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AMOC History

 

40 Years of Auckland Mustang Owners Club History

As at November 2015 - by Club Historian Neville Barton
 

 
 
 


Originally there was a New Zealand Mustang Club, based in the North Island.  It originated in Taranaki, but the majority of the meetings were held at Gary Keith Motors in Hamilton. Members were mainly from Taranaki and the Waikato, with only a handful from the Auckland area.

Taranaki were the first to break away approximately in April 1975 to form the Taranaki Mustang Owners Club.  They are based in New Plymouth.  Waikato followed in a few months to form the Waikato Mustang Owners Club which is based in Hamilton.  That left the Aucklanders by themselves.

So Len Walker and his son Ross and Malcolm Hughes decided to get a few Aucklanders together and discuss the idea of forming an Auckland Mustang Club.  A meeting was set for Wednesday 29 October 1975 at 8 Orsova Place Mt Roskill (Len Walker’s home) to discuss this.  At this meeting minutes were recorded and present at this meeting were;  Len Walker, Ross Walker, Peter Jeffs, Jullian Litherland, David Kirk, Don Henderson, Adrian Dukes and Malcolm Hughes.  Little did these people know what the future would hold for AMOC.  What was resolved from that meeting was that a general meeting would be held at John W Andrew Ltd, Mt Albert Rd Royal Oak.  It would be for any Mustang owner to come along and join the future Auckland Mustang Club on Saturday 22nd November 1975 for a committee to be elected on that day to run the club for however long was appointed.  Ads would be placed in local papers inviting any Mustang owner to come along and join up on that day.  Also Len Walker said he would send a newsletter out to people that he knew would be wanting to be part of this adventure letting them know what was happening and also to tell them that the other North Island Clubs were sending as many cars as they could to support Auckland in forming this club.

The day at John W Andrews started at 11am.  People with cars were coming and going all day and at 3.30pm Len Walker addressed the meeting and asked that a working committee be formed and to consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and approximately six committee members.  It was unanimous that Len be elected President.  Vice President was Julian Litherland, Secretary/Treasurer was

Noelene Walker. Noelene was an Associate Member who would hold that position until a Club Member could take office.  Nominations for the rest of the committee were difficult as not many people present knew one another.  So volunteers were called for and the following committee was formed.  They were as follows;  Mike Jacks, Chris Powels, Anne Hughes, Eileen Conway, Adrian Dukes, Malcolm Hughes, Graham Freeth, Mark Rutherford and Jeff Elliott.  Len Walker suggested that they hold the Committee meetings at committee members homes on a roster system.

The very first Committee meeting of the very first Committee of the club was set for Wednesday 26 November 1975 at 8pm at Len Walker’s home.  The club had seventeen full members and two associate members.  The very first club membership fees were set at $15 per person wishing to vote on club business.  The very first bank balance was $180. Wow!  In the very first set of club rules it was written that the name of the association to be the Auckland Mustang Owners Club - hereinafter referred to as “The Club.”  Today and for quite some time now “The Club” has been and still is referred to as AMOC (pronounced as “A MOC”).  Also in the very first set of club rules “To promote a social organisation or club composed of persons owning motor cars or otherwise interested in Automobilism.”

The very first AGM was in November 1976 at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall Council Chambers in the Balmoral Shopping Centre.  Len was re-elected President for a 2nd year as was the Vice President and the Secretary/Treasurer, with some of the original Committee standing down and some new faces being elected on Committee including Ross Walker.  Well that was the first  AGM and AMOC has just held the 39th AGM in May 2015 at our club rooms at the Northern Sports Car Club in Mt Richmond Domain, Great South Road, Otahuhu.

To date AMOC has had 24 Presidents, one serving only 2 months and stepping down so the Vice President had to step up and finish the remainder of their term.  Another one only serving 3 months so the Vice at that time stepping up.  Eight Presidents serving one term, 7 Presidents serving a 2 term period, 1 president serving a 3 term period, but one term was shortened to cover from November 2001 to May 2002. )That is when AMOC changed the AGM from November to May each year.)  4 Presidents serving a 3 term period and AMOC’s present President in his 2nd term.

