News : Derek Ketteringham to call it a day / Updated

Keith Adams
(Mike Humble has been able to obtain and compile a stock list for AROnline, which has now as been added to the end of the story).

Derek Ketteringham

Derek Ketteringham, the owner of the iconic frozen-in-time BL dealership on London’s North Circular Road, is to close up shop after 60 years of trading, telling AROnline that he’d ‘like to have things settled by the end of the tax year’.

The dealership (originally a Triumph site), is regarded by many enthusiasts as a sales museum which features period brochures, posters and even signage. The land is to be redeveloped into flats pending planning conformation that’s due very soon from the local Borough Council.

Derek has confirmed that all of the cars are now priced to sell and that he will accept realistic offers from sympathetic enthusiasts looking to secure themselves one of his remaining stock. The majority of the cars on sale are from his more active stock on the pitch outside and come from the MG Rover stable, although there’s a selection of cars inside which have become classics during their lengthy stays within.

The signage harks back to when Derek J Ketteringham Motors was an Austin Rover dealer and makes a great backdrop for the cars, which include a pair of 1989 Rover 800s, a 1995 Rover 100, Fiat Regata, Vauxhall Cavalier Mk3 2.5 V6, Peugeot 205 CTi, Audi 90 and Vauxhall Carlton Estate. Even the newer, more humdrum MG Rovers can spring the odd surprise – one S-registered 216Si had 16,000 miles on the clock and still smelled new inside.

Stock list – 24 February 2014

If you’re interested in enquiring about a car, please get in touch first, preferably via the email address, – all prices are ‘sympathetically negotiable’, and please allow for the fact that some cars may take a couple of days’ preparation before being ready for viewing.

POLITE NOTICE : Although Derek is most flattered with the affection and fondness received, he has requested if all enquiries could relate to the vehicles themselves for the time being and not for stickers, brochures and point of sale material – Many thanks!

  • 1998 (S) Mercedes-Benz C180, Red, 97K miles, £2500
  • 1993 (L) Rover 620GSi, blue, 112K miles, £650
  • 1996 (P) Rover 416 SLi, 62K miles, £1000
  • 1998 (S) Rover 416 Si, silver, 14K miles, £1250
  • 1995 (M) Vauxhall Cavalier 2.5 CDX V6 manual, blue, 112K miles, £1000
  • 1999 (T) Nissan Micra, Red, 48K miles, £750
  • Alfa Romeo 147 2.0, silver, 106K miles, P.O.A
  • 1989 (G) Renault 5 1.4, grey, 89K miles, £995
  • 1991 (J) Fiat Tipo 1.4 DGT, blue, £595
  • 2001 (51) Volkswagen Sharan, blue, 128k miles, £3295
  • 1987 (D) Toyota Starlet, red, 163K miles, £800
  • 1996 (N) Rover 114 SLi, green, 115K miles, £850
  • 1993 (L) Honda Concerto 1.5, blue, £650
  • 1991 (H) Audi 90 2.3 Auto, maroon, 63K, £1995
  • 2005 (05) Rover 45 1.8, silver, 85K miles, £1250
  • 1994 (M) Peugeot 405 LX, red, 66K miles, £1250
  • 1996 (P) Rover 620 Si, grey,  80K miles, £1195
  • 2002 (02) Rover 75 Club SE V6, 47K miles, £2000
  • 1997 (R) Rover 416i, white, 73K miles, £800
  • 1999 (V) Rover 416, grey, 96K miles, £950
  • 2001 (51) Rover 45 Club, 45K miles, £1495
  • 2001 (51) Audi A6 SE, green, 93K miles, £2150
  • 2001 (Y) Ford Mondeo 2.0LX, silver, 53K miles, £1650
  • 1996 (P) Vauxhall Omega 2.0, green, 146K miles, £595
  • 2005 (05) Volkswagen Bora, brown, 13K miles, £6995
  • 2001 (51) Alfa Romeo 147 2.0, silver, 100K, £1250
  • 1998 (R) Fiat Punto 1.2, blue, 17K miles, £1250
  • 2000 (V) Ford Escort Finesse 1.4, grey, 70K miles, £1000
  • 1996 (P) Citroen ZX 1.4 SX, green, 110K miles, £1000
  • 2005 (05) Hyundai Getz, black, 28K, £4995
  • 1998 (R) Ford Fiesta Encore, grey, 70K miles, £995
  • 1999 (T) Mitsubishi Space Wagon, £1250
  • 2000 (W) Volkswagen Polo 1.4SE, 76K miles, £1650
  • 1998 (S) Rover 216 Si, silver, 16K miles, P.O.A
  • 2000 (W) Rover 25 1.4, red, 105K miles, £1295
  • 1998 (R) Rover 416i, silver, 64K miles, £1150
  • 1998 (R)  Toyota Corolla, blue, 96K miles, £995
  • 1990 (G) Ford Orion1.6L, £650
  • 1982 (X) Ford Granada, £500
  • 1982 (X) Ford Granada Ghia X, £500
  • 1987 (E) Honda Legend, 43K miles, £750
  • 1989 (F) Rover 820, silver, 17K miles, P.O.A
  • 1991 (H) Rover 820 Si, white, 53K miles, P.O.A
  • 1972 Jaguar E-type V12 SIII, P.O.A
  • 2002 Rover 45, blue, 78K miles, £1695
  • 2000 (X) Rover 75 V6, silver, 46K, £1250
  • 2003 Audi A4, grey, 129K miles, £2250
  • 1998 (R) Rover 620 GSI, green, 60K, £1250
  • 2001 (Y) Rover 45 1.4, silver, 67K miles, £1275
  • 1996 (N) Fiat Brava 1.4, grey, 116K miles, £895
  • 1985 (C) Austin Metro 1.0 L, red, 5 door, 90K miles, £550
  • 1985 (C) Rover 2600 VP, auto, £1000
  • 1986 (C) Vauxhall Carlton estate, 58K miles, £1250

