IN 1934, King George V ruled the British Empire, and Joseph Lyons was Prime Minister of Australia.
There were just over 6.5 million people living in Australia and Jim Corstorphan was born. Life was pretty good for young Jim, and it got even better in 1942 when his father purchased a 12 acre fruit orchard in Railway Road, Vermont for 1500 pounds.
Leaving school at 14, he joined his dad and became a third generation fruit hawker.
He bought his first truck in 1954 for £150 – a K5 International. That was upgraded to a Studebaker in 1955, for which he paid £400.
In 1956, he bought his first Diamond T International truck – a 522 model.
The 1950s saw a shortage of goods trucks and Jim grabbed the opportunity, working night and day.
As an independent cartage contractor and fruit agent, he bought trucks and made them work for him. His business expanded, and so did the roads he travelled. He was now carting fruit to the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne and had up to three semi-trailers of fruit per week being transported to the Sydney markets in readiness for the Monday morning trade.
A self-made man, Jim Corstorphan could rub shoulders with all. He didn’t suffer fools and had no time for ceremony.
A generous man, he was passionate about his trucks – they were his life.
He had a strong work ethic, working seven days a week. He was a great wheeler and dealer, a good businessman, down-to-earth and straightforward. Jim called a spade a spade.
He left his mark on many. For a man of few words, he had a lot to say.