Bob reaches his 50-year milestone
- Credit: Andy Russell
Bob Basted has notched up a personal motoring milestone with the 50th anniversary of him opening his business in Norwich.
Bob Basted Car Sales has built up a loyal customer following over the 50 years and Bob, now 75, still works part-time at the Drayton Road business most days.
'This is the thing that gives me a buzz,' said Bob. 'It is all about meeting people.'
He started Bob Basted Car Sales in 1963, higher up the Drayton Road site and moving to the front of it when the filling station closed, but sold his first car in 1954.
Then an apprentice carpenter and joiner he bought a car at his father's pub, the old Black Horse in Wensum Street, opposite the Maid's Head Hotel, from a customer who was giving up driving. He paid £25 for it and sold it for £27 – with the profit equivalent to a week's wages.
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He then bought and sold a few more cars before doing National Service in the RAF. When finished that he returned to carpentry and joinery but wanted to go into sales and an accident at work left him unable to do his job for six weeks when he met other car traders and so he moved into the car business.
And with wages in this area lower than other parts of the country it meant fewer new cars were sold here and so a shorter supply of used models and he found he had people asking him to find them a car.
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Over the years Bob has had other business interests but has always kept the car sales operation going with the help of daughter Kate, who joined the business from school, and Wayne Bullimore who is a trained mechanic and is also on the sales side.
And having been trading for a half a century at his Norwich site, where he stocks about 40 cars, he has many regular customers buying cars from him.
'Lots of people come back. I'm well known and my name is known. The people who buy from me now – their parents and grandparents have as well,' said Bob.
'I have seen little boys grown up and bring their families along to buy a car.'
Bob, who also enjoys travelling and takes great pride in his large garden, said he has no plans to retire from selling cars.
'I have sold cars to people from all walks of life. You meet such interesting people,' he added.
Bob Basted Car Sales is in Drayton Road, Norwich –telephone 01603 423553 or visit the website at www.bobbastedcarsales.co.uk