SPIRIT OF THE HUME

A new truck show on the truck cal­en­dar at­tracted about 70 trucks to Broad­ford to cel­e­brate the Spirit of the Hume on Fe­bru­ary 18 and 19. Ta­mara Whitsed writes

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver -

THERE IS an air of relief as or­gan­is­ers of the Spirit of the Hume Truck Dis­play as­sem­ble for a photograph.

They pose near Alan Tay­lor’s 1975 In­ter­na­tional TranS­tar 4070, glad for the mild Fe­bru­ary weather and pleased a good va­ri­ety of trucks have made the jour­ney to Broad­ford, Vic­to­ria.

“For a first-up event, I think it’s go­ing re­ally well,” says Alan, who is pres­i­dent of the His­toric Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Club of Aus­tralia (HCVC).

The two-day dis­play has at­tracted al­most 90 ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing about 70 trucks.

“I like the theme: Spirit of the Hume,” Alan says. “We’re right on the Hume here, and Broad­ford is one of the towns that you orig­i­nally went through when you were run­ning up and down the Hume.”

Broad­ford was by­passed from the Hume High­way in the mid-1970s.

Many of the brands of trucks which once rum­bled through the town are rep­re­sented at the dis­play.

A few trucks date back to the 1920s – like Jeff John­ston’s 1929 Dodge.

Robert Parker from Sey­mour is pa­tiently field­ing ques­tions about his 1929 Thorny­croft A3, which he sus­pects is the only work­ing Thorny­croft A3 in Aus­tralia.

He bought the truck 10 years ago from his­toric Tongy Sta­tion at Uar­bry, New South Wales.

“I’ve never seen an­other one go­ing,” Robert says. “I’ve made lots of en­quiries but I’ve never been able to find an­other one.”

The truck is the same model that Thorny­croft do­nated for the 1929 Thorny­croft Ex­pe­di­tion, which re­cov­ered the bod­ies of two avi­a­tors who died in the Tanami desert in the Kook­aburra tragedy.

“So that par­tic­u­lar truck has got some sig­nif­i­cant his­tor­i­cal value,” Robert says.

“It’s not the truck, but it’s ex­actly the same as that truck.”

Robert pig­gy­backed the 1929 Thorny­croft to Broad­ford be­hind his 1950 Thorny­croft Trusty.

Peter Berry’s 1954 Al­bion spent its early years on the Hume, cart­ing ap­ples from a Don­caster or­chard to Syd­ney. It took Peter three years to re­store the Al­bion, and the Broad­ford dis­play is the sec­ond show it has at­tended.

PIL­BARA BUF­FALO

Bill Smith from Hi-Haul, Bayswa­ter, has driven to Broad­ford in his re­stored 1961 Ley­land Buf­falo with its orig­i­nal Al­bion en­gine.

“It only does 70km an hour flat out,” Bill says.

“It took me two-and-a-quar­ter hours to come from Bayswa­ter.”

He drove Ley­lands in the 1960s and, when he be­gan look­ing for a truck to re­store, he was ex­cited to learn about the Buf­falo which was sit­ting un­used in the Pil­bara, Western Aus­tralia. Bill pur­chased it 10 years ago and fin­ished the restora­tion in 2015. He is happy to see a good col­lec­tion of old English-badged trucks.

“Be­fore the North Amer­i­can trucks took over, ev­ery­thing was English.” But he says the English en­gi­neers failed to keep up with the Amer­i­cans, who saw the po­ten­tial of the Australian mar­ket and “swooped on it”.

Among the daz­zling Amer­i­can stars is Norm Corn­foot’s 1992 Ken­worth T900 painted in the style of the Snow­man’s Smokey and the Ban­dit truck. The rig’s trailer is even painted with the same stage coach rob­bery mu­ral that ap­pears on the trailer in the 1977 com­edy.

Many trucks are beau­ti­fully re­stored, in­clud­ing Ken Keat­ing’s In­ter­na­tional R200, which was re­stored by his son Mark Keat­ing.

Truck lovers are also in­ter­ested to see un­re­stored trucks like Jake Good­win’s Au­to­car from the mid-1970s.

Paul Thom­son’s 1970 Ford F8000 carted fire­wood on the Hume be­fore Paul bought it in 2015.

