Timboon Motors celebrates 70th anniversary

Longevity: Timboon Motors' dealer principal Barry Cook, right, with his sales team of Brett Harty, left, David Costin and Ray Gillingham.

Longevity: Timboon Motors' dealer principal Barry Cook, right, with his sales team of Brett Harty, left, David Costin and Ray Gillingham.

When the Cook family took on the Timboon Garage in 1947, Holden was just starting up its dealer network and the garage used hand operated pumps to serve fuel to customers.

Seventy years later, the family operated business, now called Timboon Motors, is still going strong.

The Holden dealership will on Friday celebrate its 70th anniversary with a display of some of the older model vehicles it has sold and a sausage sizzle.

While several south-west towns larger than Timboon have lost car dealerships, Timboon Motors has stayed put and thrived.

The business has even outlasted the Australian manufacture of Holdens and is currently selling one of the last built in Australia, the VF2 Commodore Director.

Dealer principal Barry Cook, who took over the business from his father Gordon in 1981, attributes the longevity of the dealership to good service and being in a reliable dairy area.

Excellent loyalty from customers, some of whom were the third generation of their families to buy cars from Timboon Motors, and several long-time employees, have been part of the success, Mr Cook said.

“But we do not take anything for granted. We have got to be competitive in what we do,” he said.

He said the business had been through lots and ups and downs.

He knows when the dairy industry is suffering because his business feels it acutely.

The business has expanded with Timboon and currently employs 22 people in a range of divisions that include fuel, panel beating, small engines such as drive-on mowers, school bus runs as well as Holden sales, servicing and spare parts.

Mr Cook, 75, has worked in the business for 60 years.

His mother Nancy worked in the business until she 80.

His son Ashley, an accountant, is set to be the third generation of the Cook family.to run the business.

Mr Cook currently drives a Holden Colorado but said he never got to drive the same one for very long because customers were keen to buy his for the used car discount.