Duke of London was formally founded in December 2014 by Merlin McCormack. Having been raised around his father’s classic car restoration business and his parent’s combined collection, Merlin had had a keen interest in all things kinetic from a young age.
He began selling cars at the age of 11 and continued to do so on the side throughout his school career. After leaving school at 18 and having already sold dozens of vehicles from his mother’s driveway, Merlin had a lapse in sanity and opted for a job as a private equity broker for a Mayfair based asset management company. Despite taking quite well to his new role, it was short lived and just under a year later, he was back doing what he knew and loved - only this time he was ready to scale up.
Merlin opened the first Duke of London showroom in a stable building built in 1892 by Kew Bridge, West London. A humble and rustic 9 car space that Duke of London rapidly outgrew. Merlin then also took on an adjacent site, Duke’s Paddock, to alleviate space confinements but as the venture continued to grow this too soon became too small. During their time at Kew Bridge, Merlin also began to take roles in other ventures and most notably began renovating disused commercial property across London to incubate start-ups and creatives.
In March 2017, Duke of London moved a mile to Brentford to Duke’s Wharf. The 14,000 sq ft site enabled Merlin to incorporate separate restoration and detailing businesses alongside the showroom. It began to become known for its eclectic array of stock from all eras and walks of life and for the monthly Classics & Cake car meet.
In June 2019, Merlin will be publicly opening the doors to his latest project, The Factory. By far his biggest home yet for Duke of London standing at 51,000 sq ft. After 6 solid months of hard graft from his amazing team of builders, friends and family, The Factory is ready to be seen. More on the history of the space can be found here.
The new home has enabled the business to expand all of its divisions exponentially (sales, restoration, storage, events etc.) and also opened up a new avenue by way of hospitality and events. The growth of the business has been largely thanks to the experience and knowledge of his family who works alongside him at Duke of London. We pride ourselves on being a good old fashioned family business amongst a new wave of dealers.