In 1939 Norm Paech went to Oakbank to work for Tidswell & Gower trading as Oakbank Motors. In October 1939 Tidswell & Gower decided to sell out and offered the business to Norm. The price asked was £240-0-0 ($480.00) Norm had very little money. Wage was £3-10-0 ($7.00) a week out of which he had to pay a £1-0-0 ($2.00) a week for board. In the early part of his life he worked on his father’s farm for his keep and a little pocket money.
However his father banked for him a total amount of £40-0-0 ($80.00), which was considered to be a yearly wage. Discussing the matter with Winifred Alma Schapel, to whom he was engaged to be married, they decided to give it a go and made the following proposition, pay £240-0-0 ($480.00) with £40-0-0 ($80.00) deposit balance at a £1-0-0 ($2.00) a week and no interest charges.
In order to avoid his creditors etc. he enlisted in the air force, he always had a love for flying. During the war there were people called the manpower and their job was to say who went into the services, who had to go and work in the munition factory or who had to stay home and look after essential services. They rejected Norm’s application for the air force but placed him on reserved occupation list which meant he had to service all essential services such as repairing essential transport, windmills and pumps, engines, milking machines, etc. There were no private vehicles on the road due to petrol rationing. After a while Norm thought this type of work was better than leaning over a hot motor vehicle. This is how Norm got interested and carried on with the tractor and machinery business. His creditors appointed an accountant to sort out his financial mess and teach him how to run a business etc. Norm took notice of them and this is how the business of Paech Motors is today.
Working conditions were not as desired for Norm. Two men, a boy and a girl, working out in the street under Pike’s oak tree in all kinds of weather (Norm and the staff did not complain, as a job was a job, no dole etc.), until the council and the department of industry complained and told him he would have to improve conditions or close up. At an Oakbank Hall meeting Norm told the hall committee about it. They did not want to lose a business such as Paech Motors and rather than lose them, G. T. Edwards decided to sell a block of land alongside of the croquet court which was situated on the Balhannah side of the hall and where Paech Motors’ is today. The original premises were built in 1949 with a rough stone front.
During the years that followed Norm & Win’s sons came into the business, Bruce in spare parts, Roger in service and Wesley in sales. The main franchise was Massey Ferguson which was held for 42 years. The partnership continued until 1990 when Bruce and Wesley left the partnership leaving Norm, Win and Roger to continue. This is when Roger’s wife Joan decided to work alongside of Roger and together take the name of Paech Motors into the next decade and have now been trading in excess of 70 years. On January 9th 1999 Win passed away and the partnership was again back to two partners.
On the 27th of May 1991 Paech Motors were appointed the John Deere Tractor and Machinery franchise for the Adelaide Hills and surrounding districts. In the following years the well known Stihl, Hardi, Ben Wye, Magnus and Vicon names. The most recent feather in our cap was to secure the Silvan franchise for Adelaide Hills area.
Paech Motors Today
During this time the staff numbers grew from three to the current number of thirteen full time members with each becoming specialised in their own areas resulting in a professional team. Paech Motors is conducted today with Roger Paech as Owner Manager. Joan Paech as Assistant Manager and their son David as Sales Manager. A loyal team of employees complements the four separate departments of Paech Motors which include Sales, Parts, Service and Administration.