Beale closes up shop after 44 years

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHAN­DRA

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.

TORIKA TOKALAU/ FAIRFAX NZ

Owen Beale and his wife Pramila started Per­for­mance Tyres in 1972.

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