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Ian M Stewart Ltd Ferrari Dino Distributors For Scotland

Discussion in '206/246' started by Leithen, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Christian
    I have inherited the remaining records for my late father's Dino Dealership in Scotland that ran between 1971 and 1975.

    Having put off the task for some time, I have been through the box of files and I have and collated a list of the cars sold over the period.

    These were mostly 246 GT/GTS and 308 GT4. A couple of Daytonas were also sold and a 365 GT/4 BB.

    I'm happy to share scans of the documents related to these with owners. Generally, there are invoices between the dealership and Maranello Concessionaires, customers and the dealership, "A" and "B" service records and any warranty claims made over the period.

    I'll try and put together a brief narrative of the history of the dealership too, although I was a young boy at the time, and much of what I know has been gleaned over the years through conversation and anecdote.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. torquespeak

    torquespeak Formula Junior

    Dec 24, 2010
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    Mega contribution. Thank you!

    We've obviously been talking on Twitter already, so hopefully you may share some of the fantastic period photos you posted here as well. They're wonderful to review, and I know the FChat audience will love them.

    -Ed
     
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  3. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Christian
    Thank you Ed.

    Here are a selection of photos.


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    Credit Graham Gauld

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  4. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    Lovely period photos, interesting they have the prancing horse and Ferrari script on them.
    Plus
    that's very generous of you to share that information
     
  5. GIOTTO

    GIOTTO F1 Rookie
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    Dec 30, 2006
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    Thank you very much for sharing your precious documents here. Those photos from the past are fantastic. Especially the two lovely blue 246GT.
    Maybe some of the owners here will be able to identify their cars.
     
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  6. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Great photos! Thanks for posting.:):):)
     
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  7. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Christian
    I promised a short history of the dealership, so here is an attempt;

    My father had a motor racing background and connections with several of the Maranello Concessionaires team, so when he found himself attempting to get his 330 GT fixed in 1970/71, it was probably not surprising that the question of the Scottish Franchise came up. The Dino offered the opportunity for greater sales, and Scotland must have been seen as an opportunity which was not properly served.

    Married for ten years and with two young sons, Dad had a large farming operation, with hill ground next to Loch Tay and lowland farming in Crieff. He also had bars in Edinburgh and split his time between the three areas. His mother was South African, which added further travelling to his commitments. She would pass away in 1972, but we would continue to holiday in Cape Town.

    So he was a busy man, but always had an eye to an opportunity. This would include setting up a hotel between Crieff and Killin, made famous by the Beatles staying (my mother took the weekend off in disgust - she was a Cliff Richard fan).

    He was also of course a car fanatic. When he met my mother he was driving a Gullwing 300SL, followed it with a Lancia Aurelia GT B20, then one of the first E-Types, 230SL and then the 330 GT.

    Donald Grassick was a friend and neighbour, and had BMW and Rolls Royce dealerships based nearby in Perth. I recall my father saying that the original plan was for a joint enterprise in Perth. This however was never to happen as tragically Donald died on holiday in Corfu in late 1971.

    I’m not entirely sure about the sequencing, and I ought to ask the Grassick family, who might know more. However, a franchise agreement for sole distributor of the Dino in Scotland was signed in August 1971, with the ability to sell Ferrari’s alongside. It wasn’t a full Ferrari & Dino franchise however. Discussions about this are referred to in correspondence in 1974 and must have been at the heart of why my father gave up the franchise in 1975.

    The cars were to be sold from our home - “Lochay” and serviced by Grassicks in Perth. I think their senior mechanic was trained on Ferraris & Dinos and would become indispensable in fixing them, frequently before they came anywhere close to reaching their owners. The garage at Lochay was given glass sliding doors and spotlights, designed to show a Dino diagonally under lights. A simple white sign with the prancing horse and “Lochay” was attached to the stone wall on the roadside.