It is shin­ing so fiercely at the Broad­ford dis­play that it is hard to be­lieve Paul uses it to cart hay and cat­tle for his East Bayn­ton farm.

TWO TASSIE TRUCKS

Two trucks have trav­elled all the way from Ho­bart. Paul Sut­cliffe has brought his 1985 R Model Mack, and Ken Mid­son is stand­ing be­side his 1980 470B In­ter­na­tional TranS­tar II.

“Be­fore the North Amer­i­can trucks took over, ev­ery­thing was English”

“It may be the only right-hand drive one in the world,” sug­gests Ken, who con­verted it af­ter im­port­ing it from the United States in 2013.

Archie Baines owns one of sev­eral Macks at the show. He has named his 1964 B Model ‘Beatrice’. He also has a Dodge, an Austin A30, and three trac­tors at the show.

The Broad­ford res­i­dent is largely re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing Spirit of the Hume to the town. He en­listed An­nette Chap­man, Ash Chap­man, Clive Smith and David Bell, who were all ap­pointed to a sub­sidiary com­mit­tee of the HCVC to or­gan­ise the event.

Spirit of the Hume caters for young and old. As­pir­ing truck­ies, young Toby and Jack John­ston from Yea, are here to check out the trucks but they also en­joyed the jump­ing cas­tle. Other kids love the pony rides.

Toe-tap­ping live mu­sic has been play­ing all week­end.

The or­gan­is­ers wanted to make it easy for disabled and el­derly peo­ple to at­tend Spirit of the Hume.

Disabled toi­lets and show­ers are on site, and HCVC has made its buggy avail­able to make sure no one misses out on see­ing the trucks parked through­out the com­mon.

“They can bor­row it and go around to have a look at what they want to at the show,” Alan ex­plains.

“Or else one of our blokes will put two or three of them in and take them for a run around.”

Sey­mour Coaches has do­nated the use of a wheel­chair-ac­ces­si­ble bus for the week­end. It has been meet­ing the train at Broad­ford sta­tion and trans­port­ing peo­ple to the truck show.

Alan says Satur­day’s din­ner dance was the high­light of the week­end.

“The big thing was the din­ner that the Baines fam­ily or­gan­ised. The amount of stuff that Archie got through the sup­pli­ers for our auc­tion on the night was un­real.”

About 115 peo­ple at­tended the din­ner dance, which fea­tured live mu­sic. Na­tional Road Trans­port Hall of Fame CEO Liz Martin was an en­gag­ing guest speaker.

Alan says the sub­sidiary com­mit­tee worked hard to en­sure the in­au­gu­ral event was a suc­cess.

“They did an ex­cel­lent job. Ev­ery­thing that they or­gan­ised turned out ex­cel­lent. “You couldn’t ask for bet­ter.” Other vol­un­teers and HCVC mem­bers also con­trib­uted to the week­end’s suc­cess.

Or­gan­is­ers are keen to hold Spirit of the Hume at Broad­ford again in 2018 – prob­a­bly in Fe­bru­ary – and hope it will at­tract even more clas­sic ve­hi­cles and peo­ple next year.

“Be­fore the North Amer­i­can trucks took over, ev­ery­thing was English”

Some of the Spirit of the Hume or­gan­is­ers with Alan Tay­lor’s 1975 In­ter­na­tional TranS­tar 4070

Paul Sut­cliffe of Ho­bart with his 1985 R Model Mack, which is usu­ally housed at his mu­seum in Bridgewater, Tas­ma­nia

Na­tional Road Trans­port Hall of Fame CEO Liz Martin with Archie Baines. Liz trav­elled from Alice Springs to sup­port the new event on the truck show cal­en­dar

Robert Parker’s 1950 Thorny­croft Trusty

Robert Parker of Sey­mour sus­pects his re­stored 1929 Thorny­croft A3 could be the only work­ing Thorny­croft A3 in Aus­tralia

were the Toby and Jack John­ston of the youngest of three gen­er­a­tions Spirit of the Hume John­ston fam­ily at Truck lovers ad­mire ve­hi­cles at the in­au­gu­ral Spirit of the Hume truck dis­play

Jake Good­win from Wal­lan ar­rived in an un­re­stored Au­to­car from the 1970s

Bill Smith found his 1961 Ley­land Buf­falo at the Pil­bara 10 years ago and com­pleted the restora­tion in 2015

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