Truck resto: ‘46 Ford Jail­bar re­stored for Truck As­sist

Road­side as­sis­tance brand Truck As­sist has re­stored and cus­tomised a 1946 Ford Jail­bar truck – but un­like its pre­vi­ous restora­tion pro­ject this one will be stay­ing in the com­pany’s sta­ble, Greg Bush re­ports

Deals on Wheels - - CONTENTS -

Truck As­sist, a branch of Na­tional Trans­port

In­sur­ance (NTI), has an­nounced a part­ner­ship with ris­ing Su­per­car driver Jack Le Brocq and the Te­kno Au­tosports team.

As well as spon­sor­ing Le Brocq’s Te­kno Holden Com­modore, Truck As­sist has re­stored and cus­tomised a 1946 Ford Jail­bar truck. The Ford made its first pub­lic ap­pear­ance at Sandown

on Septem­ber 14 to 16 when the Com­modore com­peted in the Vir­gin Aus­tralia Su­per­cars Cham­pi­onship ‘retro round’.

Both the Com­modore and the Ford sport the Truck As­sist em­blems as well as wear­ing the Truck As­sist orange-and-black colour scheme. NTI CEO Tony Clark an­nounced the part­ner­ship at Te­kno’s head­quar­ters at Yatala, south of Bris­bane.

“We’re de­lighted to be in­volved in this op­por­tu­nity with Te­kno,” Clark says. “It’s very ex­cit­ing for us. It’s not some­thing we’ve been in­volved in be­fore.”

Ac­cord­ing to Alan Hasted, gen­eral man­ager of Truck As­sist, the 1946 Ford Jail­bar truck was an eight-month restora­tion and cus­tomi­sa­tion pro­ject.

How­ever, un­like NTI’s pre­vi­ous re­build, the 1946 In­ter­na­tional K5 which was raf­fled off to raise money for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease last year, the Ford will be stay­ing in the NTI sta­ble.

“The first one we did, we kept it re­ally orig­i­nal,” Hasted says. “But it was re­ally ac­tu­ally hard to drive be­cause it had a crash box in it, brakes were 1940s’ brakes, so we thought we’d build some­thing that any­body could hop in and drive be­cause we’re go­ing to keep this and have it as a promo ve­hi­cle.”

De­spite its retro ap­pear­ance, the old Ford has all the mod cons of a mod­ern-day ve­hi­cle. Parts from a 2017 Isuzu NPR were engi­neered into the old chas­sis, and the cab and bon­net were split and widened by 300mm.

“It’s ba­si­cally got an Isuzu driv­e­train – engine, gear­box and sus­pen­sion,” Hasted con­tin­ues. “It’s a 5.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylin­der, with a six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

“It’s got ABS, disc brakes, sta­bil­ity con­trol, power steer­ing … all those things that were not in the orig­i­nal 1946 Jail­bar. It’s pretty much got ev­ery­thing that opens and shuts in it.

“Any­one can pretty well just hop in and drive it. I’ve had a go and it drives quite nice,” Hasted adds.

“It’s per­fect for the retro round at Sandown.” As well as the Sandown 500, the Le Brocq’s Truck As­sist Te­kno Com­modore will com­pete in the up­com­ing Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast

600, with team owner Jonathan Webb shar­ing driv­ing du­ties.

“Our Truck As­sist Com­modore looks fan­tas­tic in orange and black, and Jonathan and I are look­ing for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our progress to­ward the front of the field,” Le Brocq says.

It’s got ABS, disc brakes, sta­bil­ity con­trol, power steer­ing … all those things that were not in the orig­i­nal 1946 Jail­bar.

Truck As­sist GM Alan Hasted with the cus­tomised and re­stored 1946 Ford Jail­bar

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