Truck Restoration Projects

Historic Trucks at the Brisbane Truck Show 2021


They say it’s ‘an ill wind that blows no good’ and so it was at the BTS event in 2021.


Isuzu Trucks Australia had paid for display stand space, but that company’s management decided against attending, because of the Covid-19 situation. The space was donated to the Heritage Truck Association of Australia, which seized the moment to display some of its finest restoration projects.

Historic Vehicles’ Allan Whiting had a tour of the trucks with the HTA’s John Dodd and here is a photographic record of the event.



This 1975 International D1310 was once the Big Rig of the Dance Family and spent most of its working life picking up and delivering goods to and from Brisbane.

Inbound freight was mainly bagged flour to the Dance Bakeries in Marburg and Gatton, and fresh bread outbound.

After 57 years on the job the Inter’ was retired in 2002. It was resurrected in 2016 and refreshed, but not restored, keeping it as original as possible.



This 1971 Mercedes-Benz 1418LS was powered by a 180hp engine, driving through a five-speed transmission to a two-speed rear diff. Top speed was 82km/h.

The truck was found in a paddock at Jimboomba and moved to Greeenbank for restoration. Within a box of spare generator parts was the original manual – rare as rocking horse poo.

Bull bar detail led researchers to the original owner, who said that the truck originally worked as a water truck and that engine had been replaced with a new unit.

Resto work was done over a 12-month period by Garry, Trevor and Phyllis and the sign writing was done at the Beenleigh Show.



‘Roxanne’ was the second vehicle hot-rodded and restored by NTI, and the winner was drawn at the BTS in 2019.

The ‘Jailbar’ Ford was rebuilt by Don Gear’s team, with help from Royan Truck & Trailer Repairs, Annvid Auto Upholsterers & Marine Trimmers, PPG Paints, Hy-Way Truck Accessories, Battery World, Isuzu Trucks and TEKNO.



This 1970 International Loadstar was purchased by the Victorian Sate Electricity Commission to cart lamp posts from Webb Dock to the VEC yard at Port Melbourne.

The truck passed through two different owners, doing local work around Melbourne. A tipper body had been fitted by the time B & S Jennison bought the truck in 2017. It was a in a sorry state, with successive layers of ‘bog’ over rust repairs.

Restoration took 18 months and included a new roof, sills and door bottoms. It was retuned to its original prime mover status as part of the refit.



This 3/4-ton International AR110 ute was bought new in 1954 by the Ballone Shire Council, in Queensland, for duties at the power station in St Geaoge.

After that period it was owned by D K & R E Buchanan Earthmoving, before the current owner bought it in 2012.

Under the bonnet is a 220 International Silver Diamond engine and the three-speed transmission is stirred by a column shift lever.



This Chevrolet Loadmaster was bought new in 1948, for £799 ($1600). A Canadian-built vehicle, it was powered by a Lend Lease 216 engine.

This 1100 model was manufactured on a 161-inch wheelbase and rated at three tons payload capacity. Its seven-ton-capacity underbody hoist was fitted from new and is still in good operating condition.

It was restored in 2013-17 and served as the restorer’s wedding car.



The 1975 Bedford KMR/XT5 was discovered in very poor condition in 2008 and underwent a full two-year restoration.

Work included full cab refurbishment inside and out; new radiator; engine rebuild; new clutch; new brakes and reconditioned power steering.

The noise (and some power) came from this 4V53 Detroit Diesel two-stroke engine.



These Bedford models were assembled in Australia by GMH. Petrol V8-powered models had the engine side covers wedged open permanently, to aid engine cooling.



They don’t come much rarer than this Mack H673 ST semi-bonneted prime mover. Two such trucks – chassis numbers 1570 and 1574 – were imported to Australia by Antill Ranger & Co in 1962.

Both were left hand drive and powered by the first turbocharged Thermodyne engine – the ENDT-673.

The trucks ran between Sydney and Adelaide, clocking up an average 4000 miles every week. In 1966, chassis number 1570 was scrapped, but 1574 survives today.

In 1966 it was purchased by Frank Fleming & Sons of Brisbane, with 700,000 miles on its odometer. It was converted to right hand drive and used for hauling earthmoving equipment.

It was restored in the mid-1980s and put on display at the Queensland Transport Museum in Gatton. In April 2015 it was purchased by R &J Sims.



This International 3070B was released in 1978 and powered by a Cummins VT-903, V8 turbocharged diesel. It had a Jake Brake and a 15-speed direct-drive Eaton Roadranger transmission.

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