Driving Rich List 2017: Triumph chief powers into second place but Ecclestone stays top

Driving Rich List 2017: Triumph chief powers into second place but Ecclestone stays top

Exclusive: motoring millionaires and billionaires revealed

THE OWNER of Triumph motorcycles turbocharged his fortune last year and moved up into second place in the list of motoring’s wealthiest people, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2017.

The annual Driving Rich List (below) shows John Bloor’s personal fortune soared by £204m to £1.454bn, after two businesses, which includes a construction company in addition to Triumph, purred past a turnover of £1bn in 2015-16.

The Derbyshire miner’s son set up his housebuilding firm Bloor Homes in 1969 and acquired the Triumph Engineering group’s name and manufacturing rights in 1983 after the motorcycle maker went into receivership. He spent upwards of £80m on a new factory reviving the famous marque.

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The construction enterprise has been boosted by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, while the motorcycle division sold 56,253 bikes to June 2016 – a 4.5% increase on the previous year. The combined operation is worth £1.4bn.

It boosts Bloor up the table into second place behind Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One tycoon whose worth is unchanged, and ahead of Georg and Emily von Opel. Georg von Opel is a great-grandson of German car brand founder Adam Opel and director of a wind turbine investment company.

Fourth in the table, at £1.1bn is the Clark family. Last year, Driving announced that Sir Arnold Clark, the Scottish car dealer, had become the first car dealer billionaire. Last month he died, aged 89, but the Clark family still owns the Arnold Clark operation in its entirety. Profits rose to £110.4m on sales of more than £3.3bn in 2015 and with net assets of £756.4m Arnold Clark Group is worth £1.075bn

Lewis Hamilton, whose wealth has risen £25m in the past year, is the richest active sportsman in Britain

The largest year-on-year increase in fortune came from Lord Edmiston, who acquired the franchise for selling Subaru and Isuzu cars after setting up International Motors using a £6,000 redundancy cheque. IM Group is one of Britain’s biggest importers of Far Eastern cars and made profits of £149.8m on £571m sales in 2015.

Edmiston was made a Conservative life peer in 2011 but retired from the Lords in 2015. He is a strong supporter of Brexit and gave £1m to the Vote Leave campaign. The founder of the charity Christian Vision, which aims to introduce a billion people to Jesus via the radio and social media, he is Britain’s first overtly Christian billionaire.

Another big winner in the 2017 Driving Rich List is Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who founded the Euro Garages petrol station business in 1995 with a single, run-down site in Bury. Euro Garages merged with European Forecourt Retail Group last October, forming a company with 1,467 sites mainly in the UK, France and the Benelux countries. It became the largest independent fuel retailer in the EU, with annual sales of €6bn (£5.1bn).

The Issa brothers’ key to success was not in selling fuel, but in on-site convenience stores. This has been taken to the next level by teaming up with brands such as Starbucks, Burger King, Subway and Greggs, offering customers the option of filling their appetite as well as their tank.

Formula One fans will notice that Ron Dennis is another climber this year, despite the former chairman and chief executive of the McLaren team being forced to step down after shareholders resisted his proposed sale of the business to a Chinese consortium.

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Dennis’s stake in Woking-based McLaren is worth £400m on the back of the abortive £1.6bn Chinese valuation. He is chairman of McLaren Automotive, which has seen great success with recent launches of its sports cars, including the new 720S, and showed sharply higher net assets of £335m in 2015.

Lewis Hamilton, the F1 racing driver who was mentored by Dennis at McLaren but now races for the Mercedes team, is the richest active sportsman in Britain, according to the Rich List 2017.

Hamilton, 32, won his third F1 drivers’ championship in 2015 and was rewarded with a lucrative new three-year contract. The British driver needs another world title to activate all of the bonus clauses in the Mercedes deal, which could raise his annual earnings from driving alone to £33m. Allowing for spending, but little tax given his overseas residency, his wealth has risen £25m in the past year to £131m.

1 1 Bernie Ecclestone and family £2,480 ↔ £0m
2 3 John Bloor £1,454 ↑ £204m
3 2 Georg and Emily von Opel £1,416 ↑ £16m
4 4 The Clark family £1,100 ↑ £75m
5 7 Lord Edmiston £1,020 ↑ £480m
6 5 Mohsin and Zuber Issa £1,000 ↑ £300m
7 6 Paddy McNally £610 ↑ £40m
8 9 Geoffrey Warren £550 ↑ £100m
9 13= Ron Dennis £450 ↑ £150m
10 10 Sir Donald Gosling £421 ↓ £11m
11 11 Jack Tordoff and family £395 ↑ £12m
12 12 Gerald Ronson and family £380 ↑ £30m
13 13= Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia £310 ↑ £10m
14= 13= Lord Heseltine and family £300 ↔ £0m
14= 16 Nigel Spokes and family £300 ↑ £30m
16 28 Tony and Christina Quinn £255 ↑ £99m
17 17 Toto and Susie Wolff £240 ↔ £0m
18 18= Sir Michael Marshall and family £230 ↑ £20m
19 22 Keith Bradshaw and family £215 ↑ £25m
20 39= The Duke of Richmond and Gordon and family £210 ↑ £100m
21 26 Sir Colin Giltrap £205 ↑ £37m
22= 20= Graham Peacock £200 ↔ £0m
22= 20= Susan Tobbell £200 ↔ £0m
24 18= Tony Bramall and family £192 ↓ £18m
25= 24= Rodger Dudding £180 ↑ £10m
25= 23 Alasdair Locke £180 ↔ £0m
27 24= Sir Peter Vardy and family £177 ↑ £7m
28 29 Michael Hunt and family £175 ↑ £21m
29 44 Guy Harwood and family £160 ↑ £55m
30 27 John Griffin and family £155 ↓ £10m
31 30 Douglas Park and family £154 ↑ £8m
32 31 Daryl Foster £140 ↔ £0m
33 42= Lewis Hamilton £131 ↑ £25m
34 34= Terry Lister and family £130 ↑ £10m
35 34= Max Smith-Hilliard £128 ↑ £8m
36 32 Sir Tom Farmer £127 ↓ £3m
37 33 The Marquess of Bute £126 ↑ £4m
38= 34= Derek Hood and family £120 ↔ £0m
38= 34= Andrew Page and family £120 ↔ £0m
38= new Peter Schofield £120 NEW
38= 34= Kevin Wheatcroft £120 ↔ £0m
42 42= David and Betty Carr £117 ↑ £11m
43 39= Neil Trotter £110 ↔ £0m

This year’s new-look Sunday Times Rich List — the 29th annual edition to be produced — is the biggest ever. The definitive guide to wealth charts the fortunes of the 1,000 richest individuals and families in the British Isles. Click to see the full Rich List 2017 at the thesundaytimes.co.uk.


2016 Driving Rich List revealed: Bernie stays top despite £460m drop in wealth