80-yr-old Neville Arnott reminisces about his family car dealership which opened in Benalla in 1921LIBBY PRICE July 15, 2014 11:04pm
80-year-old Neville Arnott reminisces about the family car business after the Arnott Motors sign is removed
One of the most familiar signs around town, that of Arnott Motors on the corner of Bridge and Carrier Sts, has disappeared with the removal of the car dealership logo last week to make way for new signage after the business was sold last year.
It’s the last chapter in the family business which started in 1921 when Herbert Arnott secured the Ford franchise and opened Arnott’s Garage.
His grandson, 80-year-old Neville Arnott, is proud to have been one of the last multi-generational car dealerships in regional Victoria.
‘‘My grandfather started the business and is credited with having driven the first motor car into Benalla. He sold Bean cars and Indian motorcycles,’’ Mr Arnott said.
‘‘Then in 1926 one day Grandfather said he was going down to Melbourne to sign up with this new mob starting up in Australia .
‘‘We sold Chevrolets in those days, then after the second World War they started making Holdens.’’
Mr Arnott began working in the family business in 1950 at the end of Year 11 at Benalla High School.
Mr Arnott said his father, Bert Arnott, asked him, ‘‘When does school break up?’’
Mr Arnott said he told his father, ‘‘This Friday,’’ and his dad’s reply was, ‘‘Good, start work at the garage on Monday.’’
‘‘I bumped into one of my old headmasters at Rotary a while ago and he said he had noticed one of my old reports said I was destined for a university career,’’ Mr Arnott said.
‘‘But in those days you never had a say in what you did. I’d always thought I would start work at Arnotts Motors.’’
The toughest time for the business was the flood in 1993.
‘‘All the business areas were under water .
‘‘I contacted the insurance company that we’d been with since 1935 and told them they owed me 93 grand and they were reluctant to pay. It went on month after month.
‘‘I’d heard the new boss of the company was going to be at the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce dinner so I rang the insurance company to say I would be into the Box Hill office to pick up the cheque and said, ‘I thought I would just let you know your boss will be at the dinner tonight and if I don’t have my cheque I will punch him in the nose!’
‘‘I got my cheque and in front of everybody gave special thanks for the company’s help in times of trouble with the flood,’’ Mr Arnott said.
The business has been sold to Wangaratta Motor Group which sells numerous makes of cars and will relocating elsewhere in Benalla.
So what was Mr Arnott’s last sale?
‘‘We don’t drive to Melbourne any more now we’re both 80 years of age.
‘‘When she did, she was always the first away at the traffic lights in her turbo-charged 1.4
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Stanhope’s Fonterra plant will have cheese flowing again next week after a fire at the plant on Tuesday morning.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.