Oct 21 1947 – April 7 2003
– Memories of Terry Card –
I first met Terry when he moved from Taranaki to Tauranga in 1967-68.
He was about 20 years old and drove a 39 Ford V8 Sedan which had had a pair of 100E Ford Prefect Headlights, with Chrome surrounds, grafted into the front fenders. He joined Bay Rodders – Tauranga, and quickly became friends with a bunch of us.
Maurie Parker and Noel Williams joined Terry & I in renting a shed from Athol Anderson who owned Tauriko Wreckers, where we built some of our cars up.
Terry always wanted a Model A Tourer and he got an original one from a local car dealer for the princely sum of 35 pounds. I can still see the smile on his face.
After driving the car for a couple of weeks, Terry decided he wanted more power, which meant V8 power.
He bought a (now rare) 1942 Mercury Well-side Ute from Danny Ferguson for 50 pounds and drove it home. Before you knew it, the body was off the A, the chassis re-built and Terry and friend Noel Cullum were fitting the Mercury V8 running gear into it. When we asked him what colour it was going to be, he said “You’ll see”.
Well, It hit the road painted bright purple with yellow fenders & he called it “Tonka Toy”!
Around that time, he met and married Val Sycamore and started a family. They went to every rod run they could in the Tonka Toy.
A ’34 Ford followed, painted appliance white, then a blue’36 sedan and a silver F100 for his lino-laying business. He & Val and children, moved to Whangarei and I didn’t see so much of them, although we kept in touch. His last acquisition was a 302 powered Model A sedan painted bright red and aptly named “Saint” to acknowledge his discovery of Christianity. He even had on the spare wheel cover, the slogan, “Drive for life, Live for Christ”.
In his last few years, Terry re-kindled his rodding interests and contacted many of his old mates. He lived a full and happy life, even though he had under-gone seven open-heart operations, which finally took their toll on Monday 7 th April 2003, at the age of 55.
To Terry, every crisis was just another problem to overcome, and the way he handled each of them was a great inspiration to both his friends & family.
He left behind his family and many rodding friends who fare-welled him in Whangarei and his coffin painted Hot Rod style, in black with red & yellow flames was taken to the chapel, from his home, on the back of a Model A pickup followed by a convoy of Hot Rods & Street Machines. Painted on his coffin was the name of his car “Saint” along with the slogan from his spare wheel cover.
He is survived by his family, wife Val, son Aaron and his wife Shona, his daughters Elizabeth (Lillybeth) and Natalie, and is the proud grandfather of Jamie. – Graeme Ardern
B&W photos supplied by Noel & Noeline Cullum