In 1999 Specialist Vehicles was formed with the aim of offering high quality used prestige brands
with main dealer services and standards to the South West.
Simon Orr (Managing Director and Owner) comes from a Family that have significantly shaped the UK
motor industry we know today. Having worked extensively throughout the UK in both the
wholesale/manufacturing and retail sides of the motor industry since 1983 with brands such as
BMW, Toyota, Saab, Subaru, Daihatsu and Isuzu.
W.C.E Orr (Ted), Director, Jaguar Cars Ltd, Browns Lane, Coventry
W.C.E.Orr (Grandfather). In 1916, Ted (as he was known) started working in the Drawing Office
of Standard Motor Company. In 1924 he moved to Armstrong Siddeley but returned to Standard's
four years later as their youngest foreman - In charge of Experimental Engine Research.
Eight years later he joined Jaguar Cars Ltd, As Works Manager, where he was instrumental in
the introduction of the first production lines and production techniques that were the
forerunners to the production lines we use today. During the War, he was engaged in the
production of trailing edges for Stirling's and refurbishing Whitly's, and also worked on
the development of the first Meteor Jet engines. Having become Works Director of Jaguar and
spending two years on the Board, in 1957 he re-joined Armstrong Siddeley as General Manager.
In this capacity, he was responsible for the introduction of the "Star Sapphire" and
subsequently for the development and initial production of the "Sunbeam Alpine" made under
licence for Rootes.
W.C.E.Orr - Ted retired in December 1967 after 52 Years, from his role as Executive Assistant
to the Managing Director of Rolls Royce Industrial and Marine Engine Division.
M.C.E Orr (Michael), Chairman and Chief Executive, Colt Cars Ltd (Mitsubishi), Cirencester
M.C.E.Orr (Father). Michael who in the late 1960's having worked for Alfa Romeo moved on to
BMW as National Sales Manager and was heavily involved in the very exciting early days of
the brands successful introduction to the UK market. Whilst on a fact-finding trip to Japan
he was asked to take on the Import of Mitsubishi Cars. Upon his return to the UK, he formed
a joint venture company called the Colt Car Company Ltd which was owned 51% by a consortium
(Colt Automotive Ltd), which he became Managing Director (latterly Chairman and Chief
Executive) and 49% Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. In 1974 the first Colt Cars were launched
onto the UK market. Michael who became renowned for his flamboyant and at times antagonistic
style went onto run the Company for 10 years whereupon he exhausted the available
opportunities that a market that was quota restricted offered. The circa 12000 unit total
volume was always sold by October each year.
M.C.E.Orr - Michael retired in 1984 at the age of 44, to live with his family in South Devon.
Establishing Specialist Vehicles in 1999. Simon has been in the industry from the age of
16, progressing from apprentice mechanic through sales to Dealer Principal of several
brands. Moving from retail to manufacturer/wholesale, where he was SW Regional Business
manager before going on to run a Manufacturer joint venture Finance company.
With three successful generations before him and all the pressure that brings we are pleased to
welcome Tom Orr (Simon's son) to the business.
2016 saw 100 years and 4 generations of the Orr's proud involvement in the Motor Trade.
With this level of experience and passion running deep within our small family business, it has
enabled us to confidently invest heavily in up to date technology and diagnostics, whilst
maintaining the old fashioned standards of personal customer care and service.
These standards can be found in both our Sales and Service Centres' where they stand as our core
principal of business.