The Austin Flying 'A' Enthusiast Club
Formed February 1991
The club started from a chance meeting of Roger Parish, Kevin Heyward and Barry Hancock at the British Car Show held at Western Springs in November 1990. Kevin Heyward had his Austin AS3 A30 on show and Barry & Noelene Hancock had their Austin A95 Westminster on show.
Roger Parish who was new to New Zealand had immigrated from England earlier in the year. This was Roger’s first car show in NZ so he did not have a car to show at the time. As Roger was very interested in BMC vehicles, he approached both Kevin & Barry and suggested that they park the two Austin’s together. This was done and talk got around to car clubs, as there was nothing for BMC cars only the Vintage Austin Registrar and there was an Austin A30/A35 Car Club that was no longer operating. Roger said he would think about starting a club if we were interested. A few weeks passed and Roger got in touch with Kevin and said he was going ahead with starting a BMC Car Club and would Barry and Kevin join him to get it going.
The three men had a meeting and decided that the name of the club should be The Austin Flying A Enthusiasts Club for Austin’s with the flying A on the bonnet. An advert was placed in the first edition of New Zealand Classic Car magazine to get in touch with Roger and the first outing was to a swap meet in Pukekohe. A good response from Austin owners happened and The Austin Flying A Enthusiasts Club was up and going. We soon found we had members throughout New Zealand and club branches were set up.
Wellington branch was the first to get going with Mike Marshall & Mike Lowe taking control in the lower North Island. Then the Mainland branch was set up with Mike Collins looking after the South Island. In 1992 the Waikato/BOP branch was started with Don Robinson looking after this area.
So, this became The Austin Flying “A” Enthusiasts Club of NZ with the words added “The Club for all Austin’s” as a lot of members had older Austin’s and newer BMC Austin’s without the Flying A on the bonnet.
Some members specialized in certain models and looked after inquires on these models. Kevin Heyward ran the A30/A35 registrar for a long time and joined the Austin A30/A35 Owners Club in England and became the NZ contact in 1991. While he still holds that position today he does not keep a record of A30/A35s anymore only the A35 Pickups.