Beale closes up shop after 44 years
More than four decades of running a tyre shop has taken its toll on Owen Beale.
Beale, 71, closed Performance Tyres at Morningside in October last year after 44 years in business.
Now the performance tyre specialist is having to adjust to retired life.
‘‘I’m finding it hard to retire - my mind is still working but my body has given up,’’ Beale said.
‘‘I was becoming a lame duck - what used to take me 20 to 30 minutes to fix, took me an hour or more.
‘‘I was also looking at the hard jobs and making excuses and when you start doing that, you have to stop. Tyre fitting is a very hard and physical job.’’
Beale, who loved cars, began Performance Tyres a year after his marriage in 1972 and two years after he moved to New Zealand from Australia on a work holiday.
He started the business with a $100 loan from a friend. The roadside workshop operated out of a Morris van.
‘‘It was a total mobile tyre shop - I used to change tyres with tyre fitters, tyre levers, with rubber hammer and slide bar - the old school way.
‘‘If somebody wanted a tyre changed, I’d jack up the car, take the tyres off and put new ones on.’’
‘‘I didn’t have a problem operating from a van - if you have to do it, you do started.’’
He stopped employing people a few years after he started the business, after he realised that his clients didn’t like anyone else but him touching their cars.
‘‘People were coming in numbers, everyone used to come to have mag wheels fitted and balanced because back then, cars didn’t come with mags.’’
Beale has enjoyed the life in the tyre industry, and other than offering quality services to his it and that’s how I clients, he could always be relied on to offer expert tyre advice to insurance companies.
His biggest satisfaction was helping friends and clients in financial need and sponsoring the Z Car club.
Beale now spends his time on his small vegetable garden at his Henderson Valley home, and goes out fishing.
Although he’s closed the shop at Morningside, he still operates from home by selling tyres on TradeMe.
Owen Beale and his wife Pramila started Performance Tyres in 1972.