Looks vintage but isn’t

NTI’s resto-mod 1946 Ford ‘Jailbar’ truck, Bonnie is being raffled to raise funds for medical research.



The black dual cab 4×4 features a modified Ford ‘Jailbar’ cab – so-called because its distinctive vertical grille bars resemble prison bars – that’s mounted on an Isuzu NPS chassis. 

One of the first vintage trucks modified by NTI, Bonnie has been the trucking insurance organisation’s promo truck and has appeared at events across the country over the past two and a half years.

NTI’s CEO Tony Clark said he was proud to announce Bonnie as the seventh truck to be restored and raffled by Australia’s largest transport and logistics insurance specialists, NTI.  The resulting ticket sales have totalled $2 million for Motor Neurone Disease research over six years.

NTI’s Chief Customer Officer, Janelle Greene, said that Bonnie is truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle and a crowd favourite. 

“We are constantly asked by fans if they can purchase Bonnie and after last year’s incredible fundraising efforts, we thought it was the right time to say a special thank you to our supporters by finding Bonnie a new home,” said Ms Greene. 

Creating Bonnie was one of the toughest and most technically challenging restoration projects to date, NTI said. The building process took 2500 hours: lengthening and widening the cab to include two rear doors and fitting custom-made bonnet, tub tray, side steps and rear guards. The interior was kitted out with full leather trim, air conditioning and touch-screen media. 



Additional functional equipment included a 6.5-tonne electric winch, 4.5-tonne tow bar, LED spotlights and rear air suspension. 

Making it the perfect vehicle for both on, and off the road, featuring all the latest technology while honouring the vintage style of the 1946 Ford Jailbar. 

NTI Special Projects Lead, Don Geer, said the excitement around the truck made the hard work worth it. 

“Bonnie has that wow factor and everyone is taken aback by the superb technology and engineering,” said Mr Geer.

“They (the NTI resto-mod project vehicles) all hurt a little bit when we let them go, but this one especially, just because it’s such a good vehicle – it’s bullet proof. 

“It’s still very young – not even at 23,000km yet – so it’s the right time for somebody else to … enjoy it as much as I do.” 

The truck will be displayed at the Australian Trucking Association Conference (Canberra, 17-19 April), Sydney Truckfest (Sydney, 3-5 May) and Cooly Rocks On (Gold Coast, 5-9 June), with the final appearance and raffle being drawn at the NTI Supercars Round in Townsville (5-7 July). 


Raffle result

An incredible $483,000 has been raised for Motor Neurone Disease research thanks to the restoration and raffle of a 1946 Ford Jailbar truck, named Bonnie.
Hundreds crowded around the NTI Supercars in Townsville as the winner’s name was announced – Beverly Smith.
The Redland local was in complete shock when she received the winning call, after buying a single ticket in the raffle along with some friends at the Cooly Rocks On Festival.
“I lost my Mum to MND nearly 20 years ago, so it’s a cause that’s very close to my heart. I always try to support the foundation in any way that I can, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to actually win the truck.”



Bonnie specifications


Isuzu NPS 45-155 4×4 Dual Cab chassis – GVM 4500kg; GCM 7500kg

Engine: Isuzu 4HK1-TCN, 5.2-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve SOHC; max power (DIN-net) 114kW (153 bhp) at 2600rpm; max torque (DIN-net) 419Nm (309 lb ft) at 1600-2600rpm. Vacuum controlled exhaust brake and 140-litre fuel tank.

Transmission: five-speed manual (ISUZU MYY-5A). Part time 4WD with two-speed transfer case: high ratio 1.00:1, low ratio 1.842:1

Suspension:  Single stage alloy steel multi-leaf springs, with two double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers and stabiliser bar (Front);  Hendrickson air-leaf with two double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers (rear). 

Brakes: Front and rear drum with ABS dual-circuit hydraulic control, hydraulic pressure assistance and load sensing proportioning valve. 

Wheels and tyres: 17.5 x 6.00 six stud steel wheels, shod with 37-inch AT Gladiator tyres.

Electrical system: 24 and 12 volt, with 90 amp alternator. 

Cab equipment: Air suspension front driver and passenger seats, with adjustable head and arm rests; rear bench seat with three-seat capacity and storage underneath; three -point lap sash seatbelts in all outboard seating positions; tilting-telescopic adjustable steering column; power windows; central locking with remote keyless entry and immobiliser; centre console cooler box; double-DIN, two-speaker multimedia unit with 6.2-inch LCD capacitive touch screen; DAB+ digital radio and fully integrated Bluetooth with voice recognition; inbuilt PDF, photo and movie viewer; internet radio accessible via smartphone; 32GB internal file storage; USB and auxiliary input connection provisions; firmware and map updates possible via smartphone.

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