Initially named the Replacement Parts Co., Repco was founded in 1922 by motor mechanic George Russell, who was partnered from 1926 by Bill Ryan. The Collingwood business initially reconditioned engines, but it developed to import and sometimes modify a range of automotive spare parts, and Repco steadily increased its business after World War II, thriving on its manufacture of parts for the Holden motor car. Moving into high-performance engine construction, the Repco-Brabham car won the 1966 world Grand Prix championship. During the 1970s, overseas ventures in Singapore and the USA proved disastrous. The target of corporate raiders, Repco eventually passed into the hands of Pacific Dunlop in 1988. In 2004 the business had over 400 branches in Australia and New Zealand, with around 3500 employees.