Merv Hannam – A brief History of the Family Business.
Merv Hannam was born in Poole in 1931 and after leaving the army in 1951 became a well-known speedway rider representing both his town and country for many years.
His car business started from home in the late fifties before moving to its present site on the corner of Wallisdown Roundabout, Bournemouth in 1966. This site has always been connected with transport, it being the main crossroads between Poole and Bournemouth. During the 19th Century it was used as a place to rest, feed and water your horses. In fact the current forecourt still shows evidence of the original horse shoe worn cobbles!
Just after the Second World War the horse refuelling station was replaced with its modern day equivalent an Esso fuel station. Remaining in Esso’s hands until Merv Hannam purchased the site from them in 1966.
The seventies brought a new look to the car industry and to the Merv Hannam brand with its first main dealer franchise Polski Fiat, a Polish Fiat made under licence from Italy. In fact Merv Hannam was the country’s second largest Polski Fiat dealership for 8 years!
The eighties saw the franchise change to the Japanese brand Colt and later Mitsubishi. These were booming years with the introduction of the first turbo cars including the Mitsubishi Lancer Turbo which was the world’s fastest 2.0 production car at the time! Also the extremely popular Mitsubishi Shogun which went on to become one of the world’s best selling 4×4’s.
The nineties saw the company specialising more in the luxury prestige end of the market with BMW, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes becoming the top sellers. This coincided with the day to day running of the company being taken over by Merv’s son Ashley.
The Millennium brought more change with the retirement of Merv Hannam at the age of 70, and Ashley launching the “Merv Hannam” brand into what you now see. Now celebrating its fiftieth year in business Merv Hannam Specialist Cars under the helm of Ashley Hannam is a modern, efficient car sales run with the traditional value of customer service that it started with in the fifties.