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ONE of Perth’s biggest and long-standing car dealerships, Brian Gardner Motors, has been sold to WA-based Regent Motors Group with the 2.4 hectare prime site being sold to a subsidiary of Regents.

The Holden, HSV and Suzuki dealership is on Albany Highway in Cannington, close to the district’s huge Westfield Carousel shopping centre and on a busy retail section of the highway.

The dealership was the most prominent in Perth’s eastern suburbs because of its expansive roof that covered the property and TV advertisements fronted by Brian Gardner telling viewers to look out for “the big roof”.

The Gardner family had previously owned Goldy Holden and Henley Saab. The sale of the primary dealership in Cannington, east of Perth, will leave the family with Honda North, on the main car-dealer strip of Scarborough Beach Road in Osborne Park. Mr Gardner’s son John said the family would continue to own and operate this Honda dealership.

Brian Gardner, who died in 2011, started the business in 1978. It was one of the more successful new- and used-car dealerships that came out of the 1970s economic boom in Western Australia, which along with Brian Gardner, nurtured other Perth dealers John Hughes, Alf Barbagallo, Bob Peters and the founders of Automotive Holdings Group, Vern Wheatley and Bob Branchi.

Regent Motors has changed the business name to Gardner Autos and has appointed Matthew Stephens as dealer principal and part-equity owner.

It becomes Regent’s 17th dealership location in WA and the Northern Territory, and with the addition of Suzuki and HSV, brings its number of new-car franchises to 18.

By Neil Dowling