THEY MADE MACKS
GREAT IN ’88
‘Kingsford Smith’ was one of 16 Mack Super-Liner II limited edition trucks released to mark Australia’s bicentenary in 1988.
Each was named after a famous Australian. They featured cruise control, colour televisions and refrigerators. These features were considered state- of-the-art luxuries back in 1988.
Named after the famous Australian aviator, the Kingsford Smith was built for Jim Ristovichis of Kyabram. Jim tells Owner// Driver he owned it for eight weeks, but gave it back to Mack because they didn’t want him to paint it in his fleet colours.
The second owner was Grant Haynes of Deniliquin. His driver Peter Clark says the Kingsford Smith only had 1200km on the clock when he first drove it from Deniliquin to Sydney.
Photos in Peter’s family album capture a time when the Kingsford Smith was barely recognisable. The aluminium wheels in Peter’s photographs are original – it was the only Bicentennial Mack not fitted with spider wheels. But the colour scheme was altered and the name Kingsford Smith was painted over.
Peter explains the back fuel tanks were removed so the truck could legally carry more milk through Marulan, but this affected the ride.
“It made it a lot rougher. It bounced in the rear end more than it did with the four tanks.”
He is happy the truck is now owned by Mack collector Tony Champion of Rockhampton, Queensland.Tony bought it from well-known Mack enthusiast Jon Kelly. One of the previous owners replaced the aluminium wheels with spider wheels which are still on the truck today.
“It looks brand-new,” Tony says. “It’s in excellent condition.”
The Kingsford Smith was originally built for Jim Ristovichis, who kept it for only eight weeks. Jim kept the nameplate and recently gave it to the truck’s new owner, Tony Champion, who has attached it to the truck. (Ristovichis is misspelt on the plate.) Photo by Bernie Champion
The Kingsford Smith has been restored and is now owned by Tony Champion of Rockhampton. Photo by Bernie Champion