Profile: Prestige’s Danny O’Hara

He loves his work

Danny O’Hara hates traffic, which is a tad ironic for a man who has sold hundreds of the cars on Cayman’s road.

‘I don’t like driving in traffic, all that stopping and starting and stopping,’ he says, sitting in his office beside the Hyundai showroom at Prestige Motors.

As well as running the only sales outlet for Hyundai cars in Cayman, Mr. O’Hara also puts rental cars on the streets via his two car rental companies.

Cars have played a major part in Mr. O’Hara’s life since moving from Jamaica with his wife Peggy and two daughters Cindy and Julie in April 1974.

At that time, he worked as a land surveyor and remained in Cayman initially for three years. The family then packed up again and moved to Toronto, Canada – a big change from the tropical climates of Jamaica and Cayman – where Mr. O’Hara’s parents and brothers lived.

The family travelled throughout Canada, taking road trips from Toronto to British Columbia, and to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

‘That first winter was great,’ he said, but working outdoors all day as a surveyor meant the chill eventually got into his bones.

‘After five years, the cold weather got to me. It got to all of us,’ he admitted.

So the O’Hara’s moved back to Cayman in 1982, and have remained here ever since.

Mr. O’Hara got into the construction industry for a couple of years, but then he and his partner Larry Hunter opted to explore the car business, opening Prestige Motors in 1984.

‘We knew nothing about the car industry,’ he admits, but with hard work, perseverance and support from family, friends and business acquaintances, the business has flourished over the years.

‘Customers always come first, that is our motto,’ said Mr. O’Hara, who says getting up each morning to come to work is never a chore. ‘I’ve never had a day where I’ve said ‘oh, God, I have to go to work’. I love it,’ he said.

While the family moved here from Jamaica, their roots are Irish, and he admits that he would like to find out when the O’Hara’s first moved to Jamaica.

Mr. O’Hara and Peggy travelled to Ireland a few years ago, but did not track down the family’s genealogy. ‘I wanted to see where my ancestors came from,’ he said.

But while Jamaica and Ireland may be part of his family’s history, he is very firmly ensconced in Cayman.

‘Cayman is definitely home. We ain’t going nowhere. It is still the best place to live,’ he said.

‘Customers always come first, that is our motto. I’ve never had a day where I’ve said ‘oh, God, I have to go to work’. I love it.’ – Danny O’Hara