History of Phillips Garage

1946 John Phillips completes his military duties at the end of the Second World War and sets up his vehicle repair business, operating from a cow shed at 98 Fraser Street. He extends this to include buying, repairing and on-selling vehicles,  his brother Ray joins him, and the venture is quickly established as a local, reliable, family- run business.

The Cowshed and First Workshop

1950 The first custom-built garage is constructed on the site,  in front of the cowshed. Vehicle rentals are introduced and the brothers register Phillips Bros with the NZ Retail Motor Trade Association and the NZ Rental Cars Association.

First custom-built premises    

1951 The garage expands its business  by installing its first petrol pump and selling fuel under the Caltex brand. More rental vehices are added to the fleet.

The 1951 upgrade, with Caltex franchise. John Phillips

1983 A new generation of Phillips Garage is established when Ray retires and John is joined in the business by his daughter Sandra who had already built up her own qualifications and career at a Ford dealership.


1985 John creates and builds mechanical waving Joe as a marketing venture.

1986 Mechanical Joe is joined by Josephine. The rental vehicle part of the business is sold, the mechanical repair side continues to expand and the business now has the authority to issue

warrants of fitness.

1991 Sandra takes full ownership of the business, and she and John continue to advance the business together.

1993 A major redevelopment of the site is carried out. A new four-bay workshop and retail shop is constructed, customer car parking is increased, the forecourt area is developed, more petrol pumps are added and diesel is eventually introduced.

The 1993 rebuild.


2008 Sandra recognises the changing times and removes the petrol and diesel services and the 57-year association with Caltex comes to an end.

Garage today


2009 to the present The successful mechanical business and workshop operations continue........