Pen­rith’s Mu­seum of Fire is an ideal venue for out­door events and its grassy sur­rounds again proved to be per­fect for the 2018 Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show.

Owner Driver - - Contents #306 - Greg Bush writes

The grassy sur­rounds of Pen­rith’s Mu­seum of Fire again proved per­fect for the 2018 Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show

EVENTS SOLELY ded­i­cated to trucks from decades past are en­joy­ing a growth pe­riod. Their promi­nence has in­creased to the point where they’re close to out­num­ber­ing the tra­di­tional show and shine events. “I think it’s the last fron­tier of col­lect­ing,” Pen­rith Mu­seum of Fire CEO Mark White says. “Most of your old cars and rare cars have been taken up, but there’s al­ways an old Bed­ford in ev­ery pad­dock in Aus­tralia.” The Mu­seum of Fire is home to the an­nual Pen­rith Work­ing Truck Show. How­ever, it’s in May when the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles of the past have their day in the sun at the mu­seum.

On May 27, the mu­seum cel­e­brated its eighth an­nual Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show. And yes, there were a few old Bed­fords on dis­play. There are usu­ally a few vin­tage trucks present at the Work­ing Truck Show each March, but their grow­ing at­ten­dance meant newer rigs were miss­ing out on a spot, hence the need for two sep­a­rate shows.

“We had to ta­per it out of our big one [Work­ing Truck Show] be­cause we were get­ting so many vin­tage trucks and we were get­ting more re­quests for the big­ger trucks.

“We couldn’t have the lux­ury of in­creas­ing our vin­tage ones at the work­ing show, so we split it into two. So we’re ba­si­cally run­ning two shows; one for vin­tage and one for work­ing.”

Mark says it’s not un­com­mon for trans­port com­pa­nies to have a his­toric truck as a re­minder of their her­itage.

Cam­sons’ re­fur­bished Ken­worth was an ex­am­ple of that; the com­pany also show­ing off a spot­less 1928 Chevro­let Series LP one-ton­ner.

Not to be out­done, Char­lie Grima had three trucks on show – a 1949 Ford pick-up and two In­ter­na­tional 3070s, one

“There’s al­ways an old Bed­ford in ev­ery pad­dock in Aus­tralia.”

of which was done up, and the other left as is – for now, any­way. Char­lie, who was at the show with his grand­son Har­ri­son, op­er­ates GrimTrans based in nearby Mars­den Park.

“He’s truck mad,” Char­lie says of the young­ster. “I have to hide the keys; he knows every­thing.”

Char­lie found the old Ford at Crook­well, north of Goul­burn. It had been sit­ting in the shed for 40 years.

“It was an ex-army truck, and I turned it into a civil­ian,” Char­lie ex­plains. “I re­stored it from the ground up; did the whole lot on it.”

He also went to work on the first 3070 In­ter­na­tional, which he found in Leon­gatha, Vic­to­ria. ”It had a tip­per body on it. I drove it home and we did it all up, a full restora­tion.”

As for the newly ac­quired sec­ond In­ter­na­tional, Char­lie is in two minds.

“I think it’s the last fron­tier of col­lect­ing.”

“I don’t know yet,” he says. “Some peo­ple tell me to leave it the way it is, but I like to have every­thing shiny.”

How­ever, it does ap­pear to be in rea­son­able con­di­tion, pos­si­bly due to only have three own­ers.

It started out in the south-west Queens­land town of St Ge­orge, be­fore be­ing sold to its sec­ond owner based in Gat­ton. It’s been in Char­lie’s hands for the past 18 months. Although he even­tu­ally bought Ken­worths, the cab-over In­ter­na­tion­als are a re­minder of his early years in trans­port. But restor­ing old In­ters wasn’t some­thing he ini­tially con­sid­ered.

“One day my son said, ‘why don’t you do an In­ter­na­tional up?’.” Char­lie’s re­ply was “they rust a lot”.

How­ever, Char­lie and his In­ter­na­tion­als have now be­come prom­i­nent on the show cir­cuit, es­pe­cially those held at the Mu­seum of Fire. He’s also been as far south as Alexan­dra in Vic­to­ria and up to Wau­chope for the Yes­ter­year Truck and Ma­chin­ery Show. Closer to home he’s a reg­u­lar at the Claren­don Clas­sic Rally in Septem­ber.

Trib­ute trucks

Al­lan Do­herty was another to boast a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of his­tor­i­cal trucks at the show, in­clud­ing a 1980 White Road Com­man­der. “It’s a trib­ute truck,” says the White’s driver David Slater. “It’s done up to match the first one he bought for the busi­ness back in ’72.”

An added attraction sit­ting on the White’s flatbed trailer was another trib­ute truck – a Bun­tine Road­ways B-model Mack with Haul­mark live­stock trailer.

The White has a 400 Cum­mins with 15-speed Road­ranger ’box, sit­ting on Rock­well SP40 diffs.

David, a car­pen­ter by trade, has been work­ing for Illawarrabased Do­herty Trans­port on and off for the past cou­ple of years. He’s spent the past 12 months driv­ing the White around to var­i­ous truck shows.

