Radar loves his old school rig
One proud owner tells us the story of his Kenworth
THERE’S a lot of Kenworths in Australia. And that’s an understatement!
I’ve seen some rippers in my time writing about trucks.
But occasionally there’s one that hits you smack in the face – sort of like that Fisherman’s Friend advert.
So it was thus, when I saw a 1986 W Model recently.
To be precise a Limited Edition Gold Nugget. This truck was originally owned by Alex Petross from Western Australia.
Alex had the truck built to his specifications and he spared no expense.
A 72” bunk, a VHS recorder/player, one of the first Philips in-car (or truck) mobile phones and the list goes on.
Alex put the truck on the road and then, two years later he put it in the shed and left it there.
Fast forward 17 years and now this piece of classic Kenworth history is in the hands of one Craig Maney, better known as ‘Radar’.
“The story goes that he took it off the road because the Mack Munchers used to cover it with stone chips all the time,” he said.
“The roads he used to traverse were quite narrow – which is why the truck is covered with bras.
“He just got the shits, took it off the road and put it in the shed. I bought it off him two years ago.
“Everything on the truck is original from when it was built 19 years ago. She’s only done 310,000km and obviously she drives like new.”
At this early stage of Radar’s ownership, the “W” is not a working truck and Radar is undecided as to whether it will be or not.
“At the moment it’s a caravan for me and the kids – having a full size double bed as well as a bunk in it. It’s got a fridge, a TV and of course that VHS player,” he said.
“The kids had never heard of VHS! Luckily I know a bloke who gave me a whole pile of VHS tapes. They think it’s actually kinda cool and love to show their friends. Everything about this rig is old school and that’s why I’m loving it.”
Radar is originally from Bordertown and now resides in Bendigo.
He started driving trucks when he was 17 and has spent his life either driving for himself or subbing.
“I’ve probably had a dozen of my own trucks. I used to have a 650 which actually had a 72 inch bunk on it as well,” he said.
“That’s my only claim to life – that I’ve had two 72 inch bunk trucks. The only problem with them is that instead of needing three kilometres to do a U-turn you need eight.
“There is not a rattle in this truck, not one. There is no plastic in it which is a blessing I reckon. They just don’t make ‘em like this any more.
“I actually knew about the truck when it was first built as I was doing the Perth run at the time and it got a fair bit of publicity over the Jungle Drums.
“A mate of mine told me it was for sale so I rounded up the money quick smart and was lucky enough to grab it.
“Alex, the original owner reckoned it cost the price of three houses to build back then. He said that 19 years ago the 72” bunk alone was an extra $50,000.
“I suppose they were an import item, but I really don’t know. All I know is that she’s now mine and mate, I’m in seventh heaven!”
It’s been suggested to him that the roof line should be changed but he’s adamant that that was the way the truck was built so that’s the way it’s staying. Power to you, Radar!
Radar’s kids, Shakira and Jake, are as much in love with the “W” as is dad, not that he wants them to follow him into the industry.
“It’s just not the same these days, unfortunately.”
That said, Radar believes he’ll never sell this one-off Kenworth.
“When you have something like this, how could you?” he responds.
“I’ll have my fun with her and after I’m gone the kids can toss for it.”
❝ Everything on the truck is original from when it was built 19 years ago. She’s only done 310,000km and she drives like new. — Craig ‘Radar’ Maney
ONE OF A KIND KENWORTH: Radar’s limited edition Gold Nugget is pure class.
Radar’s shy, so Shakira and Jake took centre stage.
Radar’s truck looks fantastic.
Lots to play with here.
This Gold Nugget just may be a gold investment.