Updated: Oct 21
From humble beginnings, Darrell Butcher rose to become one of Queensland's foremost figures in the automotive industry. In 1965, while working locally as a young lube operator, he obtained his motor mechanic's qualification by correspondence. Three years later, with savings of $2000, he opened his own car dealership, on the cnr. Oxley and Anzac Ave, Redcliffe. In 1972 he took on the Volkswagen Dealership and followed it by becoming Queensland's first Subaru Dealer in 1973.
In 1980, Darrell was tempted from an early retirement to purchase Torque Ford from Bryan Wood and the late Allan Piper. Butcher took over the business on 16th December 1980. The timing for him was fortunate in that the motor industry market rebounded in early 1981, particularly for Ford with the release of the KA Laser.
The market boomed and Darrell structured a formidable team around him to take advantage of the market. Sleepy Torque Ford, previously averaging around 40 new cars a month, leapt to national prominence consistently selling nearly 100 new cars a month and becoming a force in the Ford market. From 1986 Torque Ford was named as the Ford Australia National Dealer of the Year 6 times in 7 years, a record which is still unsurpassed today.
In May 1988 Darrell bought the Toyota franchise for Redcliffe and relocated to a site at Kippa-Ring and setting up the sales operations. Business escalated Torque Toyota. In 1990, ever on the acquisition trail Darrell took over the business of Lloyd Ford at Strathpine and shortly after added Brisbane's oldest Ford Dealership, Metro Ford to his stable, in the same year.
In 1990 Darrell also featured on the cover of Time Magazine, when his company Torque Ford became Queensland's first national winner of the Time Magazine Quality Dealership Award.
Darrell and Patricia Butcher are owners of the Torque group of automotive dealerships in Brisbane, which has about 330 staff and sales of $207 million.
Darrell Butcher is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:
A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.
For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post: