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
The late Margaret 'Dharrul' Wirrpanda has joined Mooroopna's Alf 'Uncle Boydie' Turner as an inductee this year into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club has confirmed the appointment of Brendan Fevola as co-coach for season 2015.
Goulburn Valley Fins and Fenders Car Club is getting ready to host its second annual Show and Shine event at Tatura Racecourse on Saturday, October 18.
Residents are being warned they could face severe penalties if out of control burn-offs damaged someone else’s property.
The Nanneella hall and recreation reserve committee is inviting everyone to join its clearance sale on October 25.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Developer of the Elloura estate wants to build another road to Buckley Park among other changes.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote Community House staff are encouraging people to send a postcard to show their support.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull visits Cobram to assist councils and incumbent MP.
Keen Deni Ute Muster fans rolled into town early for the weekend's event.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Last week's Coledale poll dorset stud ram sale was the best in the stud's 45-year history.
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.