Sudden closure of Birmingham supercar showroom

The empty showroom at The Torque Project in Digbeth

The empty showroom at The Torque Project in Digbeth

Birmingham supercar showroom the Torque Project has closed its doors with mystery surrounding the fate of the firm – and the luxury cars which once filled its showroom.

There were no signs of life at the Digbeth showroom opposite Selfridges and all cars have been removed from the premises.

The doors have been locked at the Park Street dealership, with no signs or notices explaining its sudden closure.

Its shutdown came in the wake of the closure of Birmingham’s Bullion Room, hailed as ‘Europe’s premier precious metals dealer’.

The Jewellery Quarter company was understood to have ceased trading recently, amid an apparent cash crisis.

The Bullion Room is part of Birmingham-based international investment company JEEG Global, set up by entrepreneur Eamon Gaughan and his father in 2007.

Mr Gaughan, whose family roots are in Sligo and Galway, was a well-known figure in the Birmingham business world and a notable supporter of charities and good causes.

Liquidators have been appointed to JEEG Global, following a High Court petition to wind the company up. Peter Blair and Richard Saville, both of Begbies Traynor (Central) in Nottingham were appointed as joint liquidators.

Although the Torque Project is not part of JEEG Global, Mr Gaughan is listed as a director, along with Stuart Lawton.

Bosses at the firm would not talk in detail about the apparent collapse of the Bullion Room, but Mr Gaughan said he would not make any comment as it was subject to High Court proceedings. He added: “It does not affect any of the other companies in the group.”

Eamon Gaughan, pictured when he gave up his luxury lifestyle in a bid to raise half-a-million pounds for charity

Eamon Gaughan, pictured when he gave up his luxury lifestyle in a bid to raise half-a-million pounds for charity

Despite his assurances the Torque Project has closed, though it is not certain when the shutdown happened.

The Torque Project’s website had no details of its sudden closure, nor did its Facebook page, though one post on it said “have u gone bust?”

The Torque Project opened its doors with a fanfare in May 2012 and a line-up of cars on sale worth £2 million.

The business was developed after conversations between Mr Gaughan, a prolific buyer of supercars, and two managers from the luxury motor industry, Stuart Lawton and Martin Andrews. It was described at the time by Mr Gaughan as a “one stop shop” in the heart of Birmingham selling cars most people could only dream of owning.

“We will have every kind of supercar you can think of – some of the best cars on the planet,” he added. “People are still buying supercars, which is why we are selling them.”

Staffed by former Lamborghini and Bentley staff, buyers could snap up expensive metal from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley and exclusive marques like McLaren, Bugatti and Zonda.

Mr Gaughan said it had previously been selling supercars at a rate of three a week without a permanent base.

“You can’t find anywhere else, with the exception of Mayfair, where you’ve got a shopping centre next to a showroom like this,” he added.

Mr Gaughan said the showroom would feature a mix of cars ranging from £100,000 to £350,000.

The Torque Project generally had between 12 and 14 cars ready for sale in its 7,000 sq ft showroom, with five or six waiting in the wings. Mr Gaughan described it as “the most exciting business I have ever done”.

A representative of Mr Gaughan said they had no knowledge of the showroom’s closure but added that “legal reasons” may prevent anyone commenting further.