Shop close af­ter 44 years

Central Leader - - SPORT - 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 has al­ways loved cars, be­gan Per­for­mance Tyres a year af­ter his mar­riage in 1972, 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.’’

Beale has en­joyed the life in the tyre in­dus­try, and other than of­fer­ing qual­ity ser­vices to his 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.

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

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