ASRF LEGEND – PAUL WALSH

Paul’s interest in mechanical things goes back to his childhood days, and his first interest in vehicles started mid teens with motorcycles.

This resulted in him building and registering WA’s first ‘chopper’, a 1938 Harley, in 1971, and WA’s first custom built trike in 1983, including making a chain drive diff. Paul’s work in gaining registration for custom motorcycles took him down a parallel path with Vince Berriman’s work on hot rod registration in the 1970’s, and information was often shared between Paul and Vince.

Cars started out with early Holdens, mainly for days when it was too wet for the bike. A 1937 Chev Sloper was found in 1973, and rebuilt using a Blue Flame six. Harleys always took precedence over the cars so there were a few cars, such as a customised Morris Minor Ute interspersed with the bikes. His first serious hot rod build was a magenta 1925 Dodge C Cab, later followed by the blue 1930 Model A coupe, and now the 1932 three window coupe, his coupes essentially becoming daily drivers.

Paul’s engineering background qualified him to become part of the ASRF WA’s initial Authorised Vehicle Examiner team in 1997, and he has been active in the TAC ever since. Paul’s years of dealing with Transport (formerly the RTA) with bikes and trikes resulted in him being the TAC member most heavily involved with the development of the WA Guidelines, published in October 2000. Transport sought Paul’s help in transforming this into the National Guidelines, approved in 2003, that became the national build document. Paul was also involved in the National TAC Committee that participated in the revision of the National Guidelines in 2010, resulting in the version now used nationally, and incorporated into VSB 14, the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Modification.

While the Guidelines were being developed, Paul was appointed as the inaugural National TAC Co-ordinator, a challenging position held for a number of years, and fortunately a position that the NCC has seen the importance of, and has continued with a National TAC member in that role. 

Paul’s work with the Guidelines, both at a state and national level, resulted in him being awarded Rodder Of The Year in 2002 and 2003.

The TAC continues to take up a bit of Paul’s time, as he is the main ASRF WA contact with Transport for Street Rod approvals and new registrations, as well as being a member of our team of examiners. As Paul has been dealing with Transport/RTA on modified vehicle matters for about 45 years, he’s hinting that it’s time for a break! 

Paul was also a founding member of the Mandurah Rod and Custom Club in September 2000, and has held the Chairman’s role for about 14 of the club’s 20 year life.