Dia­mantina King re­turns to Win­ton

A well-trav­elled iconic Atkin­son from the late 1970s has been lo­cated, restored and is now a mu­seum piece in out­back Queens­land

Owner Driver - - The Goods - – Col Jack­son

ONE OF the big­gest trucks to roll off the In­ter­na­tional Har­vester assem­bly line in Mel­bourne has been restored to its for­mer glory and again stands proud within Win­ton’s Dia­mantina Her­itage Truck and Ma­chin­ery Mu­seum.

Roy and Beryl Shaw pur­chased three of the Atkin­sons and in­di­vid­u­ally named them ‘Dia­mantina King’, ‘Woolly Buf­falo’ and ‘Dear One’. The lat­ter name re­lated to how dear the trucks were be­com­ing to buy.

The ‘King’ was orig­i­nally owned by Roy and Beryl Shaw (Shaw’s Trans­port, 1930-1980), and when pur­chased in 1978, cost $92,768.

Pow­ered by an 8V92T GM en­gine with 14-speed Spicer trans­mis­sion and Ea­ton dual range dif­fer­en­tials, the truck car­ried three-and-a-half K-wag­ons of cat­tle – about 79 head when hooked-up in a road train com­bi­na­tion pulling two trail­ers, and was used for haul­ing beef cat­tle out of the Dia­mantina River coun­try to the Win­ton Rail­head.

Roy sold his truck­ing busi­ness in 1981, and this par­tic­u­lar truck was sold to McIver Live­stock Trans­port. The liv­ery changed to that of the new owner, but the truck’s iconic name re­mained.

The Dia­mantina King was again sold in 1984 to Neil and Jan Arm­strong, of Comet Downs Sta­tion, Cen­tral Queens­land, and used to cart cat­tle and grain to lo­cal rail­heads.

It was fi­nally re­tired and parked in a shed in 2011.

The truck was lo­cated in 2013 by truckie Matty Harkin and was kindly do­nated by the Arm­strong fam­ily to the Win­ton Truck Mu­seum, and driven back to Win­ton by Matty Harkin and Barry Harmsworth.

In Oc­to­ber the fully-restored Shaw’s Trans­port 8x4 Atkin­son live­stock prime-mover was wel­comed back into the Dia­mantina Her­itage Truck and Ma­chin­ery Mu­seum, with many lo­cals hail­ing its re­turn.

Over the past years, the mu­seum com­mit­tee have been rais­ing much-needed funds for the restora­tion of the truck, and its re­turn will now will en­able truck­ies who knew Roy to rem­i­nisce about his con­tri­bu­tion to the truck­ing in­dus­try, which spanned for 60 years.

The Win­ton Truck Mu­seum com­mit­tee has paid trib­ute to those busi­nesses and en­ti­ties who were in­volved in its restora­tion.

Th­ese in­cluded Pen­gelly Truck and Trailer (Toowoomba) for the restora­tion of the truck back to pris­tine con­di­tion; Can­non Trail­ers, and es­pe­cially the con­tri­bu­tion of Mick Bray, for the restora­tion of the body and stock crate; and Bill Bas­kett and Darby Sullivan for their part in over­see­ing the process of the restora­tion in Toowoomba.

The com­mit­tee was also ap­pre­cia­tive of Matty Harkin for lo­cat­ing the truck and as­sist­ing Barry Harmsworth to drive the ‘King’ back to Win­ton in 2013, and Chris Later Trans­port Bris­bane for the de­liv­ery of the iconic truck back to Win­ton.

Roy Shaw was in­ducted into the Shell Rim­ula Wall of Fame in 2013. Sadly, he passed away just two months prior to his pride and joy re­turn­ing to the mu­seum fully restored.

The restored ‘Dia­mantina King’ (above) and the Atkin­son be­fore the restora­tion (be­low)

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