From the military to sport – the veteran giving back to UK athletes
Tell us about you
Steve Thornton served with 4 Regt, 669 Sqn, Army Air Corps for 5 years until 1995, service number 24901176, completing a tour of Operation Granby during the first Gulf War in 1991.
After leaving the military and a few years of working as a military car salesperson in Germany, Steve returned to the UK and set up Forces Cars Direct in Lincoln with his former employer (also a veteran) in 2001 to do more for military personnel, offering a vastly improved service and savings for not just personnel serving overseas, but UK personnel both serving and veterans. The business was also developed further with the launch of Motor Source Group in 2013 to aid emergency services personnel and teachers.
Tell us about why you launched Black Gold Vehicles?
With the long-standing partnerships we have made within the motoring industry we have pioneered a unique programme for our public service workers, of which we are very proud.
Working with the manufacturers, we then launched Black Gold Vehicles to offer the same streamlined, 5-star rated service to professional sports stars, celebrities and high-net worth individuals, who appreciate a service that will look after them, saving them both time and money.
Why are you supporting sports stars & others in entertainment?
Steve’s love of business and golf has presented him with many opportunities to meet and play with many high-profile sports stars whom expressed a desire for a concierge service to aid them in their car purchases. Something that would genuinely look after them and offer the service levels all customers deserve, so Black Gold Vehicles was really born from this need.
What sort of vehicles do you source and supply?
We source and supply all types of vehicles from a Fiat to a Ferrari, a city run around to a performance sports car. As we are independent, we are able to advise and source any vehicle for our client without bias.
We are also able to offer all forms of funding should anyone wish to take advantage of this, but there is no obligation to use this and their own funding or cash sales are welcome too.
What sort of benefits do athletes get from Black Gold Vehicles?
Not only can our clients benefit from great savings with Black Gold Vehicles, but our concierge service means that we take care of everything throughout the order and delivery process; making your purchase as smooth and hassle-free as can be, saving time as well as money.
Do you help athletes in any other ways? (eg: partnership / sponsorship)
Yes, we love getting involved with communities and events through partnerships and sponsorship too. For example, we are currently supporting golfer Liam O’Neill and sponsoring him through his progress towards the main PGA tour. Through Forces Cars Direct we also support the GB Bobsleigh team, led by Royal Marine Adam Baird, and Motor Source Group are the title sponsors of the Emergency Services Football League. For us, it’s about much more than just car sales.
Who’s the biggest athlete you’ve worked with?
At Black Gold Vehicles we really do value our clients and a big part of our service is being discreet so we won’t comment too much on that.
What sports are the athletes in that you have been able to support?
All sports – our service is available for athletes in all sports, and so far we have been able to assist those in football, rugby, cricket, golf and much more.
Tell us about your work with the military
During my military service I was proud to be a member of the armed forces and was grateful to travel the world. I learned a lot from my experiences and made many friends. It tought me a lot about team work and allowed me to mature from a boy to a man. Having been based in Germany I was not only lucky to travel around Europe but also Canada.
It wasn’t just about working with attack helicopters though, I was also lucky to be able to learn how to ski, paraglide, and glider training. Something I don’t think I would have done in as a civilian. Sport was also really important for the military. I played football as a goalkeeper for my regiment and played rugby and golf too.
My time came to an end after 5 years with great sadness but set me upon another road in my life, for which I am ever grateful.
For more information on Black Gold Vehicles please visit www.blackgoldvehicles.com.