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This year’s Kenworth Klas­sic at­tracted 327 reg­is­tered Ken­worths, a big jump from pre­vi­ous years

The Kenworth Klas­sic has grown from an off­shoot of the an­nual Claren­don Clas­sic Ma­chin­ery Rally to a well-at­tended event in its own right. War­ren Aitken re­ports

‘IF YOU BUILD it they will come’ may be a cheesy movie quote, but Dave ‘Chappo’ Chap­man feels it’s a pretty fit­ting way to ex­plain the ori­gins of the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar Kenworth Klas­sic.

The big dif­fer­ence be­tween Kevin Cost­ner’s home build base­ball field, which in­ci­den­tally has no plan­ning per­mits, and the Kenworth Klas­sic is that I was happy to be watch­ing some of Aus­tralia’s best Ken­worths for three days straight. Can’t say the same for the Kevin Cost­ner film. You wan­der around the Hawkesbury Show­ground and it’s a huge mix of shine, stain­less and sto­ries, and that’s ex­actly what the boys be­hind the event had in mind when they first con­cocted the con­cept.

Now of­fi­cially in its fifth year, the Kenworth Klas­sic may be the brain­child of a group of four chil­dren in adults cloth­ing – Mick McCor­mack, David Chap­man, John Turner and Bruce Gunter – but it’s a suc­cess be­cause of hun­dreds of sup­port­ers, ded­i­cated

spon­sors and die hard Kenworth fa­nat­ics. Hav­ing re­ceived a lot of plan­ning and or­gan­is­ing ex­pe­ri­ence from their in­volve­ment in the ‘Haulin the Hume’ project helped light a fire for the vin­tage and clas­sic truck scene in Aus­tralia.

The boys ap­proached the Syd­ney An­tique Ma­chin­ery Club who run the Claren­don Clas­sic Ma­chin­ery Rally about putting on the Kenworth Klas­sic show along­side their yearly event. Half a decade on and now the Kenworth Klas­sic just keeps grow­ing and grow­ing.

Just for show

This year they had 327 reg­is­tered Ken­worths, up from last year’s 267. What makes the Kenworth Klas­sic dif­fer­ent from other shows, aside from the fact it is en­tirely Ken­worths, is that the or­gan­is­ers have re­mained stead­fast in their de­ci­sion to keep the whole thing judg­ing free.

“We just want the guys to come along; they should just be proud of what they’re driv­ing,” Bruce re­marks. The sys­tem works too. There is an at­mos­phere of mate­ship that thrives through­out the grounds.

As I wan­der around snap­ping a few pho­tos, en­joy­ing trucks with all the mod­ern bells and whis­tles as well as many that have ab­so­lutely no bells and whis­tles, ev­ery­one is up for a chat and a laugh. The Sun­day does see a cou­ple of awards handed

“They should just be proud of what they’re driv­ing.”

out though. Like a true blue Aussie, Bruce can’t pass up the op­por­tu­nity to pull the piss out of a cou­ple of those that turn up.

Kel and Blake Lawrence of Lawrence Trans­port were this year’s main tar­gets as they spent the past 12 months jok­ing with Bruce about the lack of tro­phies. So Bruce hap­pily pro­duced a 6ft ‘Pol­ish My Pipes’ award.

Bruce is also quick to thank their ma­jor spon­sors Gilbert and Roach Hunt­ing­wood, Kenworth Aus­tralia, Pac­car Parts Aus­tralia, Parklea Sand & Soil South Wind­sor, Elite Com­pli­ance Con­sult­ing, North­west Trucks River­stone, Ray­mar Signs Lon­don­derry and GRS Tow­ing Sup­port. The sup­port from these com­pa­nies has al­lowed the Kenworth Klas­sic to grow each year.

A ma­jor mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the show and driv­ing force be­hind the ‘throw some tyre paint on and just come along’ at­ti­tude is men­tal health. The or­gan­is­ers of the show re­alise the im­por­tance of men­tal health within our in­dus­try and want this show to be about catch­ing up with mates, for­get­ting the day-to-day stresses in­volved in our in­dus­try and re­lax­ing. I think it’s fair to say there was some pretty tall tales told through­out the week­end as well.

“There is an at­mos­phere of mate­ship that thrives through­out the grounds”

Flow on ef­fect

With the Klas­sic grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity ev­ery year and the Claren­don Clas­sic also grow­ing, the flow on ef­fect for both events is ev­i­dent. The pub­lic who used to come just for the Claren­don show are now pack­ing their sun­glasses so they can walk among the rows and rows of stun­ning Ken­worths.

What’s more, the Kenworth fans are pop­ping over to en­joy the clas­sic ve­hi­cles and ma­chin­ery of the Claren­don Clas­sic.

Kenworth has a strong un­break­able bond with the trans­port in­dus­try in Aus­tralia. Born from do­ing tough jobs in tough con­di­tions with ex­tremely tough trucks – at the Kenworth Klas­sic you re­ally get a sense of how much the KW badge has em­bed­ded it­self into our cul­ture.

So thank you very much to Mick, John, Chappo and Bruce, along with the many oth­ers in­volved in run­ning this ex­tremely ‘Klas­sic’ show.

Be­low: A great trib­ute to the late Ban­dit

Right: Ma­jor spon­sors Gilbert & Roach were kept busy all week­end kit­ting out the loyal pun­ters

Top: A clas­sic from an­other era: a Nash Met­ro­pol­i­tan in­fil­trates the showAbove L to R: Woodys Trans­port brought its stun­ning 9-0 with an amaz­ing trailer; K.S Easters turned up with three of there stun­ning KWs. From left are driv­ers Ju­nior, Dan and Travis

Above L to R: Adam Twyford brought along this stun­ning 1984 K124 as well as his son Lu­cas and an ex­tra ap­pren­tice in Con­ner Egan; Luke Dug­gan and his part­ner Ni­cole Collins rolled in in this stun­ning Wyee Trans­port T909Left: A T409 en­ters the fray with a hitch­hiker on boardBe­low left: The Wick­ham team brought down a great se­lec­tion from their Kenworth fleet

Top: Just a few of those that helped things run so smoothly left to right Dan Glover, Bruce Gunter,Dave ‘Chappo’ Chap­man, John Turner, Kristie Ford, Phil Spencer , Michael McCor­mack, Mal­com Toop and Steve Cato

Top: The Win­ston Ex­press boys from Syd­ney rolled in on Fri­day night with an im­pres­sive fleetAbove right: An­other of the spon­sors , GRS Tow­ing had a full dis­play of their ca­pa­bil­i­tiesRight: Rob Wool­ley has put some se­ri­ous time and ef­fort into this 1979 ex Ipec cabover. Rob ‘back­dated’ the truck with a mul­ti­tude of ac­ces­sories and ex­tra. The end re­sult is breath­tak­ing

Be­low: The North­west trucks fleet were the wel­com­ing com­mit­tee as the trucks rolled into reg­is­ter

Top & left: It wasn’t all ‘big boys’ toys at the Klas­sic. Amanda Her­ringe from Ner­riga brought along here im­mac­u­late 2002 T401. She wouldn’t al­low pho­tos un­til she had given it an­other wipe down, but we snuck one in any­wayAbove: Bruce Gunter awarded the ‘Pol­ish your Pipes’ tro­phy to Kel and Blake Lawrence, while Chappo en­joys the piss-take

Be­low left: Tony ‘TK’ Kent and Andy Roach found a much more com­fort­able way to get around the 300-plus trucks

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