HISTORY OF THE SOUTH AUCKLAND CAR CLUB
The idea of South Auckland Car Club was hatched while four mates were watching the International Rally, them being, myself (Gary Wainwright), Alan Wapp, Skip Wilson, and Jim Stewart.
The main reason for the discussion was most probably because of me, as I was the only one who raced, Alan tinkled a bit, but the others were there mainly for the beer. We had dissatisfaction with the local clubs, and thought there was a need for a more friendly and not a noters or clicky group type of club as most we knew were. So the next meeting was arranged where of course with a beer or two we met at the Jolly Farmer (as all you would know, a perfect place for a formal meeting). Formal, we didn’t know the meaning of the word. As a result of this meeting an ad was placed in the local paper for a public meeting of those interested in joining a car club. This attracted a reasonable turnout.
From that night on the Club was formed. Most things at this stage were left to Alan and myself as far as forming the Club. We approached Morrie Chandler to talk about affiliation to MANZ. Basically we were told “get real, no way” and pointed us in the direction of NSCC and suggested we become a sub-club, just who we were trying not to be like. Several meetings with NSCC, a letter or two to MANZ and a sub-club was born, a first for Motorsport in New Zealand. We were to be completely separate financially, had our own club nights, and events with the luxury of plucking a venue or two from NSCC being Cosseys Farm and Club Circuit.
The club held promotional Motorkhanas, Autocross, and Hillclimbs, which basically the public could turn up, run what you have, with the club supplying crash hats and overalls. In the early days venues were easier to find as one wasn’t competing with Sunday shopping.
Dave Boyce was introduced to the club at a Motorkhana one Sunday held at the Roselands Shopping Centre, just 1 km down the road. Dion Field went and talked him into having a go (sure) as you know Dion can talk. This boy was mad, his first event of a kind and the car was being lightened, seats out etc, and here’s Ann with little Rochelle only a matter of months old chucked out of the car, talk about being left holding the baby.
Bill Russell, I believe was another introduced at a promotional hillclimb at Cosseys Farm.
The club held brilliant events, our very first club circuit at Pukekohe was so good, our club made $800. Wow, that was more than a years turnover. It was run perfectly putting to shame the bigger clubs, with that we were never offered it again by NSCC.
As time went on John, and Jim vanished as it was a passing phase for them.
Alan later moved on to help out NSCC and other clubs with Rally’s, then Radio and the Headquarters side of the events, and was SACC’s first MANZ Steward, where he has become very respected by MANZ. One thing I will give Alan, if he agrees to do it, it will be done and done properly. But still remains an active member today.
SACC got too good, and big, It was time to depart and stand alone, a bold step as we were told by MANZ President, Morrie Chandler. SACC applied to become incorporated with our name SACC a problem as Acc opposed us using this name. We won, applied to MANZ for affiliation and were accepted, mainly due to the decline in clubs and membership throughout NZ. So SACC was lone, the club went from strength to strength, competition with other clubs fierce, winning the hillclimb trophy five times straight and I believe never looked back.
Competition in the club was just as fierce with Ford against Mazda, against Toyota, against Honda etc it was hot, but yet meant to be all in fun. Club outings, trials, Christmas at the beach, White Water Rafting, luge trips all made this Club.
Clubrooms – There was many years of planning for these, we had this land and lost it three times. We tried Manukau City Council, they wanted us to change the clubs name to Manukau City Car Club, this wasn’t an option, finally we got the land at 1R Great South Rd Papakura.
There has also been some very sad times within the club, with the sudden death of four of our club members, Richard Sharp, a very keen helper, also was building a race car and died after a truck or tractor tyre blew when he was pumping it up.
James Allan died after being caught up in his lathe, 9 years ago. Would you believe it, the same day my daughter was born. James was a good friend of mine, he was always cheeky and full of life and a bloody good engineer.
Brougham Schollar died when he returned home from a hunting trip, when the gun accidentally went off.
Greg Todd, a hell of a nice, genuine guy lost the battle to cancer not long after taking out the Top Half Rally Series.