Truck revamp wins people’s choice
It has been one long trip for Graham Sheldrake’s Kenworth haulage truck which won People’s Choice at the Kenworth gathering.
Owner of Tokoroa’s G J Sheldrake Ltd. Logging company entered his restored 30-year-old Kenworth truck in Kenworth’s 50th anniversary held in Mount Maunganui.
It is part of Sheldrake’s original fleet which he bought in 1984.
But it has spent 25 years with various companies across the North Island.
‘‘We had always kept an eye on it, every time we saw it ... we joked about buying it back.’’
That joke was taken seriously when it was offered back to him last year.
Despite its age, the truck was still in ‘‘good nick’’ and has completed a few jobs since its return.
In September last year, South Waikato Auto Transformation Ltd. owner Richard Banfield took on the truck as a restoration project.
‘‘I stripped all the cab and bonnet ... I pulled the cab out of the chassis and it was just a bare cab and bonnet,’’ Banfield said.
As a one-man company he did the majority of the work on the old truck within seven months.
The end result was obviously a show stopper but it was never Sheldrake’s intention to enter it into any competition.
‘‘I’m not really a showy person, I just like to do my business.’’
However Banfield was ‘‘ blown away’’ that his work had been recognised as one of the best against 300 other trucks.
The pair agreed that one of the truck’s best features was the fact it was still in working condition.
‘‘Other trucks at the show were gleaming and they’ll never do another days work again,’’ Banfield said.
The prize was a three day trip to the Kenworth factory in Melbourne.
And because Sheldrake had already been a few times beforehand, he decided to give the prize to his son and Banfield.
‘‘I’ve never been anywhere like that ... that’s just something you never get to do as a panelbeater.’’
‘‘Considering I’ve spent all my life pulling them apart, it was interesting to see how they are put together.’’
History restored: Panel beater Richard Banfield, back, restored Graham Sheldrake’s 30-year old Kenworth truck and won People’s Choice at the Kenworth 50th anniversary at Mt Maunganui.