Morar Motors History

Morar Motors was born from a small working garage on the banks of Loch Morar in the early 1950′s, becoming a Limited company in 1959 when the original Directors Willie Cook, Duncan Maclellan and Jack Shaw-Stewart built a new workshop, filling station and showroom in the village.
Morar Motors thrived during the boom time years of the Herring trade when Mallaig was known as the busiest Herring port in Europe.

All aspects of the business benefitted during this time from increased car sales, as the fishermen were reaping their rewards, to the tourism trade and car rental business. The Recovery side of the business also grew by default from the copious numbers of fish lorries that left Mallaig on unsuitable roads. The train that had previously been the main form of transport proved less economical so road transport become the popular choice.

The Herring ban that was enforced in the mid 70′s pushed Mallaig into decline and after the boom time years Morar Motors, with a change of management, had to restructure to cope with the different demands. During this transitional period, when there was a general downturn with less heavy traffic. In the early 90′s we invested substantially by building a new workshop in Mallaig in the early 1990′s. Due to changes and advancement in vehicle technology systems more and more cars were required to be returned to their main dealers for repairs for both residential vehicles and tourist transport. With the investment in the recovery aspect of the business Morar Motors were recognised as one of the major players in that field and along with that came the contracts from all the major motoring clubs.

The increased business subsequently led to an opportunity during May 2000 of the Millenium year to open a 2nd garage, in Kyle of Lochalsh, offering the same services as the original depot in Mallaig.

Taking over from “The Central” an existing, well run and respected local garage that had also been operating since the end of the Second World War, meant that Morar Motors established the resources to service a much wider area than before – now reaching far off places such as Applecross, Invermoriston and the Isle of Skye. Still relishing the challenge that the increased geographical area proposes today but with a larger work force to cover both garages – Morar Motors has increased their employees from 7 to an excess of 20.

Some historic images from the garage in Kyle of Lochalsh have been put on a website by George MacInnes – take a look at some of the extraordinary incidents on our roads – we are always kept busy!

Morar Motors is currently owned by Colin Macdonald who joined the company in 1981 as a 15 year old school leaver on a mechanics apprenticeship. He became Managing Director in 1996 after having worked his way through the company as a mechanic and Service Manager bringing new fresh ideas to help the restructuring and development of the recovery side of the business – establishing the workshop in 1992 with new offices, customers reception/waiting room and a 7 bay workshop with new MOT station.