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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 00:44 GMT
Car tycoon's pride at honour
The man who founded Scotland's largest motor dealership has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours.

Arnold Clark grew up in a tough inner city area of Glasgow and left school aged 14 with no qualifications.

He opened his first showroom in 1956 - and now the company employs 6,000 in more than 120 showrooms across the UK.

Sir Arnold, who is still chairman and chief executive, said: "I am very pleased and proud to receive a knighthood. It was totally unexpected."

The 76-year-old received the honour for services to the motor industry and for his community work in Scotland.

The seeds of his future career were sown after he joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17.

The reason I started the business was because nobody else would employ me
Arnold Clark
He said this was when he developed the education, self-discipline and leadership qualities which laid the foundations for his success.

He left the RAF in the early 1950s as an NCO Motor Mechanics Instructor.

He used the money he received for leaving the RAF to start Arnold Clark in Glasgow.

"You could call it Hobson's choice," he said.

"The reason I started the business was because nobody else would employ me."

Arnold Clark is now the largest motor dealership and the biggest privately-owned firm in Scotland.

'Loving it'

Sir Arnold employs seven of his 10 children and grandchildren in the family-run business.

He said that his wife was particularly pleased at the award.

"She is loving it. With the title Lady Clark she cannot wait to go out shopping," he joked.

However, he said his staff would continue to call him Mr Clark.



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