Sir Arnold Clark

1927 - 2017

Entrepreneurial car dealer and philanthropist. Born in a tenement in Townhead (Glasgow), the son of a steelworker, Clark was educated at Dennistoun Public School. He trained in motor mechanics during service in the Royal Air Force towards the end of the Second World War. Soon after demobilisation he began buying and selling second-hand cars and by 1954 had his first showroom in the Woodlands district of Glasgow. By the end of the 1950s he had gained a franchise from Morris Motors to sell new cars. By 1980, his company was Scotland's largest car dealer and he began opening branches in England in the mid-1990s.

Clark was knighted in 2004, recognising his success in the motor industry and his charity work. He awarded an honorary degree by the University of Glasgow the following year. He donated generously to Glasgow's new Museum of Transport at the Riverside, and lent it a 1950 Daimler coupe which had been driven by King George VI.

He saw his company grow to more than 200 branches across the UK, employing 10,000 people. It sells more than 250,000 cars annually and its rental business operates a fleet of 5500 vehicles. The company remains family-owned and has a turnover of £3.35 billion (2015). His personal fortune was estimated at over £1 billion in 2016.

Clark lived in Killearn (Stirling) and maintained homes on Arran and in Spain. He owned a fine collection of classic cars, together with a 78-foot yacht, Drum, which had been designed in 1984 for the Whitbread Round the World Race. He died in Glasgow, and his funeral took place in Glasgow Cathedral but he was buried in Killearn.

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