1972

The Birth of a Club

logo_retinaThe Buick Car Club of Australia was originally formed in Melbourne. In 1972 the New South Wales branch got its start when Buick enthusiast, Peter Stean travelled to Melbourne to discuss with the members of the Buick Car Club of Australia the possibility of forming a Sydney branch. Armed with the necessary information Peter sought out Buick owners in Sydney, a task which proved time consuming until a chance meeting occurred with another enthusiast, Ken Harding.

Following an advertisment in the Sydney Morning Herald, together with word of mouth invitations, a picnic gathering of Buick owners and their families was held at Prospect Reservoir in Sydney’s west on sunday 7th May 1972. Seventeen Buicks and fourty people attended the picnic and the seed was sown for the formation of the Sydney Buick club . Around the same time, Melbourne club committee member, John Gerdtz, was transfered by his company to Sydney. John, along with Ken Harding, negotiated with the Melbourne club to form the New South Wales branch. A meeting was held on the 16th June, 1972 in Ken Harding’s garage and the Buick Car Club of Australia, NSW Branch was formally formed. There were 42 people at that meeting. With the club now established, it applied for and obtained affiliation with the NSW Council of Motor Clubs in May 1973 providing it with a voice within the Australian collector car movement.

Also around 1973, John Gerdtz met in Brisbane with Peter Symonds to discuss the formation of a Queensland branch, and Peter, together with other enthusiasts adopted the procedures used by NSW to get the Queensland club under way. In recent years changes to corporation and taxation laws have seen the parent Victorian club and all state clubs, reformed as individual incorporated entities however a close affiliation exists and continues between all states.

BCCA- NSW, today, has a membership in excess of 200 and caters for all Buick and Buick built vehicles, including Marquette, from veteran to modern along with vintage and classic. The oldest car in the club is a 1910 model 14 and, at the other end, a 1978 Park Avenue Limited sedan. Later models are relatively rare in the Club as General Motors stopped building Buick’s in Australia in 1948 with the advent of the first Holden. Dealer imports continued until Buick ceased right hand drive production in 1953. All later models have been privately imported with most converted to right hand drive after importation. The Club has within its membership, examples of fully restored vehicles, many of which are in concours condition and others still in original running condition. There are also several cars currently under restoration which will eventually add to the Club’s fine collection.

Membership is open to anyone who owns, or has an interest in, Buick or Buick built vehicles as above. Our club is socially and technically oriented, with husbands, wives, families and friends encouraged to attend monthly meetings and outings. Our membership contains a wealth of technical experts who freely share their knowledge.

Among our many regular events we include the Presidents Weekend, something different and challenging each year, General Motors Display Day, the Club Concours Day and CMC Display Day. The monthly run, held the sunday following the meeting, usually takes the form of a family picnic and makes use of the many places of interest in and around Sydney. There is also a mid-week outing every three months, the Gourmet Run, finishing at a top class restaurant for those lucky enough to be retired or those who can spare a day off work.

The Club produces a monthly magazine, The Buick News, to which club members are encouraged to contribute. The magazine is mailed to all club members and is also distributed to several other motoring clubs and organizations. There is also an extensive library, containing sales literature, service manuals, parts catalogues and general information books about Buicks. A club plate concessional registeration scheme is available for members who own eligible vehicles.