Jim Gozzett was born in 1906 and in 1924 aged just 19, he set up his own business. It was Jim Gozzett's Aunt, Julia Gridley who financed the starting of Quest Coaches with a loan of £100 towards Jim Gozzett's first coach. Quest Coaches originally operated from Silver Street, Maldon. The site was small and had just two mechanical pits for repair work with a waste piece of land to store the two coaches. The business thrived and in 1926 moved to larger premises on the Causeway, Maldon. In the years 1926 to 1934 the fleet of Quest Coaches increased to 26.
By the early 1930's it was becoming increasingly difficult to obtain stage licences (pick up points) from the traffic courts and Quest Coaches in 1934 sold out to Eastern National who were seeking to expand their operations eastward from Chelmsford to Maldon and the Dengie Peninsula. With the sale of Quest Coaches Jim Gozzett purchased the Quest site in Maldon High Street, and the Company signed an agreement with Vauxhall Motors to become the Vauxhall/Bedford dealer for South East Essex.
Quest Coaches had now become Quest Motors.
In the late 1930's an additional Showroom was purchased on the opposite side of the premises in the High Street, but was later sold due to expansion of the main Quest site. The old showroom situated on the corner of Wantz Road was later known as Kathleen's Kitchen and is now trading as the Tan Stand.
Quest Motors continued to expand its operations and when the war in 1939 meant cars were not in circulation and rations were in force, the Company also began manufacturing munitions for the armed forces as well as repairing vehicles and diesel boats from the Maldon Wharf. This allowed the company to survive throughout the war years and also contribute to the wartime effort.
After the war Quest Motors returned to selling and servicing New Vauxhall cars and Bedford lorries. Due to the shortage of products and often only selling 1 vehicle a month, the company embarked on another fleet of coaches for private hire and also began Self Drive and Taxi Hire. Quest took on contracts with Wethersfield Airbase, Essex County Council School Bus Service and offered Private Hire excursions. At this time a total of 12 coaches were in operation.
In 1949 John A Gozzett, aged 18 and son of Jim Gozzett started working within the company and successfully completed a three year apprenticeship with Vauxhall Motors. He then took on the role of Service Manager at Maldon until in 1952 he was called up for National Service. During National Service, due to his motor trade apprenticeship he was placed on a section working on Armoured Fighting Vehicles.
In 1955 after serving his time with the National Service, John Gozzett resumed his position as Service Manager at Quest Maldon. The Company was at this time still running its coach business alongside the car and vehicle repairs and vehicle hire. In 1957 Vauxhall recognised Braintree as an open point for another Vauxhall/Bedford dealership and Quest Motors purchased the site in Rayne Road, Braintree. In order to purchase the site at 277-281 Rayne Road, Braintree it was necessary to sell the coach business. All 12 coaches were sold and the contracts terminated.
John Gozzett moved to the Braintree dealership in September 1957 and became Managing Director employing just five people. Today this figure has risen to 65.
In 1968 Rayne Road, Braintree had developed to its full potential and Vauxhall/Bedford insisted that the dealership opened up a Commercial Workshop. A one acre site on the Springwood Industrial Estate was purchased by the Company and in late 1969 was completed and ready to receive its first commercial vehicles for repair. Jim Gozzett & son John Gozzett continued to build and expand both the Maldon & Braintree dealerships promoting and advertising the Quest Motors services throughout the country.
By the late 1960's John Gozzett's eldest son Robin was also taking an interest in the Motoring Industry......
The third generation of the Gozzett family was about to enter into the Quest Motors business. In 1973 John Gozzett's son Robin, aged just 17 began his apprenticeship with Vauxhall Motors.
Jim Gozzett died in 1974 at the age of 69. His grandson Robin having completed half of his Vauxhall Motors apprenticeship took over the running of the Maldon dealership, and at just 19 years of age Robin was made Managing Director and was responsible for the day to day running of the Maldon site. With John Gozzett, Group Managing Director at Braintree and son Robin Gozzett at the Maldon dealership the business continued to grow.
In late 1974 Braintree embarked on a modernisation plan which meant building on a new showroom and office block adjacent to the car service department in Rayne Road. In the late 1970's John Gozzett's younger son Martin was also taking an interest in the family business....
The Braintree Sales Department was enlarged to accommodate the growing range of Vauxhall cars in 1980. In 1981 John Gozzett's younger son Martin, having completed his Vauxhall Motors apprenticeship joined the Braintree dealership as Sales Manager, and later in 1983 when Martin was 21 he became a Director of Quest Motors.
The Breakdown/Recovery Service that had been operating since the late 1950's was now seeing major growth opportunities. As agents for all the leading breakdown companies Quest Motors recovery vehicles were now on the move all over the country and even into Scotland and Wales.
The 1990's saw major growth at both the Maldon and Braintree dealerships. In 1992 Quest Motors purchased a new 1.8 acre site in Rayne Road, Braintree. In order to satisfy both the requirements of Vauxhall Motors and the growth within the family business this prestigious site houses the Quest Group head office which includes the company boardroom and directors suite.
Throughout the nineties the dealerships continued to expand and grow serving clients throughout the United Kingdom. In order to cope with this business growth the dealerships were computerised in 1993 and in 1999 the group invested in a 45 user Kerridge computer network system with the main computer server for the group being housed at the headquarters in Braintree. John Gozzett having reached the age of 65 in 1999 took on the role as Group Executive Chairman with son Robin now taking over as Chief Executive of Group Operations based at Maldon and Martin continuing as Managing Director at Braintree.
In late 1999 the Springwood site in Braintree underwent a major modernisation program. The parts department was doubled in size to handle the group parts operation as Vauxhall Motors made it a requirement that all parts supplied to the Quest Group should now come through the head office. A Business Centre was introduced in 2002 at both Maldon and Braintree and in 2003 both dealerships were operating as a Heavy Van Specialist.
Expansion over the years meant that the High Street site at Maldon had become too small to accommodate the continual rise in business growth. This together with new EU rulings on Brand Image meant that the current building no longer conformed to EU standards and relocation was necessary. In 2004 Maldon took on the Saab franchise.
In 2007 a brand new dealership was opened in Maldon offering state-of-the-art facilities for Vauxhall and Saab, and the Braintree dealership underwent massive refurbishment to bring the Quest Motor Group into line with Vauxhall and Saab standards.
Quest Motor Group is the oldest Vauxhall dealership in Essex and one of the oldest privately funded Vauxhall dealers in the UK, it still remains in the private ownership of the Gozzett family with the 3rd generation all taking an active role in the day to day running of the business.
Today we employ a team of staff in excess of 140, and all team members are dedicated to offering an exceptional customer experience which will ensure that the Quest Group remains privately owned and funded by the Gozzett family for future generations.