Fred Henderson Automobile Engineers commenced trading in a disused workshop underneath the railway bridge in Durham city during January 1973. The business soon expanded to employ four people and continued to expand to eight people by 1980 when the business was moved to Ainsley Street, just a short walk from the city centre. In 1982, with his rally career drawing to a close, Fred Henderson took on a position as Motorsport Manager for Colway remould Tyres and the business took on the responsibility of marketing Colway Motorsport products across the world.
By the early 90s the business was running a fleet of six breakdown trucks and continued to expand rapidly along with the success of National Breakdown, eventually to become Green Flag as it is known today, as well as working for the AA and the RAC. The company also took on one of the first privatised police contracts for vehicle recovery.
By 1993 the fleet of vehicles were extended to sixteen and a 24-hour control centre. In 1998 a purpose-built control room and up-to-date reception facilities were added and the roadside repair service became known as the Breakdown Doctor and a trademark was registered bearing this name. At the same time the company was restructured and became Fred Henderson Limited.
In July 2004 David Henderson joined the business after working in motorsport team management to concentrate on the workshop element of the business and we expanded to 25 full and part time employees.
During 2005 Fred completed writing a book -- The real life adventures of a 1960's road recovery man, a publication detailing Fred's life as a young motor mechanic and the many interesting and amusing experiences he encountered. For further details and ordering contact our office.
Towards the end of 2010 and early 2011 was a very exciting time for us as we acquired the former S.G.Petch twin franchise site on the A690 just past Nevilles Cross, allowing us to retail quality used vehicles as well as taking on a Bosch Car service franchise to support our already strong technical expertise.
In 2014 we secured planning permission to expand into the field next to us. This allowed us to develop our site further, constructing a new large storage building and increasing the footprint of our car sales forecourt.
In 2015 We began offering to the public the service of Paintless Dent Removal. This is the art of manipulating damaged metal panels into their original shape. This is a service little-offered outside of the motor dealers and is a great cost saving opportunity for car owners with dents.
Further expansion of the company occurred in February 2016 when we acquired a Bodyshop in Willington a few miles from our main site where we carry out paintwork to a high standard, from extensive insurance repairs to smaller private work including paintless dent repair. Already a successful concern in its own right, this ensures that we can look after customers vehicle repairs including full accident management claims.
November 2016 saw us take on a MG Motor UK franchise and we became a retailer for new MG cars in Durham city.
2019 – MG are the fastest growing car manufacturer in the UK having doubled their 2017 in 2018. Two new models are announced, including full electric and hybrid options, which join the MG3, MGZS and MGGS.