To start with AMOC didn't have any club rooms.  There were several different pubs that were tried.  One that was used for some time was the Rising Sun on the corner of K’Road and Newton Rd, opposite where John Andrew Ford is now.  There was a little bar down the side on Newton Rd.  The cars never got tampered with there.  In 1976 one of AMOC’s members, Barry Arnold, who was an Auckland City Traffic Officer, arranged some club rooms for AMOC.  These premises were in a building behind the shops on the corner of St Judes St and Great North Rd Avondale.  We used to call it “The Barn.”  We had to pay rent for these rooms.  Then in 1980 one of our members, John Peck, who was a mechanic and renting a property at 87 Pt Chev Road,

Pt Chevalier.  The property had a work shop located on it where he ran his mechanical business out of an old house which was not up to a liveable standard.  This old house became AMOC’s club rooms for the next 10 years. The members used to take crates of beer to the monthly meetings as there was no bar, a must!  That is when AMOC got the Post Office Box for our mail.  AMOC still has the PO Box today.  John Peck was President for one term from 1981-1982.  In 1990 AMOC moved its club rooms to the Papatoetoe Fire Station on the corner of St Georges St and Mahon Place Papatoetoe.  We obtained these premises through one of AMOC’s members again, Chris Morton (everyone knew him as Tex.)  Tex was a fireman.  That figures doesn't it.  We were there until 2003 when we made the move because we out grew the Fire Station as membership increased, plus that was one of the Fire Stations that Governments were closing down. (Lack of fires I think, that’s what normally happens isn't it?)  AMOC moved to the Duke Of Wellington on the Mt Wellington Highway.  We obtained these premises due to the fact that YES another one of AMOC’s members was the Manager.  We didn't stay there long - six months or so.  The venue was not suitable—too small.  Until then all the years from 1980 after we left “The Barn” in Avondale, our venues AMOC has held our Monthly meeting at were free!  I was Treasurer at the time and I didn't want to pay.  So we had to bite the bullet and pay.  John Devere-Ellery was the President of the Northern Sports Car Club at the time and had been asking us for quite some time to change AMOC’s club rooms to the NSCC.  It was ME, TOO mean. 

Oh yes John Devere-Ellery is an AMOC member as well.  So we made the move to the Northern Sports Car Club where AMOC’s Club Rooms and headquarters are to this day since 2003.

AMOC celebrated its 10th Anniversary in November 1985 with an evening at the Waitemata Rugby Club in Swanson Rd Henderson.  They celebrated the evening with a large Birthday Cake and as Ross said—”A piss up!.”

AMOC did celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Mustang Motor Car in 1984.  All that can be remembered is that they spend the day at the Drags.

One Sunday in July 1994 AMOC had a display of Mustang Club Cars at John Andrew Ford’s car yard on the corner of Gt North Rd and Newton Rd.  This was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mustang motor car.  We had cars from a 1964 notchback to a 1988 convertible.  They were displayed in order of the year of the cars.  It was a fine hot day - good - The radio station Country Music were parked outside for about 4 hours and were broadcasting live from there.  They interviewed Sandra Woods live on the air.  There were 47 cars there altogether.  John Andrew Ford donated a trophy for “Peoples Choice” which was won by Mike Scot and his partner Chris with their 1967 red convertible.

AMOC didn't celebrate its 20th anniversary.  We left it because we hosted the 1995 National Mustang Convention that Labour Weekend.  So we celebrated AMOC’s 21st the following year with an evening at the Logan Campbell Centre in Royal Oak.  We had dinner and dancing, a 21st Cake, the theme was red white and blue and we had a large ice sculpture of the Mustang horse.

In 2004 NZ celebrated the 40th anniversary of the mustang Motor Car.  It was mainly organised by Wal Marshal from Wellington.  Each mustang club had to organise the run in their area.  AMOC’s area for the run was from Kaitaia through the Bay of Islands, through Whangarei, stop overnight at Orewa and the next day on through Auckland to Meremere.  Then the Waikato Club took over.  The run was from Kaitaia to Bluff.

In 2005 AMOC celebrated its 30th anniversary with an evening Dinner and Dance at Ellerslie Race Course with as many Past Presidents and members as possible.  The Past Presidents spoke of the years when they were in office.  Again we had a large birthday cake.  A good evening was had by all.

In 2009 AMOC celebrated 45 years of the Mustang Motor Car.  The day was spent at Ardmore Airfield with a large number of members and their Mustangs there for the day with their picnic lunch.  Members could have photos taken with their Mustang parked next to the P51 Fighter Plane.  Also there were flights taken on the old DC3 Dakota or you could just look at the different aircraft that were on display.  Yes,   AMOC had a large birthday cake again and the cutting of the cake was done by the life members.  …..Again another great day.

In 2010 AMOC celebrated its 35th Anniversary with a dinner at Waipuna Lodge

We didn't celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Mustang Motor car as a large number of AMOC members made the trip to the States to celebrate it over there.  So nothing was officially organised by AMOC here.

Now this year, 2015, we AMOC are celebrating  our 40th Anniversary as the “Auckland Mustang Owners Club.”

A Piece of AMOC History

Enjoy reading…………………..Neville Barton……………………..Club Historian