• Archibalds Heritage

About Archibalds

Established in 1918, today Archibalds represents the quality brands of Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, SEAT, CUPRA, and Volvo, as well as providing professional vehicle servicing, car parts, auto finance, and more.

Today, the tradition of a local, family owned and operated business continues with Archibalds under the stewardship of Bruce Miles with his son-in-law Rowan Barbalich assisting at the helm.

Our mission

Archibalds exists to help our customers purchase a vehicle that best suits their personal tastes and requirements, and to serve those customers with their vehicle care needs throughout the life of their vehicle ownership.

Our aim is not just to be seen as a world-class vehicle dealership, but to be seen as our demographic’s favourite place to do business.

We believe in…


Every effort at Archibalds is aimed at Excellence. Whether we’re tightening the locknuts on your wheels, polishing your car, making your coffee or explaining the features of your vehicle, we aim to do it with excellence… in order to make your experience excellent.


Purchasing a new car is like buying a tailored suit. At Archibalds we will tailor a vehicle to your lifestyle and desires, offering high levels of customisation and ensuring your vehicle is a true expression of your identity.

Premium selection

We believe our hand-picked stable of luxury marques is one of the best in New Zealand. Individually, each marque stocked represents a different style of vehicle ideal for a certain type of person. Collectively they cover almost every lifestyle imaginable.

Life customers

At Archibalds, once we attain your custom, we want to keep it for life. Many of our customers have been with us for over 40 years. Our customers value our passion for matching people with vehicles and the time and attention we give to keeping them in pristine working order.

Our history

Archibalds is one of New Zealand’s longest standing automotive dealers. Archibalds’ early shift to European marques after the war has cemented a strong representation of premium and luxury European brands across the country. Archibalds Motorsport was a significant contributor to the early success of Archibalds, especially their global recognition and relationship with Jaguar Cars. Business boomed under John Fairhall around the 90s. In 2021 Archibalds was sold to the Miles Group, who endeavor to continue the Archibalds legacy under the ownership of Bruce Miles. See our full timeline below.

  • 1918

    Following a tour of duty in WWI, Alexander J Archibald (AJ) converts the Grenadier stables on Oxford Terrace into Archibald’s Garage, a small motor engineering business.

  • 1925

    The stable is remodelled, offering hand-pumped petrol for one and seven pence a gallon.


  • 1926

    Archibald’s Garage expands after purchasing and building on a neighbouring tennis court, extending the dealership for $2,000.

  • 1927

    Archibald’s Garage takes on the first of several American franchises – Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet.


  • 1930

    Archibald’s Garage begins to focus on European marques, starting with Jowett.

  • 1932

    The first hire fleet in the South Island is started by Archibald’s. Vehicles are loaned as a transport
    option for Canterbury University students to venture to the West Coast.


  • 1936

    Archibald’s Garage is appointed as the Canterbury and West Coast franchise holder of Citroën.

  • 1937

    AJ receives an award from General Motors for selling the most Oldsmobile vehicles in the country – around 50 in one year at over £450 each.


  • 1944-45

    AJ’s son, Ray Archibald, flies Curtis P-40 Warhawks and Corsairs in WWII, escorting bombers in the Pacific. Ray is later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.

  • 1946

    Post WWII, AJ’s sons Ray and Ian join the company and represent Archibald’s Jowett and Citroën cars in motor racing.


  • 1947

    Ray Archibald purchases an Army Surplus Supplies Nissen building and re-erects it on the Antigua
    Street site. This department commences the supplying of parts, vehicle servicing, and gasoline.

  • 1948

    At the age of 52, AJ retires to spend more time relaxing at his holiday homes in Hanmer and Fiji. AJ phases himself out of the business after his son, Noel, joins the team as Sales Manager.


  • 1950

    Archibald’s Garage obtains New Zealand’s first Jaguar franchise, marking the beginning of a new racing era for the Archibald family.

  • 1952

    Ray Archibald begins racing a Jaguar XK120 3.4L Roadster. A damaged radiator meant he could only complete 91 of the 100 laps during the first New Zealand Grand Prix at Auckland’s Ardmore Airfield Circuit.


