Above: Viv Ireland spoke about his express years with Hawthorn Taxi Trucks Above right: Dave Homburg took his 1974 Kenworth K125 on the Sylvia’s Gap Truck Run. Retired express driver Viv Ireland was in the passenger seat Retired interstate truck driver Viv Ireland from the Central Coast, NSW, reminisced about his early trucking years while enjoying Sylvia’s Gap Truck Run.
The 80-year-old was a passenger in Dave Homburg’s 1974 Kenworth K125. “It was very interesting to realise the narrowness of the road,” Viv says. He spent most of his career north of Sydney but remembers occasionally travelling the Sylvia’s Gap section of the old Hume Highway back in the 1960s and 1970s.
Viv joined the Army in 1956. “Part of my job was driving trucks of all various sizes.” One night he hitchhiked from Puckapunyal to Sydney and a truckie let Viv drive the truck for a while. “From that time on, I was hooked.” So Viv left the Army in 1962 and spent the next 50 years driving interstate.
From 1968 to 1970, he travelled between Brisbane and Sydney in Hawthorn Taxi Trucks’ Internationals and Dodges. “So I was on the road six nights a week, via the Putty.
“I think there was an aura about driving Grey Ghosts,” says Viv, remembering his time driving the famous trucks for Comet. “They were a very fast truck and quite exciting to drive.”
Viv was one of the guest speakers at the ARTHC dinner and shared cat-and-mouse stories about evading authorities during his years with Hawthorn Taxi Trucks.
A 400 Cummins powers Colin Price’s 1975 White 4000 along Sylvia’s Gap Road