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Thread: John Dale Motorcycles, K' Rd, Auckland

  1. #1
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    4th August 2005 - 11:58
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    John Dale Motorcycles, K' Rd, Auckland

    Any older KB'rs who remember John Dale Motorcycles? The Master?

    The shop closed in 1974.

    I am specifically interested in the scooters they assembled and sold, but also any other tidbits, and wondered if anyone on KB had any memories to offer.

    This is for a story/article I am putting together about John Dale Motorcycles.

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    John Dales son Bob Dale went on to run Motor Imports Wholesale which then amalgamated with Forbes and Davies wholesale. Johns bike shop was a little before my time but I did work for Bob for a decade.

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    Bob Dale

    Thats right, and I have been in touch with F & D, and Bob Dale is still around, living on the Hibiscus Coast. Just trying to locate a phone number for him now, he doesn't appear to be in the white pages.



    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrax View Post
    John Dales son Bob Dale went on to run Motor Imports Wholesale which then amalgamated with Forbes and Davies wholesale. Johns bike shop was a little before my time but I did work for Bob for a decade.

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    Robert was his middle name from memory....... Will try to remember his first name.

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    Companies register gives Robert Hinds Dale, which F & D confirmed - still can't find in the white pages though...maybe unlisted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrax View Post
    Robert was his middle name from memory....... Will try to remember his first name.

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    Is that the firm that was said to have lost its Honda (?) franchise because they didn't treat some bigwig visitors in the manner to which they were accustomed? Whatever, there was some franchise-switching in the early 1970s involving them and Bill Russell Motorcycles on Mt Eden Rd.

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    Bob also owned FFM in waihi. Maybe another avenue for you?

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    Thats interesting - yes I've been told they lost the Honda agency in 74, and he closed the shop because Honda was where the money was coming in. He was building a new shop (where Coleman Suzuki is now) at the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Badjelly View Post
    Is that the firm that was said to have lost its Honda (?) franchise because they didn't treat some bigwig visitors in the manner to which they were accustomed? Whatever, there was some franchise-switching in the early 1970s involving them and Bill Russell Motorcycles on Mt Eden Rd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scootnz View Post
    Thats interesting - yes I've been told they lost the Honda agency in 74, and he closed the shop because Honda was where the money was coming in. He was building a new shop (where Coleman Suzuki is now) at the time.
    OK, but I think the shop (at the corner of Karangahape Rd, Ponsonby Rd, Great Nth Rd and Newton Rd) stayed open as a Suzuki dealer for a while. I remember going there to buy parts for my Suzuki 250.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badjelly View Post
    OK, but I think the shop (at the corner of Karangahape Rd, Ponsonby Rd, Great Nth Rd and Newton Rd) stayed open as a Suzuki dealer for a while...
    Oh, I see from the Yellow Pages that that's where Colemans Suzuki is now. I thought it must have moved. Well, there was a Honda dealer at the same site called John Dale Motorcycles when I bought my first motorised two-wheeler (a Vespa), which must have been 1972. I passed it on my frequent trips to the Vespa dealer (can't remember the name) 50 m down K Rd on the other side.

    Quote Originally Posted by scootnz View Post
    That interesting - yes I've been told they lost the Honda agency in 74, and he closed the shop because Honda was where the money was coming in. He was building a new shop (where Coleman Suzuki is now) at the time.
    I guess what I'm saying is that he lost the Honda agency some time after the shop on the Colemans Suzuki site was opened.

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    I don't think Colemans is quite on the same spot as Dales was. As I recall (but it was many years ago), Dales was entered from K Rd. Colemans is entered from that side street. Also, I'm *almost* certain that Dales had an upstairs. Is Dale's old shop now a camping and outdoors stuff shop?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ixion View Post
    I don't think Colemans is quite on the same spot as Dales was. As I recall (but it was many years ago), Dales was entered from K Rd. Colemans is entered from that side street. Also, I'm *almost* certain that Dales had an upstairs. Is Dale's old shop now a camping and outdoors stuff shop?
    I think Colemans also used to be in the camping shop site, but moved to the rear site in the 80s (or was it the early 90s when the cheap Jap import cars arrived)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ixion View Post
    As I recall (but it was many years ago), Dales was entered from K Rd.
    As I recall (but it was many years ago) Dales had a frontage on K Rd and also on Newton Rd. It was quite a big, white building and it may have had a mezzanine or a 2nd floor.

    Geez, I hope none of the young buggers read this thread and poke fun at the old blokes reminiscing (or trying to reminisce, if only they could remember).

  14. #14
    I used to go to John Dale's bike shop nearly every thursday night back in the early '70's - that's where the new Honda's were to be seen.He used to be a Matchless agent,but as they faded away in the mid '60's I'm not sure what he shifted out the door before Honda became acceptable....possibly Norton,I'm pretty sure there were Commando's to be seen there.

    Old John dale himself used to wander around sometimes,but he didn't get involved in the day to day running of the place....just like Bill White,you knew who he was,he might say hello,but wouldn't deal with riff raff tyre kickers with long hair.

    I'm pretty sure they occupied the whole new building,there was certainly an upstairs.
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    .

    Thanks guys, some of this is helpful.

    I have spoken to two mechanics who worked at John Dales.

    He had a shop which was 3 storeys, and a central shaft to hoist bikes/scooters down to the ground floor. There was also an assembly factory behind the shop, where nzeta scooters were assembled from CKD. Both buildings are apparently still there and intact, and I will be arranging to get to Auckland sometime this year to check them out. They are on K'rd, about a block in from Ponsonby Rd. I've had a look at google maps street view to try and see, but the lane behind the shop has been closed in to make a pedestrian mall so can't see in there.

    John Dales sold the following scooters: Nzeta, Cezeta, Puch, Silver Pigeon, Fuji Rabbit, Ducati Brio (moped), and Honda cubs. Most of the scooters other than the cub would have been sold in the 60's and faded away before the 70's.

    Of course he sold motorcycles - but my main interest is the scooters.

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