This section is devoted to reports of revival stories. We’re adding content all the time and love to hear from our website visitors about truck restoration projects.
Any faithful restoration is a complex undertaking, ensuring originality where possible and concours judging often comes own to very minor points. It’s an even more complex undertaking in the case military-spec’ vehicles that differed in many ways from their civilian counterparts.
Day-Elder trucks, also known as D-E, were manufactured in Irvington, New Jersey USA from 1916-1937. This truck is one of very few that were imported into Australia around 1918 and is believed to be one of only two remaining in the world.
The Kenworth manufacturing plant at Bayswater in Melbourne was the birthplace of this ruby-red gem in August 1986 and it now resides on the South Coast of NSW in the hands of Brett Cleary, a confirmed SAR Kenworth devotee.
This important vehicle has been found and restored, twice, thanks to the dedication of, firstly, Mick Debenham and latterly Eddie Quadara, with the generous support of Volvo and CMV.
NSW South Coast road transport identity, Neville Storey, is the custodian of two rare Graham trucks in a collection that’s dominated by Detroit Diesel powered Kenworths. Grahams obviously are special, to earn two places in Neville’s selective historic truck stable.
Batlow NSW orchardist Edgar Herring bought this featured Federal two-ton truck, brand-new in 1919, just after WW1. Federal Trucks of America models were used extensively by the US Army during the First World War and the Australian Commonwealth Government also purchased Federals, hued in Army green.
The Museum of Vehicle Evolution (MOVE) is one of the largest regional museums of collectibles in Australia and is unique for its variety.
They say it’s ‘an ill wind that blows no good’ and so it was at the BTS event in 2021.
Neville Storey is passionate about the Australian road transport industry, having spent the majority of his working life either as an employee behind the wheel or managing his own transport company.
Cleary Bros has a history dating back to 1916, when company founders John (Jack) Cleary and his two brothers established a timber-getting transport business with a significant presence along the New South Wales South Coast. Jim Gibson spent some time checking out the company’s Mack heritage with Denis Cleary.
This White 9000 is the first new truck that Jim and Ida Hitchcock bought in 1974 for their then small transport fleet for the princely sum of $35,000. Fleet Number Nine served them well, clocking up over four million miles before they retired it and embarked on a total restoration.
On Saturday June 26 1926 The Adelaide Mail newspaper wrote: A few weeks ago a company was registered in Sydney and Melbourne called Yellow Express Carriers Limited with a capital of £500,000 ($1m) . The capital has been increased to £1,000,000 ($2m) as the promoters anticipate a rapid expansion.
UD trucks were an integral part of his working life during the 1980s, when he was UD Australia’s national sales and marketing manager, recalled Jim Gibson.
We located two prime movers from the halcyon days gone by, on a property on the NSW South Coast: an International R190 – the indisputable king of the highway in its heyday – and a Ford F8000 which, unfortunately, wasn’t. Timing was and is, everything.
Peter Limon is a sucker for Studebaker Champ pick-ups and he’s owned half-a-dozen over the years – but this one is special, as Jim Gibson found out.
While walking around the National Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs some years ago Jim Gibson noticed a wiry, elderly guy in a brimmed hat with the sides turned up slightly and a kangaroo pin on the front of the band. He was gazing at a large old truck that was in a very sad state of deterioration.
The stylish and well-remembered touring coaches built in Melbourne by Ansair Pty Ltd under licence from the Flxible Company in the USA were operated in Australia as touring and express coaches during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, by Pioneer and other coach operators.
Phillip Mathie was a White Mustang truck fan ever since his father owned a WC22 single-drive model, back in the 1960s and made it his goal in later years to round up a couple of Mustangs to stable in his shed on the NSW South Coast. Jim Gibson reminisced with Phillip about how he bred new life into these two thoroughbreds.
Anthony Wiblin’s penchant for American trucks came from DNA passed down by his father Bob, who loved ‘ballsy’ American trucks and became a master of the two-stick Mack box from his days running the blacktop in the 1960s and 1970s.
The quality of restoration applied to this Model T truck is exceptional and reflects the craftsmanship of Model T enthusiast owner Paul Ashby.
The 1952 Austin K4 Loadstar was the last Austin truck designed and built by the company, before the economic downturn in the early 1950s forced Austin and Morris to form a joint venture in order to survive, establishing the British Motor Corporation (BMC).
Daimler Trucks Australia brought a restored 1950 model A64-800 ‘Bubblenose’ Freightliner from the USA for display on its 2017 Brisbane Truck Show stand as a part of Freightliner’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The truck was found in a dilapidated state sitting in the Oregon state woods and had been lovingly restored by the Freightliner manufacturing team.
To celebrate Mack Trucks’ 100th anniversary in 2000 the Australian factory produced 25 limited edition Trident Centennial models. All but four were painted blue with white flashes adorning the bonnet and each truck was named after an Australian highway. This is the story of the ‘Cunningham Mack’
Every time we called in on Alby Twyford at Candelo in southern NSW there was another old truck under restoration – this time it was a 47-year-old International Transtar he’d just completed putting the finishing touches on a couple of weeks before we arrived.
Alby Twyford’s Detroit Diesel powered Bedford is a fine example of this Anglo-American prime mover that the British truck maker hoped would be more suitable for Australian line-haul tasks.
In their native North America, Diamond T trucks were called by many the ‘Cadillac of Trucks’ – they were never short on style or class with flowing front mudguard lines, aggressive grilles, rakish cabs – there was simply no way to mistake this iconic truck from builder Charles A. Tilt’s Chicago company.