18 Apr 2024

Giltrap Group founder Sir Collin Giltrap dies, aged 84

6:14 pm on 18 April 2024
Sir Colin Giltrap.

Photo: Supplied / Giltrap Group

Sir Colin Giltrap, who founded the influential Giltrap Group focusing on luxury cars and was knighted for services to motorsport, has died.

Giltrap Group confirmed he had passed away peacefully with his family overnight aged 84.

While he had stepped away from the business after suffering a fall in London last year, the name Giltrap remained prominent in the motor vehicle industry.

Today the Giltrap Group website bears a farewell for its founder, "Sir Colin Giltrap 1940-2024".

Sir Colin founded the business in the 1960s buying Matamata Motors then steadily expanding into Auckland, buying Coutts of Great North Road in Auckland. His father had run a machinery business and Sir Colin had tinkered with cars in his spare time as a student.

Over the years the company became the Giltrap Group and won the rights to sell luxury brands like Daimler, Audi, Triumph, Porsche and Rover.

At the same time, Giltrap also became a significant dealer in mid-range cars.

A history of the group lists many of the biggest car brands among its dealerships or joint ventures over the years.

Recently, he had stepped back from the managing the group to leave sons Michael and Richard in charge.

He and his wife Lady Jennifer have been involved with raising money for the Starship Foundation from its inception as well as sponsors of Symphony in the Park.

In a statement, the Giltrap Group says he was "well known for building enduring relationships, valuing people and for contributions to the automotive industry and in the world of motorsport, which is legendary.

"Sir Colin was a keen family and businessman, with an all-consuming life long passion for cars"

Starship Foundation chief executive Jo Simon said Sir Colin was "an incredible philanthropist who cared deeply about New Zealand's critically ill and injured children".

"His relentless and unwavering dedication to helping those less fortunate than himself was remarkable."

The foundation was grateful for the longstanding support that Sir Colin and Lady Jenny had offered them since its inception in 1991, he said.

Sir Colin, his family and the Giltrap Group had staged the Starship Supercar Show which raised critical funds for the national children's hospital, Simon said.

"Last year, through ticket sales alone they raised more than $200,000, making an incredible difference for Starship children and their families."