History of a family owned business

Col Crawford

(Photo Left to Right: Jake, Stephen, Col, Harrison Crawford)

3rd Generation Family Owned & Operated Business
on Sydney's Northern Beaches

At the age of 16 Col Crawford left school to commence his Automobile career with York Motors. This was the start of an incredible journey in the motor industry, which resulted in his opening Col Crawford Motors 17 years later at age 33.

Using the laundry of a burnt-out house as his office, Col Crawford set up 8 cars on the block and borrowed 6 more cars from friends to make the display more impressive. May 1967 was the beginning. The big question was - would he make it?

With a young family to support, Mr. Crawford worked 7 days a week to establish the family business. Initially selling used cars, then the expansion commenced with the acquisition of adjoining properties which allowed the new Honda Motorcycles, Fiat, Rambler, Alpha Romeo and Honda Cars to be displayed. The motorcycles were a huge success but were handed back to the distributor.

Some 12 months later Col was offered the Datsun - now know as Nissan - and the BMW franchise which he accepted, retaining the Honda car franchise as well. During the 1970's the business was increasing in size and volume with the continual demand for more display area. At this time Col Crawford became a very active member of the Rotary Club of Warringah and became the clubs first District Governor. The annual "Charity Fair Day" saw the dealership close for one day of the year, to invite the community and all local charities to come onto the premises for "Charity Day" in which money and awareness were raised for local charity organisations.

In 1984 expansion and improvement of the premises continued and a Million Dollar showroom was opened. Additional franchises were acquired. The overall business was flying. It was also that year that our first Charity Golf Day began for the Spastic Centre of NSW, now known as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. To date Mr Crawford's fundraising has raised in excess of 2.9 million dollars and this being the 30th year of the event we are expecting to pass the 3 Million Dollar mark. On Australia day 1997, Col Crawford was recognised for his long standing charity and community efforts by being awarded with an Order of Australia. An honour he cherishes to this day.

In 1990 Col Crawford passed the running of the business to his son, Stephen which was the beginning of a new era. The years 2000 to 2013 under Stephens's leadership has seen the business double in size and is still expanding. Millions of dollars have been spent on service and spare parts facilities to facilitate all the modern comforts for our customers. A magnificent showroom for our flagship franchise the prestigious and beautiful BMW has been built.

The size of the business has grown significantly over the years since Mr Crawford commenced as a very small used car dealer on this very spot 50 years ago. It remains to this day a family business, privately owned and still operating from its original site - known as The Corner Store.

Mr Crawford is a very proud man of Stephen’s achievements and the fact that Stephen’s two eldest son’s, Harrison and Jake have now joined the company, (third generation Crawford) with one more grandson to come. How fortunate is Mr Col Crawford?