As a 25 year old the boy from the West Coast, Graham teamed up with Ian Smith and together they formed Smithburn Motors. With very little money but a ton of enthusiasm they commenced business on Moorhouse Avenue with no signs, power or telephone and with a 10-foot caravan for an office. Graham’s hard work did not falter and success was quick to follow. Graham eventually moved on to establish and independently own the Integrity Cars Group. Growing to encompass 3 retail yards along with a booming wholesale division with it’s own purpose built office and distribution warehouse, Integrity Cars became NZ’s biggest importer of cars out of Japan.
One of New Zealand’s original pioneers of importing cars from Japan, Graham continues to thrive on the thrill of the evolution of the industry and the reality that SBL remain firmly positioned at the forefront of it.
Satisfied with Integrity’s long running success, the idea of retirement became increasingly attractive and so Graham made the decision to wind the business down. This thought process was interrupted when his eldest son (Simon) presented a ground breaking vehicle broker model – the venture that would firmly place retirement in the wings. A whiz with numbers and facts Graham didn’t hesitate to get behind Simon’s venture from day one and continues to be an enthusiastic Director today.
Dipping his toes into ‘semi-retirement’ Graham relishes time with his family, travel, regular visits to the gym, tennis and horses – in particular his own.