Smokin' Kenny

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

Deals on Wheels - - Front Page -

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.

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