Focus On – McLeod Motors

From left, Josh, Daniel, Judy, owners Daniel and Liz. Tino is absent.

McLeod Motors is of historic interest in Helensville, having begun life beside the Grand Hotel in the early 20th century as Fuge Motors, before its name change in the 1950s. In February this year the business changed hands when local couple Daniel and Liz Norrish bought it from Barry Olsen, who had worked at McLeods for 50 years, for some of those as co-owner.
Daniel had made it his goal to own a vehicle repair business since he first worked in the industry and is enjoying working locally. He grew up in Kaukapakapa and, after leaving Kaipara College, took up a mechanical and auto electrical apprenticeship at Paul Stockman Motors in Ellerslie. He then worked for a time at the Automobile Association as a foreman, later moving to Nissan before becoming a senior technician at Ford and Mazda at Wairau Park, where he ran the workshop for the Mazda technicians. Liz, who works as a nurse in A&E at North Shore Hospital, was brought up in Helensville and worked part-time in Countdown, Barfoot and Thomson and Craigwell House while studying for her nursing degree at Auckland University. Working around her roster, she is enjoying spending a day a week at the garage in the office.
Customers taking their car or truck into McLeod Motors for a warrant, service or repair job will find locals Josh and Tino still in the workshop and Judy still in the office, with an additional, newly-hired mechanic, another Daniel, boosting staff numbers. For customer convenience the business is now selling tyres, has a full range of batteries from ride-on to commercial to marine and has become an authorised seller of TOTAL oil, which has New Zealand’s biggest oil range. With owner Daniel’s expertise in auto electrics diagnostic work, that side of the business is expanding, aided by the purchase of a scanner. Plans for future development include establishing a call-out service.
Daniel says he really enjoys the customer interaction and the responsibility of looking after McLeod Motors’ employees. He and Liz are very grateful to the staff for the way they have helped them settle in and to the community for their continued support.

This photo of Fuge Motors was loaned to Daniel and Liz by Elaine Keefe, wife of the late Lou Keefe who was a co-owner of McLeod Motors. (Photo by Thomas, E. (c1932). Railway Street, Helensville, next to Grand Hotel. Auckland War Memorial Museum. Thanks to Helensville Museum for the image).

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