Entrepreneur Sir Arnold Clark was born in Glasgow in 1927 and from humble beginnings grew his business until he became Britain’s first billionaire car dealer.

He joined the Royal Air Force as a teenager and left as an NCO Motor Mechanics Instructor in the early 1950s. He used his demob money to buy his first car for £70 in 1954.

Clark restored the Morris Ten Four and sold it for a profit, then went on to buy and sell more cars before opening his first showroom in Glasgow’s Park Road by the end of 1954.

"You could call it Hobson's choice," he later said. "The reason I started the business was because nobody else would employ me."

Five years later Clark secured his first retail franchise with Morris Motors and, in the early 1960s he opened three more showrooms – in Glasgow’s Bothwell Street, in Paisley and in Bearsden.

In 1963 Arnold Clark Finance Limited was launched and in the same decade Clark oversaw further expansion into the rental market. Five decades on the business has a fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles.

The 1970s saw Clark launch an accident repair arm and open huge complex in Mount Vernon on the edge of Glasgow. In 1979 the entrepreneur signed a landmark partnership with French firm Renault.

Following a series of acquisitions in the 1980s Arnold Clark became Scotland’s largest car dealer and expansion into England began in the 1990s.

By the turn of the century Arnold Clark had branches across Britain and was handed a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Business Awards.

Further recognition followed in 2004 when Clark was knighted in the New Year Honours for services to the motor industry and his community work in Scotland.

Clark said at the time the gong was “totally unexpected,” and made him “very pleased and proud”.

Known for his hands-on management style, Sir Arnold continued to tour his many sites but insisted staff still called him Mr Clark.

The business continued to grow over the next ten years, with 9,000 staff working at 150 sites across the UK in 2014.

According to accounts held by Companies House, the family firm made a pre-tax profit of £110.4m in 2015, up from £108m the previous year.

By 2016 Arnold Clark Automobiles was estimated to be worth £1bn and Clark was placed 114th on the Sunday Times Rich List in the same year.

Sir Arnold Clark died at home on Monday morning surrounded by his family. He was 89.