Auckland Volkswagen Owners Club
The Volkswagen Owners Club (VWOC) started around 1960, and the Auckland branch was part of a federation of VW clubs in New Zealand — others being based in Taranaki, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. The VWOC had about 300 active members by the late ’60s and, in Auckland, was holding monthly club meetings in a large school hall in Epsom, with well over 100 people attending each month.
The early clubs were proper oldschool motoring clubs, attracting a new generation of motorists that had emerged in the post-war years. Events such as hill climbs, rallies, drag races, and time trials were often features of club events.
However, club membership gradually dwindled over the years, and group activities became fewer, so, in 1991, a core group of VWOC enthusiasts got together and organized the first VW Nationals, in Taupo, which was a resounding success. By that time, people had become interested in old air-cooled VWS again and were starting to restore them.
The tradition of the VW Nationals continues to this day — the 25th anniversary was celebrated last year, with many of the original organizers in attendance.
Nowadays, the club has changed its focus to more family-oriented events — cruises, camping weekends, etc. — instead of the motor-sport days of the club’s earlier incarnation. Monthly meetings remain a regular fixture on the calendar, taking place on the second Wednesday of each month at the Vintage Car Club rooms, 39 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, from 7pm.
Members can regularly be seen in attendance at the big car events such as the Ellerslie Concours d’elegance, Kumeu hot rod show, and Bruce Mclaren Trust Runs, as well as Caffeine and Classics, among many others.
The VWOC also hosts a number of its own events, such as the VWOC Jamboree, at which VWS take over the Watene Reserve on Auckland’s waterfront for a day, or it joins with other clubs for annual events such as the Bulli and Bug Jam, at which VW owners enjoy a social weekend away camping.
The VWOC caters for all types of Volkswagens across ranges and ages, from the early air-cooled Kombis and Beetles right through to the entire line-up of water-cooled examples. The focus is on people who share a passion for the marque, rather than the particular vehicle they own.
Join the club Auckland Volkswagen Owners Club PO Box 12,358 Penrose Auckland 1642 Website: vwownersclub.co.nz Facebook: facebook.com/ Volkswagenownersclubnz