AKI Patel has steered his love of performance cars into a thriving multi-million pound business.

He has loved fast cars since he was a small boy and soon after he learnt to drive, he bought and sold his first car for a profit.

Over the years, he began to source and sell top-end performance cars and luxury 4x4s nationally and internationally, working from his home in Great Lever.

The business has taken off and many of its clients are businessmen and wealthy footballers.

Now the family-backed business, AA Performance Cars, has opened its first premises in a building that used to be home to a scooter company, and it has an annual turnover of £4 million.

The new showroom, in Thynne Street, Bolton, represents almost £1 million investment in buying the building and the luxury performance vehicles on the secure site.

But visiting the showroom is by appointment only as many customers buying expensive customised cars demand confidentiality.

Aki Patel will be running the sales and sourcing side of the business while his brother Ayyub, who has left his job as head of business development at Bolton Council to join the family firm, will be finance and business development director.

Another brother, Moshin, will also join the business and Aki’s wife, Ayesha, will handle the office work.

Aki said: “I have always loved performance cars and I bought my first car and then sold it for a profit and kept on doing that.

“I have built up the business over the years, working from an office at home and storing the rare cars in a special secure store in Birmingham which was a central place to ship cars to.“ I began selling the rare and performance sports cars but kept reinvesting the money in the business to build it up.

“Now everyone knows me and I can source specialist cars for those who want them. We have such a good reputation and many of our customers are repeat customers or come to us by word of mouth.

“We specialise in supercharged cars and we are proud to come from Bolton and to have all these rare and unusual cars here in our home town.”

Ayyub said: “When we stored cars in Birmingham we were always looking for premises because we wanted to bring the cars back to Bolton.

“This is ideal because it is very central and it’s in the heart of the motor and garage areas of Bolton and we have agreements for servicing our cars here with specialists garages.”

In the showroom now there is a left hand drive Ford Mustang GT Shelby, on sale at £30,000, top-ofthe- range Mercedes, Audi Q7s, BMWs, a rare white Porsche 911 turbo costing £50,000 and a Nissan GTR with a price tag of £40,000, among other luxury saloon cars and 4x4s.

The most valuable car Aki has sold was a Rolls Royce Phantom at £220,000, to a customer in Delhi.