Cracking a half century in the competitive retail luxury car world is no mean achievement. Congratulations to Sydney’s Porsche Centre Willoughby, currently celebrating its big five-oh with great gusto.

Back in 1969 when Neil Armstrong was doing some high-profile lunar strolling, Scuderia Veloce Motors, as it was then known, was appointed as the Sydney north shore Porsche dealer by importer Hamiltons.

David McKay and Bob Atkin had set up SVM in 1963 selling Ferrari and Volvo before Porsche came along.

By 1983, business was tough and David was keen to sell. He approached Sutton. Laurie was unsure but finally the two agreed, with canny and popular Bob Atkin coming with the business as CEO.

Mega dealer Sutton shrugged off the late 1980s’ recession to in 1991 to open glamorous new premises in Willoughby, selling Porsche and Ferrari side by side, still under the SVM banner.

Sean Lygo joined as general manager in 1992 and today after 27 years still steers the successful dealership, now selling Porsche and only Porsche.

A fun cocktail party at the dealership marketed the 50th celebrations, attracting an army of valued customers and some special guests from Porsche Cars Australia’s past and present.

They included ex-CEO Michael Winkler, former PCA sales and marketing director Michael Bartsch, current PCA boss Sam Curtis and current marketing chief Toni Andreevski.

Back in the early 1990s, SVM would sell just a handful of Porsches every month; today Porsche Centre Willoughby shifts 50 plus — of a way broader product range of course.

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Fast cars and a faster 50 years

McKay

Peter McKay started in journalism writing about rock music, then motor sport, before easing into general motoring at a Holden Sunbird launch in 1976. Not a great start. But went on to edit Motor magazine ever-so-briefly before starting an unbroken freelance career in 1981, around the time of his first of seven Bathurst 1000 starts. Byline has lobbed in Wheels, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Sun-Herald, Sunday Telegraph, The Australian, Top Gear, Australian Penthouse, Motor Trend, F1 Racing, Men’s Health, Inside Sport. Still admits he prefers driving cars to dissecting them.
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