VIDEO AND PICTURES: "Look for the DC Cook sign!" Can you remember legendary 80s South Yorkshire car dealership?

"Look for the DC Cook sign!"

By The Newsroom
Friday, 07 April, 2017, 12:49
Derek Cook outside one of his garages.

It is an advertsing jingle that will resonate with anyone who grew up in South Yorkshire during the 1980s and 1990s and one which will be forever stuck in the heads of a generation of fortysomethings.

Motor dealer DC Cook was one of the region's biggest names in used car sales nearly three decades ago - here we take a nostalgic look back at the South Yorkshire firm which became a local institution.

The name DC Cook was synonymous with discount cars.

The chain of dealerships came to fruition in 1988, the brainchild of former British racing driver Derek Cook.

Cook had made his name in the 1970s, competing in the Southern Organs British Formula Atlantic the Shellsport International Series.

But it was with car sales rather than driving that he made his name and fortune. By 1996, the franchise of dealerships across the region was making a turnover of £180 million with pre-tax profits of £5 million - above the industry average.

Expansion plans followed with the aim to increase turnover to £400 million but trouble came in 2001 and the firm went into receivership with debts totalling £27 million.

Derek Cook was a former racing driver.

Following the collapse, the family started DC Cook Direct, which sold discounted new cars, but this firm too ran into trouble and by 2008 entered liquidation.

However, tragedy had struck for Derek three years earlier when he was killed in a fatal crash.

On May 1, 2005, Derek and his wife Winnie, celebrating her 60th birthday, were out driving during a holiday in Monaco when they were involved in a crash.

Derek was killed, while his wife escaped with injuries. His daughter Paula took over the business and was in control up until its collapse in 2008 and a local institution was lost forever.

South Yorkshire athlete Peter Elliott was among customers of DC Cook.
The name DC Cook was synonymous with discount cars.
Derek Cook was a former racing driver.
South Yorkshire athlete Peter Elliott was among customers of DC Cook.