    The Dino was shown at the Royal Highland Show in June 1971, with my father writing to Colonel Ronnie Hoare to recount its reception;

    “The Dino was something of a sensation at The Royal Highland Show, and was so admired in the enclosure that I had to enlist the services of three policemen in order to protect it. Apparently its entry into the main showing was greeted with a gasp from the spectators, and, as last car in, I deliberately held back in order to give it the best possible impact.”​

    I don’t think there was a huge expectation, at least initially, for much more than high single digit / low teen sales per year. In ’71 2 would be sold, then in ’72 11. Many were sold to customers who would become good friends. This was I believe a period where the cars found a market with wealthy enthusiasts, and didn’t have the object status that they perhaps have now. In ’73 13 were sold, however the economic problems of the early 70’s were starting to bite. High inflation, the energy crisis and the three day week can’t have helped sales of such exotic cars.

    Despite this 11 cars were still sold In ’74 and the 308 GT4 replaced the 246. At this time the correspondence reflects discussions about the full franchise. However I suspect there was pressure for a proper city based showroom and my father already had other business commitments that took priority. 3 cars would be sold in ’75 before he gave up the franchise.

    In hindsight, I think it was the correct thing to do. He wasn’t a cutthroat second hand car salesman, and I think the franchise on its own without other marques would have been difficult to make a huge success of. Scotland wasn’t London.

    My brother and I have very happy memories of beautiful cars, interesting customers, endless plug changes, along with many new swear words generated from said frequent plug changes. We would sit in the drivers seat and hold the revs at the level instructed by Dad as he attempted to get whichever car running perfectly.

    Magical memories.


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  8. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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  9. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

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    It was 17877. I will need to check the invoices / correspondence as to whether there was any demonstrator allowance set against it. Either way I think it might have been connected to the Franchise negotiations that took place in 1974.
     
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  10. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    Thank you. Interesting. A dealer friend owned 17877 for a while. Was the car new in those pictures? It's been restored in a darker blue, that was thought to be the original colour if I remember correctly.
     
  11. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Yes, I'm pretty sure it was delivered new and sold with the number plate (frustratingly as we have a sister number plate still in the family). I'll dig out the paperwork to check.
     
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  12. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    #13 miurasv, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    I checked the chassis number 17877 on barchetta here and a picture/details of the Boxer with the registration number JOJ 979N comes up, which is the car my friend owned. I am sorry but barchetta have got this wrong. The correct chassis number for JOJ 979N is 17977, not 17877, so my apologies to you. I thought the chassis number 17877, although familiar, was not quite right for the Boxer my friend had.

    My father owned 365 Boxer 17869, which was painted in a similar colour when he owned it from 1978 to around 1984, to your 17877.

    I'm sure people here would like to know the chassis numbers of the Dinos and Daytonas too, if you have them.
     
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  13. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    That makes sense.

    The first post in this thread includes a pdf attachment with a collation of the chassis numbers, taken from the records I have. I think it is complete, but there may be errors and omissions!
     
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  14. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    Got it. Thanks. Was it you, as the dealer, that fitted the perspex headlight covers on the Dinos?
     
  15. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Good question! I have no idea. Factory, Maranello Concessionaires or Dealer? I think radios were "aftermarket" as there are numerous receipts in the records.
     
  16. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,958
    The headlight covers and Ferrari script were applied by Maranello Concessionaires and, as importer fittings, are approved under Classiche.
     
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  17. miurasv

    miurasv F1 Veteran

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    #18 miurasv, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    Thanks. I don't see any listing of the Ferrari Script in the notes in the PDF in post 1 of the cars sold by Ian M. Stewart, although the cars pictured mostly have the script.
     
  18. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Christian
    I haven't seen any reference to the script on any of the MC invoices. There are, if I recall correctly, references to the Prancing Horse Badge. Perhaps they were fitted together as a set?

    It is also possible that badges and the script was requested post sale to cars that were delivered without them.

    With reference to the Boxer, it is listed as a demonstrator, bought 31 May 1974, delivered 12 September 1974 and then sold on 2 April 1975 with 1950 miles on the clock.
     