  • 1954

    Jaguar Cars were keeping a close eye on Ray’s motor racing success in New Zealand.

  • 1955

    Ray and wife Kate were loaned a Jaguar XK140 Roadster during their honeymoon in Europe. Manager of Jaguar Cars Racing Team, Lofty England, invites Ray to stay in Coventry and race Jaguar, but Ray declines, focussing on family and business.


  • 1956

    Alex Cleland joins Archibald’s as Service Manager from Croydon Motors and joins the success of Archibald’s Motorsport.

  • 1960s

    Ray recruits one of Jaguar’s top mechanics, Cyril Bunn, to be Archibald’s Service Manager. Bunn personally prepares Archibald’s race cars for competition, assisted by John Smalley, another accomplished mechanic.


  • 1963

    Jaguar Cars sends Ray a new factory-prepared competition Mk2 3.8L. Ray dominates the Wills SixHour race and two consecutive New Zealand Saloon Car Championships, sparking public interest in Jaguar and earning Archibald’s a reputation for performance and expertise with the marque.

  • 1964

    The successful Archibald’s rental business is sold to Hertz.


  • 1966

    A remodelled Oxford Terrace site is opened, designed by Christchurch architect Don Donnithorne.

  • 1970s

    Business continues to boom during the mid-70s. Barry Evans is employed and Fairhall is promoted to Used Car Manager, earning a company car with a book value of $400. In their first month, Evans and Fairhall sell 35 cars together.


  • 1971

    A young law student named John Fairhall begins work at Archibald’s Garage as a part-time vehicle groomer. Fairhall decides to change his career trajectory after falling in love with Archibald’s first Porsche, an orange 911.

  • 1972

    With a desire to take his motor career to the next level, Fairhall asks Noel Archibald if he can become a trainee salesman, but Noel says Fairhall needs to seek permission from his parents. The young trainee gets the okay and cycles to work each day, arriving before the other sales staff to prepare stock and greet customers.


  • 1975

    Cyril Bunn retires as Service Manager. Roy Prescott, also recruited from the UK, takes his role.

  • 1976

    Fairhall focusses his attention on the BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Citroën franchises, located on Moorhouse Avenue.


  • 1980

    Fairhall is appointed as Archibald’s Managing Director and acquires licenses for Porsche and Audi.

  • 1983

    The three Archibald families sell Archibald’s Garage Ltd to Fairhall in March 1983.


  • 1984-85

    Oxford Terrace showroom space is expanded from four cars to 20.

  • 1985

    Archibald and Shorter Car Distributors is established in a joint venture between Archibalds and Colin (now Sir Colin) Giltrap and becomes the Jaguar, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, and Citroën dealer in Auckland’s Greenlane.


  • 1986

    Jaguar New Zealand is named as the official New Zealand importer and distributor of Jaguar products with Fairhall as Chairman and Russell Reynolds as the Managing Director. Archibalds moves to the first purpose-built Jaguar only outlet in Australasia at Greenlane.

  • 1991

    Archibalds is awarded rights to open a Land Rover Dealership in Christchurch.


  • 1998

    Archibalds purchases Trevor Crowe Subaru and relocates it to the corner of Antigua and St Asaph Street.

  • 2004

    Jaguar and Volvo brands temporarily move to Manchester Street.


  • 2008

    Jaguar and Volvo move back to Tuam and St Asaph Streets. Rights to distribute Subaru are sold.

  • 2009

    Archibalds builds the first ‘Audi Terminal’ in Australasia.


  • 2013

    Archibalds opens their biggest investment yet: a Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo two-story dedicated showroom on Tuam Street with offices and an onsite service complex alongside the Audi Terminal.

  • 2017

    Work begins on a standalone Porsche dealership on the corner of Antigua and Tuam Street.


  • 2018

    Archibalds celebrates 100 years of business with their DRIVE FOR GOOD campaign, raising $150,000 for ten Canterbury charities.

  • 2021

    Bruce Miles, owner and director of Miles Group, acquires Archibalds in May of 2021, continuing the legacy of New Zealand’s longest serving automotive company.