HISTORIC TRUCK FEATURES
Historic truck feature stories.
We get some odd requests at Historic Vehicles and one of the standout enquiries in 2023 was from a young bride-to-be from the NSW Southern Highlands. Could we help her find an historic truck for a wedding vehicle?
Before computers did all the calculations for us, engineers relied on slide rules to do the maths necessary for truck design. Truck sales engineers wanted something simpler and quicker to allow them to specify the right powertrain for specific applications, so Cummins came up with the Truck Performance Calculator.
Since the very early days, drivers have relied on dashboard instrumentation to keep them informed of their vehicle status. Once basic and purely mechanical and electrical, these readouts are now all-electronic and highly informative.
On our recent visit to the Apple Isle we focused mainly on historic cars and bikes. However, we did come across some very interesting trucks.
Our good mate, Colin McKenzie, joined the great celestial truck convoy in April 2023, following a short illness. He left this world peacefully, surrounded by family and with the knowledge that his wife of 67 years, Verna, would be well supported by family and friends.
The annual nostalgic run down Sesame Street by yesteryear’s trucks always attracts spectators from all over the country. The sad thing for most of us at Historic Vehicles is that we can remember driving these truck models when they were brand new!
Vintage 4WDs are greatly prized by their owners and some of these pre-emissions diesels are still around in the used market. Here’s Allan Whiting’s experience with his 1993 LandCruiser 75 Series tray-back ute.
Road trains in various forms have been with us since the mid-1800s and development of Australia’s sparsely populated, but asset-rich, northern regions would not have been possible without the post Word War II derivatives.
The IAA RoadTransport show is the biggest truck show on earth. After a Covid-enforced absence of four years the 2022 event was worth the wait. Against a backdrop of electrified new trucks was a reassuring display of oil-fired old-timers. Check out Allan Whiting’s pictorial review.
We came across this book and found it a very informative read. It was first published in 2012 and reprinted in 2014, so you may be able to find a copy around the bookshops.
In August 2022, specialists at Opel Classic found at an auction eight photographs of a little-known, pre-World War II prototype delivery van.
Prime movers that slid under semi-trailers followed 1960s concepts that were designed to maximise freight capacity. The main problem was squeezing in the driver!
Jim Gibson takes us on a trip through time down the Old Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne in an AB182 International, during 1966. One thing the Old Hume wasn’t was boring!
In the mid-20th century there were three legendary Euclid-green-hued Bedford/Mack prime movers created by Roy Behn. They roamed our highways and byways hauling over-dimensional heavy loads.
In the 1970s, Japanese trucks were a largely unknown quantity. It was a risky proposition, most people would reckon, to use one of these small early-model Mitsubishi Canters to haul a 12-metre boat hull from Perth to Ulladulla, south of Sydney. Jim Gibson spoke to Kevin Pollock, who did precisely that.
Many of you would be no doubt old enough to remember the Cannonball TV series from 1958. It followed the adventures of Mike Malone (Paul Birch) and Jerry Austin (William Campbell), two truckers who haul freight across the USA and Canada for the fictitious Toronto-based C&A Transport Company Ltd.
Edwin (Ed) Cameron is the man who created a cult following and placed an indelible mark on the manuscript of achievements within the Australian road transport industry.
Jim Gibson delved into US history and came across a solution to the lack of power in heavy-duty trucks during the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Historic Vehicles’ editors combined forces to record two separate Hino evaluation initiatives that didn’t progress to production for the Australian market. Jim Gibson researched the KA test truck of 1965 and Allan Whiting remembers the HH from 10 years later.
Long-term industry stalwart, the late Alan Lever, was one of the big-hearted highway itinerants who contributed much to our community, on a journey of long-distance truck driving that began in 1959.
At the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show Cummins celebrated its 100th anniversary with a display of engine models that made significant contributions to the Australian road transport industry.
In the 1950s and 1960s, several global car companies experimented with gas turbine power. Prominent among them was General Motors, who built gas turbine powered experimental cars and trucks.
Johnston’s Transport turned its first wheel at the start of last century when the present fourth-generation-owner’s great-grandfather hitched up a horse and cart to start a carrying business. More than century on, the business is still in the same family, servicing the transport requirements of Greater Sydney and beyond. Jim Gibson worked there for a time.
Discharged from the armed services after WW11, two jobless mates pooled their money and decided to buy a truck to cart bagged cement from Portland west of the Blue Mountains to Sydney. To do that, they needed to conquer mountains.
In the late 1960s International was convinced that the gas turbine would be the truck powerplant of the future. What happened?
The Jeffery Quad was a four-wheel drive, 1.5-ton rated truck, developed and built by the Thomas B Jeffery Company from 1913 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After 1916 it was branded the Nash Quad by Nash Motors, which acquired the Jeffery Company.
A Lake Macquarie (NSW) couple has returned from an outback odyssey of more than 11,000 kilometres in a World War II-era truck, driving into the past and racing against time.
On April 2, 1979, five courageous truck drivers blocked the Hume Highway, between Sydney and Melbourne, near the top of the famous Razorback Range, 50 kilometres south west of Sydney. The famous five were led by ted ‘Greendog’ Stevens. Love him or hate him, there was no denying the man’s influence on subsequent road transport legislation, Jim Gibson says.