Old ve­hi­cles get the thumbs up from Dale


Ask Dale Wil­liams how many mo­tor­bikes he has and he de­vel­ops a cer­tain eva­sive de­meanour.

‘‘There’s 11 in the garage, and, oh, some others around the place,’’ he says, ges­tic­u­lat­ing in a non-com­mit­tal man­ner to his wider sur­rounds.

Fur­ther ques­tion­ing of the stay-at-home-dad and Porirua City coun­cil­lor re­veals the source of his dis­com­fit.

‘‘My wife doesn’t re­ally know how many bikes I have and it’s prob­a­bly good that way.’’

For Wil­liams, the bikes mean many things but mainly they evoke happy mem­o­ries and he’ll get to share them in the Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion Show later this month.

There’s the 1973 Yamaha found in an In­ver­cargill hay barn, the old farm bike that starts first pop and the one that re­ally makes his eyes sparkle - a Har­ley David­son Fat­boy he bought new in 2006.

‘‘That’s the one that will go to the grave with me. I’d like to be 80-years-old and have a bike that’s al­ways been mine.’’

Now re­tired, Wil­liams did his me­chan­ics ap­pren­tice­ship in the late 1970s - he still tin­kers from his orig­i­nal 1979 tool­box.

‘‘I like the idea of things last- ing, or be­ing re­paired and not thrown away.’’

The bikes he col­lects are mainly Yama­has from the late 70s and 80s be­cause they’re the ones he used to work on.

‘‘Most of what I’ve added to my col­lec­tion come from that era. I don’t like the thought of things de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.’’

He com­pared col­lect­ing bikes to be­ing a trea­sure hunter, al­ways on the look­out for ‘‘the next nugget’’.

Parked out­side his Porirua home is his lat­est find - one he spent 10 years look­ing for and fi­nally bought sight un­seen.

The or­ange 1977 Holden HZ, 5 litre V8 was stock-stan­dard, free of any boy racer-type mod­i­fi­ca­tions other, sim­i­lar, ve­hi­cles had en­dured.

‘‘Most of the ones you see about have been mod­i­fied and there’s noth­ing wrong with that but I wanted one that was stock.’’

It came from Can­ter­bury, a good thing be­cause of the dry air down south, Wil­liams said.

‘‘The Valiants, Hold­ens and Fal­cons of the 50s, 60s and 70s didn’t last be­cause they fell apart in New Zealand’s wet weather.’’

He’s had the ute for 10 months and drives it ev­ery day.

‘‘Peo­ple give us the thumbs up when they see the ute.’’


Dale Wil­liams with some of the mo­tor­bikes he’s col­lected.

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