New Zealand Club History
The Wolseley Car Club in New Zealand was formed in Christchurch in 1976 by a small group of enthusiastic Wolseley owners, who saw the potential and need for a club representing this well-known marque in New Zealand. Shortly after formation, a set of rules was adopted, and the Club became an Incorporated Society.
There are four branches in New Zealand, located in the following regions – Manawatu, Nelson-Marlborough, Christchurch, and the Southern Region. Members are spread over the length and breadth of the country and cover a wide range of occupations and ages.
The New Zealand Club is affiliated to the Wolseley Register in England, and Wolseley Car Clubs in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, Australia. The club is also a member of the NZ Federation of Motoring which has been involved in preparing submissions on a wide range of discussion documents and issues with the NZ Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport.
Models of Wolseley’s represented in the New Zealand club cover everything from Veteran and Vintage models, 1930’s Hornets and ‘Series’ cars, right through to the last of the more modern front-wheel-drive models.
Spare Parts Service
The Spares Divisions of the Wolseley Car Club began soon after the formation of the club, with the donation of spares cars which were subsequently broken down for parts. Both the Christchurch Branch and the then Manawatu Branch (later to become the North Island Branch) established storage facilities for their parts, and so began the spares divisions of the club.
North Island Branch
The North Island Branch has amassed a good collection of second-hand spares which are now stored in a rented shed in Pohangina, not far from Palmerston North. For more information regarding spare parts, use this link to SPARES North Island
The Christchurch Branch is the main supplier of parts to Wolseley Car Club members in New Zealand, and almost exclusively the supplier of brand-new parts. This branch also has a huge range of second-hand parts for most post-1950 Wolseleys and some earlier models.
Not long after the Christchurch Branch was formed in 1975, it soon appointed a dedicated Spare Parts Coordinator to the committee – a role picked up and enthusiastically pursued by the late Bill Williamson. Bill began to grow the inventory of new parts by visiting former BMC dealers, service agents and garages known to carry spare parts, and purchasing on behalf of the club new-old-stock that they no longer wanted or needed. In some cases, these businesses were happy to donate the parts rather than see them scrapped. Bill also began buying-in stocks of faster-moving service and consumable items at wholesale rates, and on-selling them to club members. In many cases, these parts were becoming difficult if not impossible to find at general spares suppliers around New Zealand.
As the Club’s spares inventory grew and sources of some parts began to come to an end, it became necessary to find small businesses and companies willing manufacture and/or recondition parts for the Club. In the 1990’s it also became necessary to find a dedicated storage facility for the parts, as they had out-grown space in Bill’s own garage. A new purpose-built shed was established on the property of a member’s family in New Brighton Road in Christchurch.
Around 2005, Bill Williamson retired as the Club’s parts coordinator, and the position was picked up by Ray Willoughby who brought his considerable experience in the motor trade to the role. He continued to grow and better organise the spares service so that all parts were referenced to BLMC and UNIPART numbers where possible. Ray also spent considerable time further working with local and overseas suppliers to ensure stocks of harder-to-get parts continued to remain available.
In 2010, it was becoming obvious that the existing spares shed in New Brighton Road was not large enough to house the growing inventory of both new and second-hand parts, and the club entered into an agreement with the Jowett Car Club to sub-lease a small plot of land at McLeans Island, just west of Christchurch. This proved very fortuitous, as not long after, the existing spares shed was damaged and partially flooded in the Christchurch earthquakes. A decision to move and re-develop the whole facility to McLeans Island was made.
Named by the Jowett Car Club as “Idlewood”, the, Wolseley Car Club’s own facility there has grown over the years. First, a new 40-foot shipping container was purchased and taken to Idlewood, followed by an old truck body on a deck which was re-purposed as a clubroom, complete with basic kitchen facilities and an adjoining meeting room. The container was fitted with shelving and the transfer of parts from New Brighton Road was accomplished after several months of hard work by many Club members. Three additional 40-foot containers have now been added to the site, with one located 6 metres away from the original container to allow space for a covered garage area to be constructed. All containers have been fitted out with shelving, lighting, and even a small workshop area. All are now filled almost to overflowing with parts, however, they are well-sorted and readily accessible. New and excellent second-hand small parts are kept in one dedicated container, and all parts in this container are catalogued. The other 3 containers have mostly second-hand parts stored in them.
The area leased by the Club has also been landscaped, and a fenced area added behind the containers where up to four cars can be stored and dismantled. Working bees are held at Idlewood on the second Saturday morning of every month to maintain the facility and to remove parts from spares cars and sort and place them into storage. The working bee is also run to provide an opportunity for members to collect parts, or just to come to the clubroom to socialise. Morning tea is provided, and the working bee is usually followed by the monthly Christchurch Branch committee meeting.
Ray Willoughby retired as the Spares Coordinator in 2019, and this role has now been taken over by Nick Stevenson who is assisted by Ray and by Colin Hey.
For more information regarding spare parts, use this link to SPARES South Island
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Last Updated June, 2020