- Iconic Australian brand sold to owners of Repco
- Existing management retained
- Rare Spares products to be available through Repco stores
THE brand behind countless projects, parts and Street Machine feature cars has been sold.
Rare Spares has been purchased by GPC Asia Pacific, owners of automotive brands including Repco, Napa Auto Parts and Sparesbox. The move will see GPC complete the purchase of 100 per cent of Rare Spares shares by mid-year. The move won’t affect Rare Spares stores or staff but will enable customer access to Rare Spares parts though Repco’s national network, as well as quicker-to-market product development.
“There is only upside to this,” Rare Spares Managing Director, Lance Corby, told Street Machine. “You won’t really see a change in the Rare Spares brand at all. Rare Spares will still be Rare Spares. It will still be run by the team running it now, I will still be the general manager, and my support leadership team will still be in place. All of our staff will be retained at our Campbellfield head office, doing what we do best.”
Customers will still be able to shop at their local Rare Spares, including a recent new flagship store at Slacks Creek, Queensland, but will also be able to special order parts from Repco outlets. Corby, who started working at Rare Spares at its first store in Brunswick as a 19-year-old, is passionate about the brand remaining independent.
“The last thing I’d want is for our iconic national brand to be broken up and just absorbed into a large pool of stores without the expertise that we bring to market at the shopfront,” Corby said. “What we cater for in the marketplace that others don’t are the bits and pieces – the major parts – that cost a fair amount of money to tool-up and make, such as tail-light assemblies and full panels.
“Repco/GPC has a lot of tools that we can piggy-back off to help our development and supply faster to market – product sourcing, shipping and so on. There are so many synergies with the two companies working together.”
Now a multi-million dollar business, Rare Spares began in 1974 when founders Les McVeigh, Dave Rayner and David Ryan started buying and selling old Holden parts, before moving into manufacturing. Its first official store was at 190 Brunswick Road in Brunswick, Victoria, where Corby began as, in his words, “a gopher” in 1982. During the 1980s, Rare Spares was integral to both Street Machine and Summernats, hugely supportive of both since their beginnings.
Corby sees more potential and a stronger future for Rare Spares with the new partnership.
“We’re on a growth path, and that was one of the reasons for joining with Repco/GPC,” he said. “With their resources and some additional funding, we’ll be able to do that at a much greater pace.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Rare Spares team to the Repco and GPC Asia Pacific family," said Wayne Bryant, Executive General Manager of Repco. 'We sought out the opportunity because we truly admire the Rare Spares brand, the business and importantly the team and we’re fully committed to supporting the ongoing growth of Rare Spares under Lance Corby’s leadership.
"The Rare Spares product offering is quite differentiated, but highly complementary to Repco’s broad range of auto parts and accessories and will enable us to provide car enthusiasts of Australia with a really compelling offer.”
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Street Machine is the bible of Aussie modified auto culture, celebrating wild muscle cars, customs and hot rods – and the incredible humans who create them.
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