Vale Shirley Blanchard
5 Sep, 2022
Shirley Blanchard, co-founder of CoolDrive Auto Parts has recently passed away in Melbourne.
Together with her husband W.J Blanchard, “Senior” – who passed away in December 2021 – Shirley established Melbourne Auto Air in the late 1970s, with the duo being amongst the first people to import automotive air conditioning systems into Australia.
The business was initially based at home, with Senior doing deliveries from the garage, which also doubled as a storage unit, while Shirley worked from the kitchen table taking orders, and conducting all the invoicing, banking, payroll and administration.
With Senior’s attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit, combined with Shirley’s business sense and organisational skills, the CoolDrive business grew exponentially, setting the scene for future generations of Blanchards.
A true trailblazer, Shirley was an incredibly well-respected figure within the automotive aftermarket industry and her love for and support of Senior and their family helped shape the CoolDrive business to where it is today.
Shirley is survived by her children John and Jennie and her six grandchildren Tim, Adelyn, Jack, Harry, Simon and Sam.