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
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
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