LONG-TIME Australian model car industry figure Richard Poole is leaving the industry after a 20-plus year stint.

Poole, who started at Biante Model Cars in Perth two decades ago, left to establish his own brand, Apex Replicas, and then sold it to the current owners of Biante, Downies Collectables, in June 2018.

Richard Poole and wife Samantha established APEX Replicas before selling it to Downies Collectables. Photo: Supplied.

Poole has worked for Downies since selling Apex to the collectables company, however, will depart later this month.

Poole worked at Biante under its original owners Trevor and Bev Young from 2001 to 2009, beginning as Website Manager and then moving into Research and Development before becoming General Manager.

He and wife Samantha later established Apex Replicas and built it up over the course of eight years, producing models for a range of Supercar teams including Garry Rogers Motorsport, Tickford Racing and Team 18.

Poole’s departure leaves a huge void of specialised industry experience from the Biante and Apex ranks within Downies Collectables.

He told V8 Sleuth this week he’s taking a break and will evaluate his next professional options after some down time with his family.

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.