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 About Us

A History of Lamberts

Below is a brief timeline of our business which encompasses many big milestones which are: 
Arthur Lambert, a returned serviceman and prisoner of war in Germany uses his Army severance pay to set up a brake specialising garage in Rathbone Street, Whangarei. Arthur a qualified mechanic saw a niche in specialising (not common in 1947) especially in brakes as they were a high wearing part of cars and trucks on the seldom sealed roads of those days.

Arthur employs his first apprentice, Bruce Wilkinson. Bruce was just 16 when he started at Lamberts and worked there until his death in 1985. Bruce played a major role in the development of Lamberts. He was well known, respected and liked in the Whangarei motor trade.

Lamberts join the Motor Trade Association (MTA). 

With a serious lack of space at the Rathbone Street shop, Arthur sets up new premises in Port Road using timber he has cut and milled from his brother’s farm at Purua. The building is still standing and today is a cycle shop.

After six years, it’s decided to move closer to the town centre. Port Road was considered the outskirts in those days. Arthur ends up purchasing the derelict gas works building in Water Street. With his usual DIY spirit the building is soon converted into a workshop. This remains Lamberts main premises to the present day.

The first workshop extension is added to rear of the existing building.

The first Lamberts friction material saw is built and the dust extraction system is patented.

Lamberts open a branch in Kaiatia. In the early 1970’s several trucking companies worked throughout Northland, so a shop in Kaitaia was considered important for service continuity. An economic downturn though forces the closure of the Kaitaia branch in 1974.

Friction material saws are exported to Australia and Canada.

Lamberts begin importing parts from Bendix Australia. In later years parts and products are imported from the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa as well as Australia.

The New Zealand Brake Specialists Association is formed with much input from Lamberts.

New friction material saw models are designed. Eventually, six models are produced and exported to 12 different countries. Several panel saws were also produced around the patented dust extraction system. 

The building at 48 Water Street (The Dive Shop) is acquired and rebuilt as the new Spare Parts Department.

A large new Workshop is built off the rear of the existing building.

Lamberts celebrate 50 years in business.

Computerised roller testing equipment installed for the workshop.

Lamberts South Auckland parts distribution warehouse is established at East Tamaki.

Papakura Auto Parts at Takanini is acquired. The distribution warehouse is incorporated.

Papakura Auto Parts is relocated to Plunket Ave. Manukau Warehouse.

Lamberts celebrate 60 years in business.

On the 19th of July, Arthur passes away in his 94th year. Arthur managed to come to work every working day until he was 91. Many considered him as a permanent fixture at Lamberts. This business was his "baby" and he just wanted to make sure all was well. Arthur will always be missed and his work ethic and dedication will forever be an inspiration to us all here.

Want to find out more? Call us on (09) 430 4797

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