“It’s fully re­built, it’s got a re­built gear­box, it’s nice and tight, it falls out of one gear and drops into the gear that it needs to be in, and it’s got the over­drive 15 speed in it.

“I love it,” David adds. “I’m lucky enough to be able to drive it on the week­end.”

Hot rod car car­rier

More into cars than trucks, Alan Shut­tle­worth nev­er­the­less ar­rived at Pen­rith in a strik­ing 1987 Peter­bilt 359.

As well as be­ing a show­piece, Alan bought the Peter­bilt to trans­port his hot rods, in­clud­ing the 1953 FJ Holden sit­ting on the truck’s trailer at the show.

“I bought the Peter­bilt off Amer­i­can Used, a mob that bring old cars from Amer­ica,” he ex­plains. “And this was the first Peter­bilt they brought over. I had an idea what I wanted, and got it mod­i­fied to suit.

“I had it changed to right-hand drive, got it stretched twoand-a-half me­tres and spent a lot of money fix­ing oil leaks and air leaks. And I put a triple-4 turbo on it to give it a bit more pick-up,” he says.

Alan has driven the Peter­bilt to a few clas­sic truck events, in­clud­ing a cou­ple of runs in Haulin’ the Hume and a trip to Wau­chope in 2017 for the Yes­ter­year Truck & Ma­chin­ery Show.

He added a few kilo­me­tres to the Peter­bilt’s odome­ter dur­ing a month long trip up to Queens­land, the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and across to Western Aus­tralia. “I did 9,000km, but I’d be lucky to do 30,000 to 40,000km a year.”

The Pete has pre­vi­ously been on dis­play at Pen­rith, although Alan says that was a cou­ple of years ago. “I’ve got a lot of other things on … hot rod shows, drag rac­ing. I’ve just been to one in New Zealand. I mainly do the nos­tal­gia drags.”

Rockin’ and rollin’

It’s been longer time for Al­lan Pullen since he drove a truck into the grounds around the Mu­seum of Fire. That was in the late 1980s when he worked for Shell. The com­pany had its first B-dou­bles and wanted to show them off at the Work­ing

Truck Show. Al­lan has been around trucks all his work­ing life. He drove for Shell out of the Parramatta ter­mi­nal for more than 25 years.

“I started in the work­shop as a young bloke and went driv­ing,” he says.

How­ever, for the 2018 Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show, Al­lan drove his own 1989 T400 Ken­worth, nick­named ‘Ol’ Rock’N Roll’, mak­ing the more than four-hour trip from Temora.

“It is an orig­i­nal Bram­bles, work­ing up New­cas­tle back in the day,” he says. “A lo­cal farmer down our way had it for quite a num­ber of years, us­ing it for har­vest work and that sort of thing.

“He sold the farm prob­a­bly three years ago. I bought it 18 months ago and cleaned her all up and here I am.

“It’s not too bad a truck; it gets along all right for what I want to do, which is this sort of thing.”

Al­lan ad­mits be­ing new to the clas­sic truck show cir­cuit, hav­ing only re­tired from full-time driv­ing in the last cou­ple of years. Af­ter Pen­rith he was plan­ning on at­tend­ing the Sylvia’s Gap run, and the Dubbo Vin­tage Truck, Trac­tor and Quilt Show in Au­gust. He be­lieves if it wasn’t for events such as the Syd­ney Clas­sic, many of the old th­ese trucks would have ended up at the scrap deal­ers.

“I want to do a few shows, but prob­a­bly my ma­jor one will be 2020 and go up to Alice Springs. In the mean­while, I’ll keep pok­ing around and go to a few shows. I’ve still got a fair bit of diesel in my veins.”

As well as the truck dis­plays, or­gan­is­ers sup­plied en­ter­tain­ment for the whole fam­ily, in­clud­ing a truck pull, kids’ rides and fire-fight­ing dis­plays. In ad­di­tion, a cou­ple of clas­sic dou­ble decker buses, one from 1953 and the other from the early ’70s, fer­ried pa­trons around town for a 20-minute ride.

As for next year, the an­nual Syd­ney Clas­sic and An­tique Truck Show will take place on June 2.

“I’ve still got a fair bit of diesel in my veins.”

Top: Al­lan Pullen with his ex-Bram­bles 1989 T400 Ken­worth

Above: This 1975 W925 SAR Ken­worth has been re­stored in hon­our of Cam­sons Trans­port founder Chris Sul­tana. Photo by Brent Har­ri­son

Above left: Week­end driver David Slater takes Al­lan Do­herty’s 1980 White Road Com­man­der from show to show

Top L to R: Char­lie Borg brought along his show­piece, a 1976 Ken­worth S2; A Bun­tine Road­ways trib­ute B-model Mack hitches a ride on the back of Al­lan Do­herty’s White Road Com­man­der Above: This John ‘Dutchy’ Olden­menger-owned Volvo G88 is a 1971...

Above L to R: Alan Shut­tle­worth’s Cum­mins-pow­ered 1987 Peter­bilt – ideal for cart­ing his 1953 FJ to ral­lies; Phil Pot­ter’s Cum­mins 320-pow­ered In­ter­na­tional. Pho­tos by Brent Har­ri­son Left: Hot rod en­thu­si­ast Alan Shut­tle­worth Mid­dle: Barry...

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