Truck Restoration Projects
Some restored trucks at MOVE
The Museum of Vehicle Evolution (MOVE) is one of the largest regional museums of collectibles in Australia and is unique for its variety.
Formerly the Shepparton Motor Museum and Collectibles venue, the site has doubled in size and was renamed MOVE in late-2021.
MOVE is a not-for-profit organisation that embraces several important automotive and non-automotive collections, including legends of the Goulburn Valley Trucking industry.
Here are some exhibit highlights (in no particular order):
In 1937, the Sali family established an orchard in Shepparton. The eldest son, Alan, began hauling fruit to Melbourne’s Victoria market in 1946. He was joined in 1956 by younger brother, Sam and S Sali and Sons Transport was formed.
Alan was passionate about looking after family and employees, while, at the same time, providing the highest standards of customer service, in the safest manner possible.
Sam has been heavily involved with and works tirelessly with many community and industry associations.
Sixty-six years later, the company operates a fleet of modern trucks and, together with its sub-contractors, services a loyal customer base across the eastern seaboard.
The company’s historic slogan is: “Our customers pay our wages.”
Sali’s Diamond T
1970 ACCO C1600
Nick-named the ‘butterbox’ for obvious reasons, the ACCO was International Trucks Australia’s staple product from the early 1960s until 2019. (We’ve recorded the marque’s history in the Historic Vehicles’ Truck Brands section.)
This particular ACCO was purchased new in 1970 by Bill and Chris Rendevski from dealer, Werribee International. Specs included an 89bhp International 4.6-litre D282 diesel and an overdrive transmission.
Its job was to haul Rendevski-grown fruit to the Melbourne Wholesale Markets and to the Coles Distribution Centre.
1965 International R200
The R200, 201 and 202 Standard rigid truck models, with 26,000-30,000lb GVM, were introduced in the early 1950s, along with the 55,000lb GCM R205 Roadliner prime mover.
Standards were powered by the 154bhp RD406 engine and the Roadliner, by the 162bhp RD450 engine. Those ratings were increased to 175bhp and 182bhp, respectively, in 1955. The RD450 was later optional in the Standard models and the 212bhp RD501 was available in the Roadliner.
Standards picked up GVM increases to 32,000lb in 1960, 34,000lb in 1962 and 35,000lb in 1964.
The RD406, RD450 and RD501 were given higher compressions ratios in 1965, taking outputs to 193bhp, 199bhp and 215bhp, respectively.
The R200 series was replaced by the Fleetstar 1900.
Ken Keating bought this truck second-hand and used it in the Shepparton area, doing pickups and deliveries with trailers that linehaul prime movers took to and from Melbourne.
His refurbishment of the truck has given it better than factory-original finish!
1974 Mercedes-Benz LS1418
Gerard Hicks was a company driver for seven years, before buying this 1974 Mercedes-Benz LS1418 from Stilwell Trucks in Campbellfield, Melbourne, for $9000.
With a second-hand McGrath tandem-axle trailer behind it the ‘Benz hauled general freight between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
After three years Gerard Hicks moved up to a 6×4 International Transtar and sold the 1418 to Frank Sorraghan of Arcadia.
In 2009, Gerard bought the truck back from Frank, to give it a full ground-up restoration.
With the help of Shaun Scarlett at Mercedes-Benz Laverton, Melbourne, Gerard sourced new parts, while Wayne at Somerton Smash Repairs, Bryan Anderson from Wallan and Bobby Rankin from Lockington contributed to the resto.
1973 Kenworth S2
LWK 659 was the first tandem-drive prime mover and the fourth truck bought by Ian Cootes, for the then princely sum of $30,611. Its 220bhp output came from a GM6V71 two-stroke diesel.
The Kenny spent most of its working life hauling spread-tandem tank trailers, delivering fuel to metropolitan and rural service stations for BP.
Ian Cootes drove this truck himself, before concentrating on admin duties. His sons, Paul and Geoff, used to spend Saturdays helping their dad deliver fuel in the S2. On Sundays they’d help wash the five-strong fledgling Cootes fleet of 1977.
In 1996, Paul Cootes located the truck and bought it from its second owner. Without Ian’s knowledge the vehicle was restored in secret, including a rebuild of the original ‘Jimmy’ diesel.
The truck was driven to a 35th-business-anniversary function by Keith Brown – Ian Cootes’ first employed driver – and presented to Ian Cootes.
1986 Kenworth W925
Gerard Hicks’ second truck exhibit at MOVE is this brilliant red W Model Kenworth. Some seven years and two additional trucks after the ‘Benz LS1418, Gerard left Shepparton East for Sydney in his brand new Kenworth W925 and reckoned it felt like driving a limousine.
The truck was purchased from Graham Thomson Motors and had an advanced specification; Caterpillar 3406B engine, 18-speed Eaton Roadranger transmission, 36-inch, high-rise sleeper cab and Keith bullbar.
At a time when spider-hubs were still the industry standard, Gerard’s truck sported Budd aluminium wheels. He imported some custom truck parts as well from the USA.
The W Model hauled Pirelli cable around Australia, but sold it when he moved to Melbourne to expand his business.
In 2013, Gerard tracked the Kenny down to Western Australia, where he found that it had been modified with a wheelbase extension and a larger bunk. Fortunately, its rare Budd wheels and Keith bulbar were still fitted.
Then began a three-year resto, done by Klos Brothers, Corio. The rebuild included engine, transmission and diff reconditioning, and many parts were remanufactured or replaced.
1954 Foden FG
This Foden FG was purchased in 1954 by J G Hennessy of Chatswood, NSW and hauled gravel from the company’s quarry throughout NSW. It had a tipper body and was powered by a 6LW Gardner diesel, with a four-speed main gearbox and three-speed ‘joey’ box.
It was downgraded to quarry work in 1962 and was sold to P R Roberts of Penrith, NSW, in 1965, who converted it to a prime mover and replaced the 6LW with a more powerful 6LX engine.
The Foden spent the next 19 years hauling Rocla concrete products and was then refitted with a tipper body and the 6LW engine in 1984. It did quarry work until 1993.
The truck’s current owner purchased it and began restoration in 1997.