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Kicked Out Of School To £1 Billion In Sales

A Motor Traders Fairy Tale

At the age of 15, Ferrari dealer John Collins was booted out of school, but now he’s received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The Beginning

After being kicked out of school age 15, John spent time as a labourer before getting a job as a tea boy in a Glasgow newsroom. After receiving a promotion he trained as a reporter before becoming a photojournalist. In 1977 his success meant he could afford to splash out £7,000 on his first Ferrari, a 246 Dino at the ripe age of 25.

Disaster Strikes

A fairy tale story always has a low point and this is it. In 1987 John invested his money in a stock exchange tip just before the markets crashed. Because of this John was then forced to sell his Ferrari, however he realised he hadn’t got a fair price, telling the Mirror: "A week later I saw the dealer selling the Ferrari for £30,000 more. I had been ripped off, but when he said the market was rising I thought I would do it.”

New Motor Trader Career Begins

A New Motor Trader Career Begins

When he realised he hadn’t got a good price for his Ferrari, John decided to get in on the motor trade game himself, saying: "I managed to get friends at the pub to loan me £300,000 and put a deposit down on ten Ferraris worth £3 million. When the dealers got wind of what I was doing they tried to hand me my deposit back but I told them to read the contracts. It was a huge gamble and if it hadn't have worked out it would have been on the street." Six months later John’s gamble paid off and he sold the Ferraris for £3.5 million bagging himself a tidy £500,000 profit. After going full time John sold £12 million worth of Ferraris in his first year as a classic Ferrari motor trader.

Classic Green Lambo

Success As A Motor Trader

After dominating the classic Ferrari world in the 1980s and 1990s John went into semi-retirement in the mid-90s, taking up polo. In 2008 John broke his back playing the sport and returned to the motor trade world in 2008. In recognition of his contribution to international trade he recently received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, after selling £300 million worth of Ferraris in the past three years. On the award John said: “To be given the Queen's Award for Enterprise is a great achievement for someone who was told he would be a binman. It is a real thrill and the icing on the cake. My dad, who is 98, is really proud.” Since he started his career as a motor trader John has sold an incredible 1,751 cars including the only Aston Martin to win Le Mans.


Feeling inspired by John’s overwhelming success and want to follow in his footsteps as a motor trader? Or are you already a motor trader in need of motor trade insurance? Either way, call our specialist motor trade insurance team on 0800 221 8077 or click Get a Quote below.