A 1977 Pontiac TransAm and 1976 W925 Kenworth done out in the Smokey and the Bandit theme stole the show at this year’s Alexandra Truck Rod & Ute event. Peter Schlenk reports
Larsen’s Truck Sales’ W925 Kenworth and Pontiac TransAm done out in the Smokey & the Bandit theme were the stars of this year’s Alexandra Truck Rod & Ute Show
This year’s Alexandra Truck Rod & Ute Show featured some pretty impressive machines, but one pair grabbed most of the attention: a Pontiac TransAm and a W925 Kenworth done out in the Smokey and the Bandit theme.
The W925 was one of nine trucks on show at Larsen’s Truck Sales stand. Larsen’s is the major sponsor of the event.
“Every year we do a different show truck and then we sell it, and I thought it was a bit iconic because I have the TransAm as well as the truck and it worked quite well for us. It is just something different, it is eye catching and especially for a show like this. Being a major sponsor of the show, we wanted to do something different and this is different,” Dave Larsen says.
Dave bought the truck from another wholesaler and thought that it was a good original old truck, rust free and from the right era. It is a 1976 W925 and the TransAm featured in the movie was a 1977 model.
The Kenworth has a 335hp Cummins upfront coupled with a 15-speed Road Ranger. It is a well specced truck and Dave is hoping that someone will fall in love with it and give it a great home.
Larsen’s Truck Sales is a family company based in Dandenong in outer Melbourne with Dave’s wife Allyson running the office and both sons salesman.
“We have a little truck yard with 40-50 trucks in stock, it’s a family business. We are in the process of opening up a chrome accessory shop
Being a major sponsor of the show, we wanted to do something different and this is different.
that my daughter Taylah will run, so it’s a family business,” he says.
Dave has been involved in trucks his entire life. His father was in trucks as was his father, so it is now the third and fourth generations to be involved in transport.
“I drove trucks interstate for a while and I am a diesel mechanic by trade, so trucks are in the blood,” he says. While Dave is the front man, he is quick to acknowledge that he has built up some great relationships over the years, especially with his suppliers.
“I want to thank those who helped transform the W925. It was purchased 12 months ago and we have spent in excess of $100k on that truck. Andrew from TransMatt was the main organiser who put it all together; while Shane from TDS Transport did the mechanical work.
“Ray from Prime Finishing painted it so it has been a joint effort by everybody and a good advertisement for us. I’m looking forward to seeing it sold,” he says.
TDS went through the truck from front to back and rebuilt what needed to be done, including a new clutch. Dave has had his trucks painted by Prime Finishing for 23 years. Andrew the detailer has been a friend for 20 years.
“I have been friends with these people for a long time. That’s the same with selling trucks; making sure that you do the right thing. It is a big industry but a very small world. Someone will phone me up after 10 years and want to purchase a truck and if you haven’t screwed them over, you will always sell them a second one. Happy customers are repeat customers. You can’t please them all but we have a fairly big return customer base,” he says.
For many selling second-hand trucks wouldn’t be an easy job, but it is one Dave enjoys and now his two sons, Bradley, 19, and Jake, 22, are following in their father’s steps.
“Trucking is an aging industry and it’s good to see young blokes involved. I have done this for a long time and it is something that I have learnt to do well and I find it is an easy job but others probably wouldn’t. There is enormous risk involved. We run a $4-5 million stock deck so you need to make sure that it turns over,” he says.
For Dave, the biggest and best part of the business is the involvement with people, the customers without whom he wouldn’t have a business.
“There are some absolutely great people in this industry and nearly all are out there having a go and giving it their best shot. It’s why I like coming up here, Andrew Embling and his crew are fantastic people and we support a good cause,” he says.
Dave expected the Smokey and the Bandit W925 would be get some attention but was surprised when it racked up 1,300 likes on its Facebook page.
“It certainly appeals to a lot of different people. People my age, in our 50s, recognise it and my boys do too, and so it is a very iconic thing,” he says.
It was purchased 12 months ago and we have spent in excess of $100k on that truck.
2003 Mack CH Tipper. + 2004 Borcat Superdog
trailer. 33T Payload • NSW 0427 258 131 $77,000 1985 Mack Super Liner. 200T GCM. RR with Spicer joey box. Exc cond • VIC 0438 616 077 $100,000 2008 Western Star FX4800. 550+ Cummins
ISX-EGR, 18 spd man • NSW 0412 555 721 $79,990
Above: The W925 is powered by a 335hp Cummins coupled with a 15-speed Road Ranger.