Lives on

Big Rigs - - OPERATOR PROFILE -

found only early this year.

Bill wanted the re­build to be as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble.

“When the truck came to us it was in pieces, the sleeper was off, bon­net pulled off, it had been parked up for a cou­ple of years. We stripped the chas­sis and cut ev­ery­thing back, tak­ing it down to the very last not and bolt,” Tony told Big Rigs.

Torque­power had pre­vi­ously re­built the en­gine, the trans­mis­sion was re­built and the en­tire driv­e­line re­newed.

The ra­di­a­tor was sent to Dalby Ra­di­a­tors for re­con­struc­tion, all the cab rust was cut out and the bon­net fi­bre glassed at ReCar.

The cab was re-trimmed, the sleeper gut­ted and cut back to bare me­tal.

Com­pletely re­built, the sleeper was re­assem­bled onto the chas­sis and the open­ing into the sleeper en­larged.

Some will re­mem­ber that back in the 1970s, ac­cess to the sleeper in many trucks was through the back win­dow, with a con­certina fit­ting be­tween the truck cab and the sleeper that some­times kept out the rain.

It helped if driv­ers in those days were a cross be­tween a gym­nast and con­tor­tion­ist just to get to bed.

As a nod to mod­ern times and a more com­fort­able life on the road, a rooftop air-con­di­tioner has been fit­ted, cer­tainly not part of the kit back in the 1970s.

The orig­i­nal fuel tanks were kept, re­paired and pol­ished.

When asked about the big­gest chal­lenge in the re­build­ing of the old White, Tony said “keep­ing the truck as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble, which was Bill’s wish, and get­ting orig­i­nal parts”.

A sec­ond White was pur­chased by the re­builders to be used as spare parts.

This al­lowed the in­ter­nal cab com­po­nents and dash to be as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble.

Tony said Bill Power would call in ev­ery now and then to see how things were go­ing “and then we wouldn’t see him for another six months”.

So the ReCar crew had the time and space to make the re­build­ing of the Road Boss a labour of love.

What’s the truck go­ing to be used for now?

“He tells me he’s not go­ing to use it for any­thing,” Tony said.

❝The

big­gest chal­lenge was keep­ing the truck as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble and get­ting orig­i­nal parts...

“Not go­ing to put it to work tow­ing work trail­ers.

“I think the re­build­ing of the truck is a ma­jor pas­sion for Bill.”

Tony is pretty sure the Pow­ers will take the truck to re­unions where they can ap­pre­ci­ate their homage to his­tory and par­tic­u­larly their own past.

Tony was quick to point out how sen­si­tive Bill is to how the Road Boss is treated.

“He doesn’t even like it be­ing driven in the rain.”

We were walk­ing to­wards the Road Boss and, al­most as a whim­si­cal aside, Tony said “the paint job: it is metic­u­lous – not a drop of paint on the chas­sis or hoses. It is as if the truck just drove off the show­room floor”.

PHO­TOS: KIRSTIN PAYNE

FOUR YEARS: Tony McDon­ald, Brisbane ReCar man­ager.

In­te­rior trim was made as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble by ‘rob­bing’ parts from a sec­ond White.

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