Bring­ing back old glory

Wick­ham Freight Lines re­stores the orig­i­nal rig

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Jonno Colfs

MORE than 30 years af­ter it was first bought by the com­pany’s founder, Wick­ham Freight­lines has brought a piece of com­pany his­tory back into its fleet.

The orig­i­nal C500, which was tracked down af­ter a re­gret­ful sale two decades ago, was lov­ingly re­stored in a stun­ning trib­ute to founder An­gus Wick­ham.

Mr Wick­ham, who bought the rig in 1984, died in 1999.

Com­pany di­rec­tor Gra­ham Keogh said the truck was a part of the com­pany’s his­tory, which was only re­alised af­ter it was gone.

“We got rid of it in about 2002,” Mr Keogh said.

“The truck had done a few mil­lion kilo­me­tres and we needed to move her on so we could get a new one.

“We had a light­bulb mo­ment a bit later that maybe we should have held on to it. But at the time, you don’t re­ally en­vi­sion turn­ing it into a re­stored show­piece in 20 years time.”

The truck, which was mostly driven by long-time em­ployee Garth Power, was used for log­ging in Killarney and Mt Col­liery.

The truck was sold back to Brown and Hur­ley in Kyo­gle but in a stroke of good for­tune, was bought a few years later by lo­cal earth­movers.

In 2016 they were able to re­turn it to its for­mer home.

The Ken­worth, the first to sport the com­pany’s sig­na­ture colours, was com­pletely re­stored over 18 months.

Work­shop man­ager Steve Lord said the restora­tion was a team ef­fort.

“It was a ground-up re­build,” he said.

“The en­gine and gear­box were still work­ing pretty well, but we over­hauled the sus­pen­sion and back end, brakes, got rid of all the rust, com­pletely rewired and re­placed all the air lines.”

Wick­hams now plans to tour the Ken­worth to schools and shows, start­ing with the Ken­worth Klas­sic in Syd­ney.

❝light­bulb

We had a mo­ment a bit later that maybe we should have held on to it.

— Gra­ham Keogh

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIBUTED

WHAT A BEAUTY: The re­stored C500 takes pride of place at the Wick­ham head­quar­ters in War­wick.

Wick­ham staff mem­ber Mark Wal­lis works on the truck.

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