DJKetteringham (2)

DJKetteringham (3)

DJKetteringham (1)

DJKetteringham (4)

Keith Adams


  1. How sad to see the end of this time warp dealership.
    I wish Mr Ketteringham all the best
    Very unlikely I know, but I wonder if there is a another site like this left anywhere

  2. Hey we could all have a whip round to buy all the stuff !! Anyone got a big enough Garage space to store all the swag?

  3. Don’t be sad!

    I think Derek has done his bit. Time now to play some golf, or tinker with an old Austin A35. Shame it could not become a new MG dealer!

  4. What a shame it couldn’t be kept as a small transport museum and filled with BMC/BL/AR vehicles.

    To be demolished and turned into shoebox trendy ‘fake plastic tree’ flats.

  5. I agree, Derek has done more than his fair share to maintain and keep the memories of an interesting period in BL and ARG alive, and I wish him all the best for his retirement.

    I do also agree that it is a shame that the premises can’t be retained as a kind of shrine to Austin Rover Group and Rover Cars, and even become a specialist for dealing in and servicing these cars. However, I am guessing those who are probably more interested in buying one of the new flats that will be build on the premises are more likely to be interested in their Volkswagen or BMW than be educated about British motoring heritage.

    I just hope that the cars and any other artefacts are all saved and end up in the hands of real enthusiasts. I would love to see some of the old showroom posters and even the illuminated signs on display at the Classic Motor Show above the relevant marque stands, to add a bit of period charm beyond the sight of polished paintwork.

  6. Problem is – to take it on – the site itself is worth a small fortune as re-development land.
    I would guess that Derek owns the site, therefore any new owner would have to purchase the site making any kind of car dealership non-profitable

  7. I know a garage in Devon with a 1919? Ford Model T truck in the showroom, but I don’t think it’s for sale!
    Around 1975, I saw an F Victor at the back of an otherwise empty/closed showroom in Aberdeen. Keeping it indoors for 17 years was probably the only way to stop an F Victor from dissolving in Grampian road salt!

  8. @ Ken Strachan:

    Which garage is this as I live in Devon and have never come across it before?

    The only lasting legacy of the Rover days in Devon is a giant illuminated ‘Rover’ sign mounted on the wall outside the showroom of Staddons of Budleigh Salterton which is in the High Street. Every time I go there (about once a year to get my car serviced and MOTed) I always look up and smile at this sign, reminiscing about some of the models that wore the Viking Longship. I really do think a preservation order ought to be granted to prevent it from being removed at some point in the future.

  9. I remember seeing, it may have been on an ‘abandoned’ forum like 28 days later, a BL dealer that looked like it had been abandoned and untouched since the early 80s.
    It had Metros, Marinas etc. that were new, albeit dusty and flat tyred.

  10. Will miss seeing this on my infrequent trip round the North Circ. Would love to lay my hands on some of the illuminated signage for my collection….

  11. Sad but the man will have some great memorabilia, particularly the signage. I wonder if he will donate to the Heritage motor museum in Gaydon or another like it.

  12. As the article is aptly titled “Time warp dealership”. A shame this garage is being redeveloped for yet more housing! Nothing is forever of course – more’s the pity.

