A Further History of Grimmer Motors

On the 1st October 1934, Claude Grimmer bought out a small service station and garage situated in Grey Street, Claudelands.  As a result of the depression, this business was in a very run down state and the previous operator had been operating a bag-wash, at the rear of the garage premises, in order to make a living.

Don Forbes, a close friend from primary school days, was to be his right hand man in this venture and these two stayed together for 40 years.

Our country was now moving out of the depression and the price of petrol was stabilised, but that was about the only sign of improvement for the motor trade.  Petrol was sold from the one kerb-side, hand operated for 1 Pound 11 shillings per gallon, while first grade oils were one shilling per pint. The Model T. Ford was the most popular car on the roads and at this time a new type for it cost 39 Pound 6 shillings to 2 Pounds 2 shillings 6 pence.  Batteries came in a variety of grades selling for 1 Pound 2 shillings 6 pence to 2 Pounds 2 shillings 6 pence.  A valve grind job would cost 1 Pound for a 4 cylinder car and 1 Pound 10 shillings for a six cylinder.

Petrol sales from about 50 gallons per day soon climbed into the hundreds and this station was the first one pump station in Hamilton to have an electric pump installed.

The arrival of Super Group petrol meant that a second pump was placed on the kerbside.

Early in 1942 this business closed when Claude Grimmer entered the Army, Don Forbes having joined up previously.

It was 1948 when Grimmer Motors commenced business on the present site and this meant building our own premises.  Materials were in very short supply at the time and one of our first jobs was to make the concrete blocks for the builder to use.

Geoff Wilson had now joined the team and we also had an apprentice mechanic. Two brands of petrol were stocked until the arrival of BP in NZ which gave us a third brand.

The trend was now toward one brand Stations so Grimmer Motors soon became B.P.

 

After many years, Claude eventually sold Grimmer Motors to his relative, Trevor Wilson.

Terry Grimmer began work as a mechanic for his cousin Trevor, in 1974. Terry became workshop foreman, and when Trevor was ready to sell, Terry and Alison Grimmer bought ‘Grimmers’ from him in 1989. Together Terry and Alison ran the car sales yard, repair shop and BP petrol station.

Over time, they leased the car yard, ceased as a BP petrol supplier and focused solely on running the mechanical repair workshop. Terry spent many years contributing to the Motor Trade Association as President for the Waikato area.

Terry and Alison’s honesty, and good customer relations earnt them the respect of many loyal customers. In 2016 they decided it was time for a well earned retirement.