FORMER V8 Supercar team owner, racing driver and automotive aftersales industry identity Garry Dumbrell has died in Melbourne.
The father of 2012 Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Dumbrell and former Supercar team owner Lucas, Dumbrell passed away on Friday, October 15, after an accident at home.
Aged 19, Dumbrell took over the Victorian distributorship for Wynn’s auto products in 1976 and purchased a pair of speed shops a year later from which he began to build his empire.
He was one of nine business owners involved in the setup of Autobarn, building the retail franchise chains, and later becoming the Managing Director. He and son Paul were involved in a buy-out of the other shareholders in 2006.
Dumbrell Snr resigned as CEO and appointed Paul as CEO in 2010 when he was diagnosed with cancer.
The addition of National Parts and Autopro helped create the Automotive Brands Group, which was sold to Metcash in 2012 and then later sold to Bursons, now known as Bapcor, in 2015.
As a driver, Dumbrell made two Bathurst 1000 starts, in 1980 and 1981, both times with John Faulkner. In 1980 they shared an Escort and finished 26th and they failed to finish in another Escort in 1981.
Dumbrell made the move into V8 Supercars in 1997 and backed driver Darren Hossack with Wynn’s in an ex-Gibson, John Faulkner Racing-run privateer Commodore VR.
Wynn’s then sponsored Gibson Motorsport for the following two seasons, highlighted by Greg Murphy and Steve Richards winning the Bathurst 1000 in 1999 in a Wynn’s-backed, Gibson Commodore VT.
Dumbrell bought the team from Fred Gibson and ran it under the Kmart Racing banner for the 2000 V8 Supercar season before selling it back to Gibson, funded by Bob Forbes, for the following season.
He remained a passionate supporter and backer of the racing endeavours of sons Paul and Lucas, the latter paralysed in a Formula Ford accident at Oran Park in late 2008 before going on to set up and run Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in the V8 Supercars Championship from 2010 to 2017.