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
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)