British and Sportscars: A first look in the hallowed halls
"I like all cars, they just have to be special"
Gérard Dulait is the Peter Pan of the sports car business. On first impressions, it is easy to tell this isn’t just a job for him. He’s full of youthful ambition and enthusiasm, and has been for 30 years. Dulait’s first encounter with a car was at the tender age of 12, when he bought a Volkswagen Beetle and drove around the neighbourhood – without a licence, of course. Passion knows no rules!
At the age of 14, he then acquired a Volvo P1800, which was promptly sold for a profit. “At that point, I knew the motor trade was my business,” recalls Dulait. “I bought more cars, and it got to the point where it was too much for my parents, so I bought my own premises to operate the business from. During my college years, I drove a British Racing Green Jaguar XJ6 Series II. You can imagine the look on my professor’s face when he realised it was me driving.”
The new site
A few decades and 5,800 cars later, Dulait’s business continues to expand. The old showroom simply couldn’t absorb the massive fleet of vehicles, so British and Sportscars has moved to a nearby industrial unit. The new site features three large halls, a workshop, a processing hall and a swanky reception area. It’s still not completely finished, but you can tell that the entrepreneur has a knack for stylish interior design. He’s also got a knack for choosing the right cars, of course. “I like all cars,” he says, “they just have to be special and in great condition.” Interestingly, he’s not limited himself to one or two brands, hence you can see a Ferrari 512 BB and a modern Bentley Continental GT rubbing shoulders with a classic Mini or Porsche 911 ST.
There’s more, too, for the estate of British and Sportscars now includes a vast front garden about the size of a football pitch. Dulait looks into the future with open eyes – that lawn looks perfect for a concours event…
Photos: Jan Richter