Hall of Fame Inductee 2020
Born in Dunedin on New Year ’s Eve 1944, James (Jim) Benjamin Black, big brother to Glennis, grew up in the family home in Andersons Bay, Dunedin.
In 1968 he purchased his first home and married Ann. The couple were blessed with two bouncing boys, Stuart and Arron, who have both ended up as passionate as Jim about the motor industry. Jim’s sons work within the family businesses and are involved in kart racing and run 2 BMWs in the NZ Endurance racing series. That passion has been passed on to Jim’s grandson, James, who is also involved in kart racing.
Jim attended Tainui Primary School, before going to King Edward Technical College. Leaving school at age 15, he started work as a warehouse boy at Sargood Son & Ewing in Lower High Street, Dunedin but soon found wrapping parcels was not his game.
This led to his move into the motor industry where he joined Volkswagen Motors as an apprentice motor mechanic in 1961. After 9 years, he joined Kew Services in Hillside Road until it was sold and then he moved to Holland and Bell.
Then began the start of what Jim is renowned for, when he started in the tyre industry.
Jim joined Firestone Tyre Services in Andersons Bay Road as a wheel alignment and underbody mechanic working his way to Service Manager and ending up Otago Manager for 14 years.
At one stage, deciding he wanted to do something for himself, Jim operated a taxi in Dunedin for a couple of years but the novelty soon wore off.
In 1976, Jim joined Cooke Howlison Andersons Bay as a new car salesman under Bert Gibb where he worked for 5 years.
But Jim missed tyres so in 1982 he joined Bandag (part of the Freightways Group) as Area Manager Otago and Southland. He managed the Bandag Commercial Truck Tyre Retread Factory in Harrow Street and the sales area. He then decided he should own the place, so he bought the business from Bandag in 1992 and General Tyres Ltd was born in September 1992. This is now managed by his son Stuart.
Jim couldn’t be in attendance to accept in person. Jim’s son Aaron accepted the award on his behalf.