors in 2013, their Falkirk branch was Seat until 2002, then Suzuki from 2002 to 2013, they then changed to Chevrolet who then the following year pulled out of Europe so they took on MG and SsangYong franchises and Falkirk remains their only branch now, run by members of the Wishart family still (Ronnie Wishart set up the business)

So yeah a company truly steeped in traditions of selling shite, budget cars.
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