HISTORIC TRUCK FEATURES

Historic truck feature stories.

Loose engineering

Loose engineering

It’s unusual for a road transport engineer’s son to follow in his father’s footsteps, but that’s exactly what long-serving engineer Chris Loose has done, working for a number of heavy truck OEMs over many years. Chris’s father, Rex, was a regional engineer with Mobil in the 1970s.

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Jim Cooper and Gulf Transport

Jim Cooper and Gulf Transport

Kurt Johannsen is recognised as the inventor of the modern Australian road train and Jim Cooper (1941-2022) was certainly the man who perfected the idea. Jim passed away in early 2022.

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History of Australian road trains

History of Australian road trains

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.

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The Truckie who loved Trains – Book Review

The Truckie who loved Trains – Book Review

This excellent biography of TNT founder, Ken Thomas, was released before we started the historic Vehicles website, but it’s still in print and audio formats. As well as being a well researched and well written bio, it’s a potted history of Australia’s post WWII road and rail transport scene.

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De Dion Suspension History

De Dion Suspension History

Originally patented in 1894 for use on de Dion Bouton steam-powered vehicles, this unique suspension design continues to be useful, well into the 21st century.

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Wedding to a ‘T’

Wedding to a ‘T’

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?

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The sales engineer’s tool – before computers

The sales engineer’s tool – before computers

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.

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The changing driver interface

The changing driver interface

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.

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Tassie Trucks

Tassie Trucks

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.

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Vale Colin McKenzie

Vale Colin McKenzie

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.

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Haulin’ The Hume 2023

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!

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Refurbishing a vintage 4WD diesel

Refurbishing a vintage 4WD diesel

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.

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Old German trucks at the IAA new-truck show

Old German trucks at the IAA new-truck show

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.

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Gettin’ your kicks on Route 66

Gettin’ your kicks on Route 66

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!

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Behn’s Big Loads

Behn’s Big Loads

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.

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Kevin’s Across-Australia Canter trek

Kevin’s Across-Australia Canter trek

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.

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Trucking’ TV Nostalgia

Trucking’ TV Nostalgia

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.

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Farewell Mr Kenworth

Farewell Mr Kenworth

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.

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Mystery Hinos Down Under

Mystery Hinos Down Under

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.

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Cummins engines Down Under

Cummins engines Down Under

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.

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GM’s Turbo-Titan gas turbine trucks

GM’s Turbo-Titan gas turbine trucks

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.

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From steel rims to rubber tyres – Johnston’s Transport

From steel rims to rubber tyres – Johnston’s Transport

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.

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Mountain Men

Mountain Men

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.

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Jeffery-Nash Quad

Jeffery-Nash Quad

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. 

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Back to the Track

Back to the Track

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.

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Ted Greendog Stevens and the Razorback Blockade

Ted Greendog Stevens and the Razorback Blockade

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.

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