In June 2004 Harbour Bonfield Garage Limited was formed by amalgamating Bridport’s two oldest family run garage businesses.
G. Bonfield & Son was founded in 1900 by George Bonfield as a pedal and motorcycle shop. In 1907 the business moved to larger workshops in West Street, where it remained until a move to the present premises in St Andrews Trading Estate in June 2004.
In the early 1930’s the company affiliated to the Austin Motor Company and remained agents incorporating Rover under the management of Howard Bonfield who took control of the business in 1977 when his father retired.
As a result of Rovers restructuring the agency ceased in 1996, however, the company continued to sell new and used cars and incorporated the all car Unipart Car Care system for service and repairs.
Harbour Garage in West Bay was purchased in 1947 by Mr Ray Rickard, having moved to Bridport from Hillingdon.
In 1955 the Ford franchise was introduced and several years later a showroom was developed across the road, The Singer franchise was then added and remained until Singers’ demise in the late sixties. This was followed by the Datsun franchise continuing until the 1980s.
In 1964 Sue, Ray’s daughter, joined the Company and subsequently became a Director, taking over the running of the Company in 1972.
Harbour Bonfield was formed as a result of a need by both companies to modernise their businesses.
The start of 2000 saw Ford Motor Company putting increasing pressure on dealers to upgrade their premises. Harbour’s old aircraft hanger failed to meet the criteria Ford had set and a decision was made to sell and relocate.
During the early part of 2004 Howard also concluded that the West Street building had become unsuitable for today’s motor industry and that sale and relocation was the way ahead.
As both family owned and run businesses needed to move forward, the directors, all being friends, muted the idea of a joint venture and the seeds were sown.
Premises where found on St Andrews Trading Estate, Bridport, and the rest as they say, is history.