Plimley Motors (1893 – 19??)

PimleyMotorsPlimley Motors
1010 Yates Street
727-735 Johnson Street
Victoria, BC

“Distributors of quality transportation”

Plimley Motors Ltd. was a multi generational family business that was started in 1893 by pioneer auto dealer Thomas Plimley. The business was originally founded as a bicycle repair shop until Thomas sold the first car in Victoria in 1901, a tiller-steered Oldsmobile. Plimley would eventually sell the Swift, Coventry, Humber, Rover, two-cylinder Buick and the air-cooled Franklin. The dealership would later deal strictly with English automobiles. Of these their selection consisted of Jaguars and Austins but would later include MGs. Plimley also carried the Austin Healeys and then Rovers. And Plimley Motors didn’t just sell cars, they serviced them too.

The company of Plimley Motors Ltd. ceased in 1991.

Thomas Plimley
(Born: 1871, Walsall, England – Died: 1929, Victoria, BC)

Thomas started Plimley Motors Ltd. originally under the name Thomas Plimley Ltd. His wife Rhoda became the first female driver in Victoria.

Thomas Horace Plimley
(Born: March 5, 1895, Victoria, BC – Died: March 21, 1985, Vancouver, BC)

Eldest son of Thomas and Rhoda Plimley, he was the second generation owner of Plimley Motors. In 1936 Horace kept the success of the original Plimley by founding Plimley Motors in Vancouver on Howe Street. The location became one of British Columbia’s largest dealerships. Another dealship Horace was responsible for was Plimley’s Chrysler Dodge at 2277 W. 4th Ave. In the 1950’s it would be known as Plimley Fourth Avenue.

Basil Paul Plimley
(Born: June 21, 1924, Victoria, BC – Died: September 7, 2014, Vancouver, BC)

Basil, son of Thomas Horace, became one of the few third generation executives of a BC business. Basil ran the family businesses from 1957 until 1986.

Basil was a genuine lover of music, art, horses, golf, antiques and all things to do with William Shakespeare.

Information Source(s): Canadian Rodder, bullet, Wayne Watkins, Old English Car Club, The Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Island Bikers.

Written by James Robert Shaw.

One thought on “Plimley Motors (1893 – 19??)

  1. Hi James, It’s nice to have this business remembered. But just so you know, Basil’s son, Mark Plimley, also worked at Plimley Fourth Avenue, making Plimley Motors a 4 generation business, certainly a rarity these days. Oh, and the last sentence of your article I wrote for my father’s obituary when he passed away. I am Basil Plimley’s youngest daughter, Denise. Cheers. šŸ™‚


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