It is with heavy hearts that the TCRA Directors share the loss of Martin Dale Brooks. He passed peacefully at his home on January 9, 2021 at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer, and surrounded by his greatest achievement; his loving family.
Martin was many things; a Husband to his wife Maria for 26 years, a Father, a Brother, a Grandfather, a Friend, a Colleague, a President and Director for TCRA, a Business Owner, a Leader, a Teacher, and an Example of honesty, credibility, and trust to those who have had the fortune to have known him.
Martin was in the automotive industry for most of his life. An early memory of his was removing the engine sump on a mid-1930’s Chevrolet whilst helping his father; who was starting a business in his dirt-floor garage. The business expanded into a country garage, and this occupied school vacation time right through to leaving at the age of 16. Martin then joined the family business full time, serving gas and working on everything from lawnmowers to tractors.
A trip to the UK in 1973 meant that the country garage no longer appealed, and a move to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand came in 1975. A few years working at a dealership and a couple of other jobs started an interest in automatic transmissions that eventually led to an offer of employment at one of the few Transmission Shops in town near the end of 1978. Eventually, he bought-out one of the owners of the business, and later, the other owners. The company has traded under the name Aceomatic Transmission Services Ltd., since 1988.
The torque converter side of the business started around 1988, and as in so many cases, the reason was the need for a quality converter at a realistic price. Aceomatic is primarily a transmission shop with two outlets in Christchurch, and the converter operation looks after their own needs, as well as a few other shops and dealers. By USA standards, it is a small operation; most units are built on demand, as the market is so varied that no two units are the same. Martin sold the business in 2020 to spend time with his family and tend to his health.
Martin enjoyed travel, and visited the US around 30 times over the last 20 years. In 2013, he achieved a long held dream of driving across the USA from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, and taking Route 66 from Chicago. He was a regular attendee at the TCRA seminars since the time he was convinced to come to Indianapolis in 2006. Martin was the sole international member on the TCRA Board; having served on it since 2009.
During his time as President of the Association; he transitioned it from a hands-on operational Board to a more governance focused Board. Over the last few years, and with support from the TCRA Board; Martin implemented various policies and operational methods to both enhance the membership experience and to ensure that the Board is fully informed and able to make the strategic decisions.
Martin was always thinking ahead to the future, and he relished anything technological that came his way. He had a great love of sharing his knowledge with others. It was important to him that the staff and colleges he presented to were well informed with technical information and that the information he presented was easily accessible. He did this by crafting many manuals over the years, rewriting, translating to digital and upskilling. Martin hoped that by sharing his knowledge; he has made a difference to someone else along the way.
He always said the biggest asset in his business was his staff, letting family be a priority for them and being a flexible employer. While he was a hard working conscientious businessman; his family was always a priority to him and he knew how to balance time to enjoy himself and those dearest to him.
Martin will be missed by many, but his accomplishments will continue to impact an industry.
Martin’s obituary can be viewed at Obituaries – Christchurch | Bell, Lamb & Trotter | Funeral Directors.
Messages to the Brooks Family c/- PO Box 10345, Christchurch 8145. Memorial Services were held at the Ferry Park Chapel, at 297 Ferry Road, on Friday, January 15, 2021.