Sunday, May 26, 2013

Raymond Way Motors Ltd.

Raymond Way Motors Ltd. was a car dealer in Kilburn, London from c.1949 until 1973. Before becoming a car dealer, Way had a variety of careers. He had been a racing car driver, RAF pilot, Lloyds underwriter, boxing promoter, radio motoring correspondent, and fairground barker, before starting his car business a few years after the end of the Second World War.

Raymond Way Motors was noted for its heavy use of advertising. Way's press advertisements were minor works of literature, promoting an almost permanent sale at the showroom. Way would also buy famous people's cars, which generated some acid one-liners that bought him yet more publicity. Of Winston Churchill's Daimler limousine he said, "I bought it because I thought I might find a cigar stub under the carpet." In 1952, Way purchased Field Marshal Hermann Goering's armoured, bullet-proof Mercedes car at auction for just over £1000. However he couldn't resell it and finally loaned it to the Montagu Motor Museum. Under the pressure of such relentless promotion the company grew and expanded. Branches were added and in 1951 a motorcycle showroon was opened in Willesden Lane. At its peak Raymond Way Motors was selling 2000 cars per year.

In the early 1960s Way sold his company to Oxford Motors for £650,000, but the venture was unsuccessful and he repurchased the firm in 1967 for £400,000. Way finally sold out to Moon Motors in 1973 for £750,000.


Goering's car, purchased by Raymond Way in 1952

by Mark Matlach

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