Super makeover for ’46 Ford
A restored retro Ford Jailbar truck is buddying up with the Truck Assist-sponsored Tekno Autosports Commodore during this supercar season
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 in September when the Commodore competed in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship ‘retro round’.
Both the Commodore and the Ford sported 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, prior to the Sandown event. “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 tells Owner// Driver. “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 says, adding that it was perfect for Sandown’s retro round.
Following the Sandown 500, the Le Brocq’s Truck Assist Tekno Commodore headed off to the Bathurst 1000 before battling it out at the Gold Coast 600 on October 19 to 21, 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.
Main pic: The Truck Assist-sponsored Teckno Holden Commodore lines up against the revamped 1946 Ford JailbarAbove: The 1946 Ford truck has been customised inside and out; Truck Assist GM Alan Hasted with the customised and restored 1946 Ford JailbarLeft: Jack Le Brocq will be looking to more top 10 finishes with the Truck Assist Tekno Holden Commodore