Club History

Celebrating 40 years of Wheels Incorporated Hot Rod Club

How it all started.

As told by one of the founding members "Paul Rose" as he can best remember of how the club started from a bunch of like minded blokes that just loved hot rods.

Wheels Incorporated Hot Rod Club was officially registered with the Incorporated Societies in 1966 with founding members Paul rose, Adrian Mcnamee, Micheal Knowles, Chris Knowles and Doug Jordan all living in the Westmere area in West Auckland.

This bunch of like minded car crazy guys were members of the North Shore Rod and Custom Club and travelled over the North Shore to their club meetings. After some time they all decided it was time to form their own Hot Rod Club that was to be more local to where they lived and that is how Wheels Incorporated Hot Rod Club was formed.

For the first 12 months or so the meetings were held in the garage under Paul Rose’s Mothers house in Westmere. After then the meetings were moving to the Grey Lynn Library.

In the early days the club had many members that owned the likes Model A Tudors, 1934 Ford Pick Ups, 1936/1939 Ford Coupes, 1957/1958 Fords Sedans as well as many English cars.

One of the very first events the Club Members attended was to a Hot Rod Show held by the Sulphur City Rod Club in Rotarua where Mike Adams took 2nd place for best sedan.

The Club was not made up with just Hot Rodders, members also included guys who raced at New Zealand’s first Drag Racing complex at Kopuka. Kopuku racing strip was an open cast coal mine on highway 27 to Thames somewhere round the Red Fox Tavern.

A regular competitor was the likes of Doug Jordan in his black 1958 Ford along with one of the main founding Members and current Life Time Member Paul Rose with his red 1939 Ford Coupe. later on Paul raced his blue 105e Anglia and fellow club member Des Wenmouth competed also with his blue and white Hillman Humber80.

On the show circuit in these early days of Hot Rodding in New Zealand WHEELS Inc. members collected their fair share of trophies with members like Adrin Mcnamees with his super low Roadster, Mike Adams had a 1929 Model A Sedan and an Austin Healy Sprite that a Club Member owned.

In 1967 Paul Rose purchased the now famous 1933 Ford Coupe “Apachie,” and spent the following 8 months or so rebuilding it in time for the National Hot Rod Show in 1968 (where it took out Best Paint, Best Upholstery and Best Pre War Coupe). This Show was organised and run with the collaboration of Wheels Incorporated Hot Rod Club, Harbour City, and Pukekohoe Hot Rod clubs. The Show was help in Down Town Auckland with great success.

Other Wheels Inc. Club Members included Adrian Mcnamees with his 1939 Ford Coupe which was purchased from Ralph Wright then extensively customised by Adrian.

During these early years of the Club it had many members that included Rob and Owen Campbell that formed the New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine, Peter Lodge, Bob Rositor, Garth Hogan (the “Big Daddy” “Don Garlits” of Drag Racing in NZ) all belonged to Wheels Incorporated at some stage or another.

In about 1970 the club meetings once again moved to the Point Chevalier Sailing Club before several other premises in West Auckland where at the time most of the members lived with Paul Rose now moving to Massey.

The Club has always had a good mix of Hot Rodders and Drag Racers throughout the club’s history and still does today

Around the time of 1977 Paul Rose and some of the other Members drove down to the Street Rod Nationals held Hastings. They cruised down there in Paul’s freshly completed 1939 Ford Tudor called "Comanhie”. Paul and the crew where some of the only ones that turned up that year as it was raining all weekend with their tent only lasting ten minutes or so before it torn to shreds in the terrible weather.

Ever since the club was formed it has been actively involved in running after show functions at various Hot Rod shows, and Drag Race Meetings.

Club members helped out Meremere Dragway in those early days of opening and organising racing Events. The Club has organised and run successful Horsepower Shows of our own in Down Town Auckland, and many Hot Rod and Drag Racing displays over the years to promote our Hot Rodding and Drag Racing sport.

During the late 80s there were several members who were actively involved in the drag Racing scene running Altereds. Some of those members were Sam Levine, Neville Gadd, Warren Brown, Paul Rose, Neil Waters and Wayne Grimmer.

The Rose/Water/Grimmer Altered had a 447 Donavan Alloy Hemi in it, Neil Waters and Wayne Grimmer took turns at driving duties with a best time card that read 6.57 sec someplace. The time was disallowed as officials said they were not staged correctly. If the time had been allowed we would have been NZs first 6 sec altered,as we did this before Terry Rogers record. WE did run plenty of 7.0 and 7.1 at 195mph. After that time, the very next race we broke an axle just out of the start line (Somers Bros) and destroyed the engine.

Although in Early 1992 Paul Rose moved to Palmerston North that did not stop him from having an interest in how the club was going, and is involved in some of it’s events when he is in the area and has an interest in what Wheels is doing today.

Today the Club consists of a variety of vehicles of Australian and American Muscle Cars, Hot Rods, Drag Cars, Show Cars V8 and 6 Cylinder configurations of various makes, models and ages.

The club that Paul and that hand full of blokes started up in 1966 is still going strong and based in the West Auckland area where the majority of it’s present members live and close to where the club originated from.

Although the meetings these days aren’t held in the garage under Paul’s parents house they are still conducted in the area at the Te Atatu South Boat Club the first Tuesday of Every Month at 7:30pm.

2008 The Story continues ..................

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