Ghosts re­turn: Road Trans­port Her­itage Cen­tre fundraiser

Ex­press trucks and ex­press driv­ers starred at the Aus­tralian Road Trans­port Her­itage Cen­tre fundrais­ing week­end in June. Ta­mara Whitsed trav­elled to Gunda­gai to check it out

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Two Grey Ghost Ken­worths were among about 80 trucks tak­ing part in the 2018 Sylvia’s Gap Truck Run on Sun­day, June 10.

This year, the Aus­tralian Road Trans­port Her­itage Cen­tre (ARTHC) chose ‘Ex­press Freight of Yesteryear’ as the theme of its an­nual fundrais­ing week­end at Gunda­gai, New South Wales, and en­cour­aged for­mer ex­press freight driv­ers to at­tend.

Among those who an­swered the call were Viv Ire­land, 80, Colin South­well, 74, and Ted Scarfe, 78, from the Port Mac­quarie re­gion on the NSW Cen­tral Coast. They were guest speak­ers at the ARTHC’s Satur­day night din­ner, which at­tracted al­most 200 peo­ple.

Viv, Colin and Ted all took part in the Sylvia’s Gap Road Run on Sun­day morn­ing. The event traces a no­to­ri­ous sec­tion of the old Hume High­way near Tum­b­long. Sylvia’s Gap was by­passed in 1983. It is now on pri­vate land and is usu­ally closed to the pub­lic.

Ted drove his own car along Sylvia’s Gap Road. Viv en­joyed the run from the pas­sen­ger seat of Dave Hom­burg’s 1974 Ken­worth K125. And

It’s the first time I’ve done a changeover at Sylvia’s for 39 years.

Colin re­lived his high­way days by driv­ing Mark Fitzger­ald’s 1980 W Model, which once carted ex­press freight for TNT. Colin also drove Glen Nind’s ex-TNT 1976 Ken­worth K125 on part of the run. “It’s the first time I’ve done a changeover at Sylvia’s for 39 years,” Colin says with a grin.

All three vet­eran truck­ies re­call driv­ing the fa­mous Ken­worth Grey Ghosts and were thrilled to see three of them at Gunda­gai. Colin drove Grey Ghosts on the Hume for Kwika­sair from 1973 to 1979. Ted owned an ex-Kwika­sair Grey Ghost from 1973 to 1975. And Viv drove Grey Ghosts from Bris­bane to NSW for Comet in the early 1970s.


Sev­eral Aus­tralian com­pa­nies ran slim­line Ken­worths in the 1970s, but the name ‘Grey Ghost’ only ap­plied to the K125s which were pro­duced in Ger­man Rac­ing Sil­ver at Seat­tle, USA, from 1968 to 1971, and Aus­tralian-made K125CRs pro­duced in the same colour in Ken­worth’s Bayswa­ter fac­tory from 1971 un­til mid-1976. They were used by TNT and its Comet, Kwika­sair and Hawthorn di­vi­sions.

Steve Dun­bar and his fam­ily drove two Grey Ghosts down from Pen­rith, NSW, to take part in the truck run. A diesel me­chanic, Steve says he likes the look and sound of the Grey Ghosts. His

Glen Nind’s 1976 Ken­worth K125, Steve Dun­bar’s 1973 Ken­worth K125 Grey Ghost and Mark Fitzger­ald’s ex-TNT 1980 W Model Ken­worth helped cel­e­brate Ex­press Freight of Yesteryear

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1. Colin South­well drove for Kwika­sair in the 1970s. He en­joyed trav­el­ling Sylvia’s Gap Road in Mark Fitzger­ald’s ex-TNT 1980 W Model2. Mark Fitzger­ald’s 1980 W Model once carted ex­press freight for TNT. For­mer Kwika­sair driver Colin South­well drove the W Model on the Sylvia’s Gap Truck Run3. Dave Tay­lor’s 1972 Ken­worth K125 Grey Ghost was on dis­play at the show­grounds. It is un­der restora­tion and didn’t take part in the run4. Kim Rogers and Glen Nind with Glen’s 1976 Ken­worth K125 4


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