Bringing back old glory
Wickham Freight Lines restores the original rig
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.
We had a moment a bit later that maybe we should have held on to it.
— Graham Keogh
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.