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National Trust of South Australia


Curnow's Garage

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Business
Street number: 4
Street name: Balaklava
Street suffix: Road
Town or locality: Mallala
Date established: c. 1920
Ceased operation: 1998
Established by: John Curnow
Business or purpose: Automotive business- sales and repair
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John Wilfred (Wilf) Curnow began selling General Motors cars in 1920 through the agency of Clutterbucks and Manns Motors, and these included Buick, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile.

In 1926 General Motors Holden appointed Wilf Curnow as one of their first dealers in South Australia.

He then built the premises at 4 Balaklava Rd. known as Curnow's Garage, where he sold the full range of Holden's products. (A mechanic was Claude Lutz.)

In the mid 1930s, sons Jack and Harry were assisting Wilf; Jack on the Mallala premises and Harry started up his own garage on Adelaide Road and also selling spare parts for the H.V McKay Massey Harris Agency.

In 1940 Harry joined the Air Force, and he eventually rejoined Jack at the Mallala Garage in 1947. The new Holden car was introduced in 1948. Malcolm Dunstan was the mechanic at Curnow's Garage from 1944 to 1990.

In 1956 Harry's elder son Bruce (Kelly) joined the firm, and in 1970 his other son Brian assisted.

Bruce and his wife Josie took over the dealership in 1979, and they eventually closed the Curnow's Garage business on 14 March 1998.

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