Car dealer who turned his passion into success

A CHOBHAM car dealership is celebrating more than 30 years of having moved into its High Street premises that was described as giving an “eyesore a smart new look”.

Peter Brady opened the Chobham Motor Company in a former Total garage in the early 1990s after running Central Garage in Bagshot Road for several years.

Peter Brady with a cutting from the Chobham & Windlesham News & Mail from when he opened the Chobham Motor Company

The Total garage had been empty and derelict for six months when Peter bought the site.

It took a year for him to get planning permission for the dealership, which sold Marcos sports cars alongside more modest models.

Peter has been selling cars for more than 40 years, initially in between flights when he was cabin crew. Before that, he worked for the Electricity Board, rising to the role of area manager.

But cars have been Peter’s passion and he says the Chobham site is the perfect place to be.

“I’ve lived in Chobham for many years. We had a spell in Virginia Water but I’m back and where I live it’s a five- minute walk to work, which is perfect.”

He rents out some of the site to mechanics who do servicing and MOTs.

Peter in the early 1990s

They, and many of his customers, have been with Peter for most of the past 30 years.

“There have been huge changes. We’ve still got our local customers who we look after but a lot of it’s on the internet.

“We advertise on the internet and people come from all over England. We’ve even had a few customers coming from France to buy cars.”

Having the MOTs on site helped the business through the pandemic lockdowns.

“Because we’ve got the MOT bay, we weren’t completely closed. If somebody wanted to buy a car we could leave it outside. While we monitored it, we didn’t have any contact and it worked.

“People would do a bank transfer and we never had to have anyone in the showroom. It wasn’t as good but it meant that we didn’t have to close our doors completely.”

Peter works on his own, with a little help from his wife, Di, a medical secretary.  

He has two grown-up daughters, who live in London. Caroline, 30, works in finance and Millie, 27, is an actress, probably best known as Aethelflaed in the TV series The Last Kingdom. She has also been in the Guy Ritchie film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the TV series Mr SelfridgeRoadkill and White House Farm about the Jeremy Bamber murder case.

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