Radar loves his old school rig

One proud owner tells us the story of his Ken­worth

Big Rigs - - PROFILE - Gra­ham Harsant

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

PHO­TOS: GRA­HAM HARSANT

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.

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