    In my town (So. Shields), the last Rover dealership closed in 2001 and has stood, becoming derelict ever since. Sad for those of us who remember its heyday. The site’s now been purchased by the Council for regeneration… it wont be a garge again methinks…

  13. I remember seeing that linked dealership on another site, it looks like it was transported from 20 years ago!

  14. Anyone noticed the late 1980’s ‘Rover’ signage in the background lately in regard to storm damage at Newlyn?
    Yes, the old Rover dealership is still here, but no new cars to sell of course. I bought my 32000 mile 75 tourer off the showroom floor two years ago and am very pleased with it.

  15. Need more photos of this place… I love jumping back in time! What a legend this man is and despite not even knowing this placed existed – it seems sad he is walking away and such a place will be forgot a few years down the line! He deserves a well earned rest though!

    Also that deserted dealership in Swadlincole… How mad! 🙂

  16. I loved those old window stickers, “rear wiper”, “5 speed”, “radio cassette”, ones I loved “heated rear window” and “cloth seats” ahh brings back happy colourful memory’s and made a car site look like a fairground, pain in the bum if you had a test drive putting them all back again!
    Only ones I use now are “Turbo Diesel”, “Automatic” and “7 Seater”!

  17. The sign at Newlyn is indeed a Ex Rover dealer I take my 75 tourer to their service centre at Mousehole down the road. They still service and sell Rovers. One of the few places in cornwall where you can get a T4 diagnostic all other MG Rover dealers have more or less gone or moved onto other manufacturer’s.

  18. Terry @22, these were big selling points 30 years ago and now I feel like someone poverty stricken by not having a car with air conditioning, which in the early eighties was only for very expensive cars.
    Also cloth seats were a godsend after the PVC horrors that were fitted to cars in the seventies.

  19. I have emailed Mr Ketteringham about whether he is considering selling any sales literature. Unfortunately he has not replied yet…

    Aside from that, there are some genuinely lovely cars in the stock list that deserve to find some loving new homes. If only I had plenty of available space and a garage!

  20. #13 David 3500 It’s a filling station on the left of the A361 heading from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe. Definitely North of Braunston and possibly Knowle, try about Dean Cross. I bought fuel there, if you can’t find it I will have to trawl through diaries and fuel receipts to see when I was there!

  21. I remember when cloth seats started appearing in the mid 70s on cars like the Cortina MKIV & Vaux Victor/Viva’s etc. It was a revelation after the vinyl versions! I did have a 72 Viva HC which had cloth trim though.

  22. To all those who, like myself, are tempted by Derek’s signs and brochures etc, I can imagine Derek’s response might well be “Well, if you were buying one of the cars….”
    These old garage/showroom premises are fast disappearing, even up here in rural Norfolk, mainly being developed for housing or supermarkets. I guess this is likely to accelerate as villages are required to find more space for new homes. When these premises come up for sale they are priced with a view to development.
    Mind you if you want to see a real time warp dealership go to Youtube and search for Ghostly BMW Dealership! Sorry I know this is sacrilege to some of you.

  23. I find this very sad indeed. Surely, with all the sympathy noted on this site alone, this business must be a going concern for automotive fans such as ourselves? If only someone would take it on, or am I just sentimental!

  24. Here is the ad for the site it’s with London Properites;
    “London Properties commercial are delighted to bring to the market this prominent main road development site and/or investment property on the A406 North Circular Road at Neasden close to the town centre shopping, Welsh Harp and Brent Reservoir with Wembley Stadium, Neasden and Wembley Park Underground Stations nearby. It has for many years been occupied as a car showroom on the ground floor originally comprising some 9 individual units now reduced to 6 with a total area of around 5,646 sq ft approx with 9 self contained maisonettes above, 1 x 2 bedroom with loft conversion and 8 x 1 bedroom with the exception of the 2 bed all currently let on Assured Shorthold Tenancies plus 4 individual workshops at the rear with 2 currently let on a short term basis but the entire offered with full vacant possession if required. Available freehold for which offers are invited in excess of £3,000,000 subject to contract. For more information or appointment to view please contact London Properties on 0208 861 4615 or by email:
    For this price I’m sure Derek might well throw in the signs and brochures.

  25. Family dealerships seem to be disappearing in the cities, but we still have quite a few in Cumbria. One that still keeps going with a huge following locally is Edgar and Son, a former Morris dealership that was established in 1919. I have bought four cars from them and compared with the likes of Arnold Shark and Bristol Street Motors, they are still light years ahead.

  26. Family Dealerships allow their staff to negotiate with customer. Arnold Shark employ arrogant people who demand the screen price, offer pennies for the part ex and act dumbfounded when people walk out. Never ceases to amaze me how many people buy from places like that.

  27. My brother bought a 205 GTI 1.9 from him 18 years ago. was a real minter. he had an e type there and other gems

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