Born in 1949, the older of twins into a family of 5 boys and 1 girl, I was raised in Tauranga and my childhood days were spent here. I attended Tauranga Sth Primary, Tauranga Intermediate and Tauranga Boys College. I was 13 yrs old when I brought my 1st car, a 32 Ford Y, and still haven’t stopped (Check out my Hot Rod page to see more).
Much of this time was spent on family outings, visits to interesting place of interest as a family or visiting friends or relatives on both sides of the family.
Young Adult Years
Cars and Girls! That’s it really.
Ok … you want more details. I’m not telling.
I left school (ok .. I AM telling) at a young age to pursue a career in Grocery, then a good friend of mine (Gary Hill) bought a Milkbar he called the Blue Moon Dairy in Devonport Rd, Tauranga which I managed for 4 years. I then turned my attentions to motor mechanics and the automotive industry that would dominate my life to come. I worked for KE Carter Motors in Tauranga who later became West Bay Motor Company. Although I was a Ford fanatic they were a GM dealership, but that’s ok because the Chevrolet brothers originally built speedster bodies for the Model T’s.
Many years were spent building Hot Rods and Classic Cars for myself and helping many mates with theirs. Thanks to this passion I have seen much of New Zealand countryside and people while cruising in style in many different cars. Noteably in my 47 Ford (I wonder who once drove this through Piccadilly Arcade in Tauranga with 15 people, mostly nurses, on board?!) and my 66 Mercury and 61 Galaxie Convertible. (More info on my cars in my Hot Rod page)
An accident in late 1975 ended my fulltime career as a motor mechanic. A Jaguar Mk 7 Moss Overdrive gearbox I was fitting behind the 390 V8 in a 1960 Ford Fairlane decided it would be happier embedded in my chest. This resulted in injuries to my chest, ribs, and nervous system, and as a result of those injuries I also suffer from arthritus and circulation problems as well now but these problems will never end my passion for all things Hot Rod or Classic orientated in the automotive arena although it has severely limited the number of events I’m able to attend now.
My father passed away in April 1974 and my mother followed him in September 1982. As I could no longer actively follow my motor trade I turned my interests into searching my family history and genealogy. Recently the internet has become a very useful tool and has aided my searchs greatly. Through the use of this media I have had contact with,and made contact with many of our extended family worldwide, many of whom have come to NZ for a visit and all of them have been really nice people. (see my Ardern Genealogy page).
That’s me, Graeme Ardern, in a nut shell!