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  19. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
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    #20 jtremlett, Feb 9, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
    I was using Ferrari Script to include the Prancing Horse badge when I posted above. But now I look more closely, I have a picture of a brand new Dino at Maranello Concessionaires (not my picture/copyright so I cannot post it here) that has only the script and not the badge. (Edited to add that one of your photos above has a car with a rear badge but not script). Or at least, since it is a rear picture only, no badge on the back. However a number of cars have a badge in the front grill. Certainly in some cases the badges and/or script have been fitted at some later point in the cars lives and it is also noticeable that they aren't always positioned the same.
     
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  20. GermanDino

    GermanDino F1 Rookie
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  21. TonyL

    TonyL F1 Rookie
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    Christian, as a young teenager I first saw my Ferrari Dino in London on a dull wet day. I was about 14 and remember seeing a yellow sports car pull up along side of me at the traffic lights. WOW -I had never seen anything like it in my life, this sleek missile looking car was something out of Thunderbirds. I asked my Dad what it was and he didn't know either. I spent weeks and weeks searching what the car was (no internet guys in the early seventies)

    I then came across a photo in Motor magazine, I ran home, borrowed a few shillings from my mum and bought he mag. I cut out the photo and hung it on my bedroom wall for years and years.

    Then it hit the screens in the Persuaders, I was hooked - the show was crap and the acting was worse but I wanted that car.

    Then in 1998 I eventually had the opportunity to buy one, I stumbled and hesitated at the thought of buying it but my wife told me to get it and cherished it ever since. (the wife as well)

    So for you to play with these cars at an early age was phenomenal.

    Thanks for sharing your memories, it stirred up mine!

    tony
     
  22. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Veteran
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    Christian, to say "My father had a motor racing background" must rank as the understatement of the year!

    I googled his obituaries and I have to say I was mightily impressed. Obviously you know all about his achievements, but other members of this forum will, I am sure, be interested to read more about him, so I have posted links below. Here is a couple of extracts:

    "Ian Stewart, then, was truly Scotland’s first great racing driver of the modern era and his success spurred on the interest of Jimmy Stewart and Innes Ireland who were to be examples for Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart to follow"

    "Regarded by many as Scotland’s best racing driver before the advent of Jimmy Clark and Jackie Stewart, Ian Stewart’s place in the history of Scottish motor racing will always be secure as not only one of the founding members of Ecurie Ecosse, but also as the man who chose the team’s iconic metallic blue livery and as the designer of the famous Ecurie Ecosse badge."​

    You must be very proud of him.

    http://www.brdc.co.uk/Notice-of-Death---Ian-Stewart-1929---2017

    http://www.ecurieecosse.com/ian-m-m-stewart-15071929-1932017.html

    PS My Dino (06934, below - I can never resist an opportunity to post a photo!) is one of those that was originally sold by Christian's father and Christian has very kindly provided me with a number of very useful documents to add to my car's history - thankyou, Christian!

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  23. 4CamGT

    4CamGT Formula 3

    Jun 23, 2004
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    Christian, this is a wonderful thread. It also shows how the Dino being positioned. It would be interesting to know if there were other “Dino” dealerships? Also love the simplicity and layout of the house and how it was used to display the cars. Does it still exist? Is it still in the family ownership? Would be interesting to see current photos of the house to see what’s changed. We’re there any print ads for the Dino and your dad’s dealership?
     
  24. Leithen

    Leithen Rookie

    Feb 7, 2020
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    Christian
    The house has been sold I'm afraid. It was converted by our parents from a small farm cottage into a very particular design to suit their tastes and sensibilities. Bedrooms had to be added for us as we hadn't been factored for!

    I do have a brochure somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure where. Below is an advert from Motor Sport. I'm not sure how many other dealers there were with a similar franchise/distributorship arrangement. I suspect that Scotland was last on the list to be added. I presume the Dino increased sales substantially - how many Ferrari dealers/distributors were there in the UK in the late 1960's before the Dino?


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