CLUB COR­NER

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

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 held 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 rac­ing 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 club cel­e­brated the 25th an­niver­sary in 2015, 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 fo­cus 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, Auck­land, from 7pm.

The VWOC also hosts a num­ber of its own events, such as the Spring 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, and Run to the Sun. The club 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.

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