Motafrenz Car Club

Australia's premier motoring club for the LGBTIQA+ community!

Committee Profile: Gordon Campbell

This section aims to help familiarise you with the Committee Members of the Club and let them share their story with you.

This month, the spotlight is on Gordon Campbell!

Greeting everyone, I’m Dr. Gordon Campbell.

I am a Lecturer in Marketing at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. My PhD was awarded in 2018, after a long period of study. My work now consists firstly, of looking after the teaching of Marketing Fundamentals to First Year students. In addition, I am also now writing articles for academic journals. I am deriving these articles from my PhD, which is titled “Marketing for AIDS Prevention: What gay men’s autobiographical life histories tell us about the role of Altruism and the Moral Norm.

I was always interested in cars. David Provan, who I knew through Bootscoot (oh yes, the 90s!) suggested I join. I then moved to Singapore for work. When I returned in 2000, I took the plunge and joined.

This year I am the Minutes Secretary. I go to the Committee Meetings and take notes. After the meeting, I type up the Minutes and send them to all Committee members. Fellow committee member Nick is a great help with this job. He also takes notes and shares them with me. A lot happens quickly at meetings, so it is important to stay alert and keep writing, so Nick’s notes are a great help to me. The key point about the Minutes is that they are the Club’s official record of the decisions made at the Meeting. In addition, the action items are very important to the smooth running of the Club. They list “who needs to do what, by when” so that each Committee member knows what the Committee agreed that they need to do.

1971 – I bought a 1966 Volkswagen 1600 fastback. It was a very good-looking car. As a naïve teenager, I later discovered it was a bit of rust back bucket and pretty well worn. Nevertheless, I enjoyed owning it and I drove it for about five years.

1976 – I bought a 1973 Toyota Corolla, bright red. This was a wonderful little car. Light and easy to drive and very reliable and cheap to run. Assembled in Australia, by Australian Motor Industries, who also assembled Triumph and Rambler. Later on, Toyota took them over and they became Toyota Australia.

1980 – A brand-new Mazda 626 two-door hardtop. This was the first model of the Mazda 626. After Mazda’s foray into rotary engines, they were in a bad financial state. They were partly owned at that time by Ford. So that Mazda could quickly bring to market a new model, Ford gave them the designs for the TC model Ford Cortina. Mazda adapted this design for the 626 (to replace the piston-engined Capella). The new 626 included the 2-litre overhead cam engine. It was a very good-looking car, with a five speed manual gearbox. It was fully imported from Japan, and at that time Mazda did not really understand Australian sunlight and its impact on fabric seat coverings. Within two years, the fabric seat covers had rotted in the sun and had to be replaced. The car was not particularly durable, needing a reconditioned engine at some stage. Nevertheless, I had it for 12 years and I sold it to a friend of one of my sisters when I got my first company car.

1991 – Kodak bought me a company car and I chose a Mitsubishi Magna. This model was their new shape, replacing the boxy 1990s design. It was a four-cylinder with four-speed automatic. It was my first front wheel drive car. It looked very nice with pale grey fabric interior and maroon exterior. I found it an excellent and reliable car, very nice to drive.

1995 – My second company car, a Mitsubishi Magna Six. Another excellent car. I am a great fan Mitsubishi product because of driving both of these cars.

1998 – Instead of another company car, I used the car allowance to buy a nearly-new BMW 328i, a powerhouse of a car with 2.8 L straight six. It looked very nice in dark blue/purple exterior with fawn leather interior. I really thought I had made it.

2001 – I returned from working in Singapore and bought a 1995 Saab 9-3 convertible. This was my luxury treat to myself. I loved the open-air environment and kept this car until 2009. I gave it to one of my nephews, but by this stage, it was getting old and unreliable and he sold it.

2009 – I bought an as-new 2008 Volvo S80, All-Wheel-Drive, twin turbo V6. Another powerhouse of a car, which I have to this day and continue to enjoy.

I have two other cars;

1990 Ford EB Fairmont – My father bought this new. It is in peacock blue with window-to-window pale grey velour interior. It has a four-speed automatic, with climate control, and 4 litre straight six engine. It is a beautiful car to drive and very spacious. It just rolls along. It has just been put onto club plates.

1979 Peugeot 504 – This car was assembled in Australia by Renault in West Heidelberg. It originally belonged to a Renault Australia executive. It has a 1.8 L engine with three speed Borg-Warner automatic. In 2003, I was on the Motafrenz Committee and did not have a classic car. At that time, I was working with Lance Dixon SAAB at Doncaster, organising an event with the SAAB and Citroen Clubs, so that we could view their new cars. (Lance Dixon had both SAAB and Citroen dealerships at that time.) One of their staff rang me up to say that a very original Peugeot had just been traded-in on a new Citroen – they wondered if one of our members would like to buy it. So I did. I have had the car it refurbished and repainted, but it is largely original. It is not particularly powerful but once moving, it cruises along very nicely with lovely soft French ride.

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