M2's Dave McLeod reflects on the history of Continental Cars, from its humble beginnings in 1967 in a small workshop in Newmarket, to all the changes over the past 50 years that have made Continental Cars the dealership we know today.
Dave reflects on the humble beginnings of Continental Cars 50 years ago.
“The world was a very different place 50 years ago. Wilson and Johnson watched over the UK and the US, while we watched Evel Knievel jump 16 cars in a row (and then fail to jump the fountains at Caesar’s). Bond ‘Only Lived Twice’, The Beatles still topped the charts (and released Sgt Pepper’s ) and the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine was released. Technology was on the move too; there was the world’s first heart transplant operation, the first ATM machine gave out cash in London, Concorde was unveiled and the Boeing 737 took to the skies.
Here in New Zealand, Keith Holyoake was prime minister and the population was about 2.7 million. Currency was decimalised (at a rate of $2 to a pound) and inflation was at 5.8 percent. C’mon, Town and Around, In Your Garden and Lost in Space were on TV, while The Bee Gees, The Monkees and Mr Lee Grant topped the charts. In motorsport, Denny Hulme won the F1 Championship and in Newmarket, Tim Bailey opened the doors to Continental Cars.”
Tim who is described as being a real “people person” with a passion for European (continental) cars started his business as a sales and service centre for Fiat (Bambinos), but it wasn’t long before he started to grow with the addition of Ferrari in 1973. The first car they sold was a Ferrari Dino 246 GT and since then, Continental Cars (still the only Ferrari dealer in New Zealand) has introduced many customers to the brand that New Zealand has developed to be one of the highest achievers in Ferrari sales (and collectors) per capita in the world, especially in the top-end models.
Fast forward through the years and we see the addition of Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi and most recently BMW, along with a few extra changes along the way.
Read the full article here.
Source – M2 Magazine