Sir Arnold Clark has been named as Britain's first billionaire car dealer in the Sunday Times Rich List 2016 – a family fortune of just over £1 billion placing him 114th overall.
The Times reported that the Clark family fortune had risen by £350 million in a year – to £1.025 billion – after profits reached a record £107.2 million in 2014, on sales of £3.2 billion.
Among the 88-year-old businessman’s other assets the yacht Drum, once owned by Simon Le Bon, was also listed.
Commenting on Clark’s success, Sunday Times Driving reported: “The business was founded in the early 1950s, after Clark, who worked for a car hire company, saved up enough money to buy a Morris Ten Four for £70.
“It was restored and then sold for a profit, and Clark began buying and selling more cars. He opened his first showroom in 1954.”
Clark’s recent upturn in business means that his family’s worth is now nearly twice that of IM Properties boss Lord Edmiston, despite a doubling of his business’s profits to £33.2 million in 2014.
Geoffrey Warren (£450m), Jack Tordoff and family (£383m) and Tony Bramall and family (£210m) follow Clark and Edmiston’s entries in the Rich List.
A new entry, Sir Michael Marshall and family (£210m), whose Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) recently floated its car dealership worth £115 million, features in joint fifth on Driving’s list of car dealer success stories.
Other new entries in the list include Michael Hunt (£154m), who made his fortune building the £1bn Nissan UK car operation, Guy Harwood (£105m), whose father established Harwoods of Pulborough, and John Collins (£103m), who made his millions seller classic Ferraris.