Opposite Lock recently marked five decades of off-road adventure and innovation

Cast your mind back to Sydney in 1974 – cars were fast, music was loud, and the finishing touches were being put on the Opera House.
Amidst this vibrant backdrop, Opposite Lock says Ed Mulligan, an off-road racer and 4×4 fanatic, saw an opportunity “that would change the landscape of off-roading in Australia forever.”
Ed loved exploring the beauty of our nation’s backyard, taking the road less travelled.
He realised that although there were many 4×4 enthusiasts like himself, there was no specialist retailer that serviced their needs at that time and from this insight, Opposite Lock was born.
Ed’s vision took shape quickly. What started as a small operation catering to local 4×4 enthusiasts soon grew into a bustling hub for off-road adventurers.
By 1981, Opposite Lock had expanded to four outlets in Sydney. But Ed’s ambition didn’t stop there.
He saw the potential for a nationwide network and began franchising the brand, opening the first franchised store in Welshpool, Western Australia.
Over the next three decades, Opposite Lock kept powering forward, opening stores in all major regions across Australia while continuing to innovate and offer customers the ultimate one-stop-shop for everything 4×4.
From the latest in bull bars and vehicle protection to all the accessories and enhancements under the sun, Opposite Lock built a range that allowed customers to create their dream 4×4 experience.
This relentless drive to cater to every off-roading need solidified Opposite Lock’s reputation as a trusted and reliable partner for adventurers.
In 1991, Opposite Lock shifted gears when Adrian Stafford, Mark Blume, Ralph Martell, and Lionel Sewart bought the franchise rights.
Their goal was to build Opposite Lock into one of the strongest 4WD Accessories Retail Groups in Australia.
By 2000, the OL Group numbered 22 stores, and by 2003, Opposite Lock had a presence in each state with 25 stores.
In 2006, Tony Shaw acquired Opposite Lock, and in 2009, the Revolution Racegear Consortium bought the brand, bringing fresh perspectives and strategies.
By 2011, Opposite Lock established OL Fleet P/L, a company designed to facilitate and service national fleet and mining business, and OL (Global) P/L, an export company, in 2013.
This expansion strategy culminated in the creation of the RPM Group through a merger of Opposite Lock, Revolution Racegear, and Proex in 2013. By 2014, the franchise group had grown to 54 branches and franchises.
After 40 years as an industry leader, Opposite Lock launched a new identity in 2014.
This rebranding included an updated product line and a revamped website, which Opposite Lock says ensured it remained at the forefront of the off-road market.

With advancements in vehicle technology, Opposite Lock continued to strive to be the market leader in all things off-road, with offerings extending to more than 10 makes and dozens of models across 50 stores nationally.
In 2015, Opposite Lock brought on board a true legend of the game: John “Roothy” Rooth.
Opposite Lock wanted someone who could provide genuine feedback and criticism on their offerings and Roothy, a long-term enthusiast, became the official “track tester,” ensuring that every product met the high standards that customers expected.
His involvement further cemented Opposite Lock’s commitment to quality and innovation.

Trust, reliability, and innovation: the core of Opposite Lock
From its humble beginnings in 1974 to its current status as a cornerstone of the off-road industry, Opposite Lock says it has always stayed true to the principles that Ed Mulligan instilled: trust, reliability, and innovation.
These values have driven the company forward, allowing it to adapt to changes in the market and technology while always putting the customer first.
As Opposite Lock celebrates 50 years, its team says they are looking forward to the future with the same excitement and passion that Ed Mulligan had in 1974.
With advancements in vehicle technology and a commitment to staying ahead of the curve, Opposite Lock says it continues to innovate and provide the best products and services for off-road enthusiasts.
“Who knows what the next 50 years will bring? What remains certain is that Opposite Lock will continue to help Aussies get outdoors and explore this vast backyard we call home. Here’s to the next 50 years of adventure, innovation, and the unyielding spirit of exploration,” says the company.

To learn more about Opposite Lock, visit www.oppositelock.com.au