Grays Garage was formed in 1948 by Ken and Dorothy Gray. Ken had just left the Army where he served as a Sergeant Vehicle Technician. The foundation of Grays Garage Warwick was servicing and repairing vehicles for local residents, this business grew rapidly then in 1953 the company was incorporated as Grays Garage Limited. The company also took its first franchise when it became an Austin, Wolseley and Riley main agent that serviced, repaired, and supplied the new cars of the day.
Grays of Warwick also owned in the 1960s – 1970s Warwick Autocar Ltd of Coventry Road, Warwick and up to the late 1980s Alexander and Ariss (known locally as A & A Motor Factors) of Broad Street, Warwick; some older Warwick residents may remember these companies.
Changes and constants
The range of services grew over the years to include the sale of new cars from the ever-expanding site at Wharf Street Warwick. The next major change came in the early 1970s when the next generation of ‘Grays’, Alan, Derek and Phil Gray took charge. In 1974, they changed the make of new cars sold to Fiat. These cars must have seemed very different to the mechanics at that time, and cars included the Fiat 131, Fiat Argenta, Fiat 132 Fiat 124, Fiat 128, Fiat 128 3P, Fiat X19, Fiat 126, and the original (and iconic) Fiat 500.
Although all the members of the Gray family have now left or retired from the company, there has been a continuous thread of management from the mid-70s to this day, continuing the work done by the Gray founding family, serving the motoring needs of local people. From its beginning to this day, Grays Garage is still trading on the same site in Wharf Street, Warwick.
A change in ownership
In 1992 the company was then purchased by Mr Stephen Davis who had joined the company in 1978, the Davis family still own and run the business to this day. The company is also very proud to have a large number of staff who have been with them for many years including several who have been working there all their working lives. The length of service makes them part of the company’s heritage and history, yet this continuity also provides the garage and its community with stability and long-term knowledge.
Grays have trained many people through this time, again some of which have worked here all their working lives, many others have worked locally and stayed in touch over the years. In 2019, for example, all the technicians in the workshop had completed their apprenticeship training at Grays.
Grays Garage Limited are also founder members of the Warwickshire Garage and Transport Group Training Association (Warwickshire GTA) of Royal Leamington Spa. From those beginnings in 1948, Grays Garage Limited has become one the most established Fiat retailers in the UK.