James (Jim) Smith, widely respected in motor racing and car retailing circles, has passed away aged 88 after a battle with cancer. Mr Smith lays claim to perhaps one of the best stories you’ll hear as to how he acquired his dealerships in Melbourne. Peter Manton Motors was purchased after Jim won a bet with friend and previous owner Peter Manton in 1969.
Jim ran Manton’s from 1969 to 1990 which included brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini, MG, Morris, Austin and Rover. He also operated multiple other franchises and was awarded the Australian Automobile Dealers Association Victorian Dealer of the Year in 1987 and the Time Magazine Victorian Dealer of the Year award for the same year.
Mr Smith was also heavily involved in importing and distributing luxury vehicles throughout the 1970’s up until 2012 including Jensen, Lotus, Lamborghini, TVR, Caterham, and Aston Martin. He was well known for creating strong personal relationships with his associates.
The thoughts and sympathies of the AADA go out to Mr Smith’s loved ones.
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