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ONE of Australia’s longest operating Porsche dealerships, Porsche Centre Willoughby in Sydney’s inner north, has cracked its golden anniversary, celebrating with the release of five special-edition 911s made available for sale to customers.

Porsche Centre Willoughby general manager Sean Lygo said the business was delivering about five to seven cars each month in the 1990s, and now sells 55-60 cars a month.

He said the success and longevity of the dealership was attributed to its long-lasting relationships with loyal clients.

“Staff longevity has also been extremely important to Porsche Centre Willoughby over the years, particularly in retaining the dealership’s loyal client base and providing a close-knit boutique-style dealership for all customers,” he said.

“I am thrilled for Porsche Centre Willoughby to be celebrating its golden anniversary this year. Thanks to the brilliant staff and loyal client base, our success is threefold: the product, the ‘PCW family’ and the loyal clients.”

Of the five special-edition 911s launched at the official 50th celebrations, four have been sold.

The five 911s (both 992 and 991 models) have “PCW 50 Year Anniversary” illuminated door sills and pay homage to the past five decades of Porsche.

They include: a ‘Carrera White’ 4S Cabriolet that honours the first 356 Porsche Cabriolet; a ‘Racing Yellow’ 2S Coupe to reference the G-Series 911 of the 1970s; a ‘GT Silver’ GT3; the ‘Aventurine Green’ 4S Coupe that is a tribute to the pearlescent colour which first appeared on the 911 993 of the early 1990s; and the 2S Coupe in the latest ‘Crayon’ colour.

Porsche Centre Willoughby also put the names of the owners of 50 cars sold through the dealership into a draw to win a three-day advanced driving experience in Finland, called Porsche Ice Experience. Hosted by Porsche Driving Experience, this ticket is valued at up to $11,000.

The company was started in 1969, born from the Scuderia Veloce Motors (SVM) dealership that dated back to 1962 which was owned by engineer Bob Atkin and racing driver and journalist friend David McKay.

SVM moved to new premises in Lindfield, NSW, in 1969 and made over with a new showroom and service centre in 1971. Suttons Motors Group bought SVM in 1983 before the dealership was moved to Willoughby in 1990.

In 2003, the dealership officially adopted the new name of Porsche Centre Willoughby following extensive renovations of the showroom, office spaces and introduced the Carrera Cafe element to improve client experience.

Porsche was introduced to Australia in 1951 by Norman Hamilton who ordered two 356 models in right-hand drive. They were the first right-hand-drive Porsches made and remain in operation in Australia.

Norman’s son Alan Hamilton took over the business before it was sold to Porsche Cars Australia as a factory-owned outlet in 1992, representing 41 years under the same owner.

Mr Lygo said he has many memorable moments at the Willoughby dealership.

“From selling my first Porsche (a 944 S2 Cabriolet in silver) to a local architect in 1992, to sitting next to Jerry Seinfeld at the international launch of the Porsche Boxster in Arizona in 1996, to organising Keanu Reeves to drive a 911 during his time in Australia for the launch of ‘The Matrix’ in the 2000s.

“I still have the same appreciation of Porsche that I had in the early days when starting at Porsche Centre Willoughby 27 years ago.”

By Neil Dowling

Kelley Blue Book