Aussie classics
Aussie classics Bob Riley

'Big Henry' a real stand out at Gatton truck show

IT WASN'T their biggest weekend but there is always something to see at the HCVAQ's annual events.

And 2018 was no different.

It was the Club's seventh year at the Gatton venue, a location that is generously provided, and supported, by the Lockyer Regional Council and a host of other sponsors.

Among the standout outs at this year's event was Joe Durre's 1971 6x4 Scammell Contractor.

The truck, possibly an ex-Department of Supply vehicle, is powered by a 335hp Cummins and is fitted with an Allison automatic gearbox.

Joe's Scammell is one of two known operational Contractors in the south east Queensland region. 

David McPhan and a good mate travelled from the Hunter Region in one of his company's Freightliners loaded with his 4x2 1970s International C1800 and 'Big Henry', his 1970s Cummins-powered 4x2 Ford 8000. 


"Big Henry", which was voted as Truck of the Show at the Wauchope Truck Show in July 2018, was a real standout. While David's Inter has been tidied up and is in top mechanical condition, its paintwork has been left pretty much as David acquired it.

It provided a ready visual comparison with "Big Henry" which has been fully restored to better than new.

Both trucks also gave a strong contrast between two popular on-the-road-trucks from different manufacturers from the same era of Aussie trucking.

A local standout was Doug Hill of Gatton's recently completed restoration of an Ergo-cabbed Leyland Mandator. Finished in BP's colours it is one of a growing number of restored Ergo-cabbed Leylands, a truck that once appeared on our roads in big numbers. 

David Hecker's 1970 671 Detroit-powered Atkinson Mark 1 was one of a number of ex fuel tanker trucks on show. David has restored and finished the Atkinson in the colours of its original owner, Ian R Cootes, who also drove it for a time in the earliest days of his tanker service fleet. 

Among the event's sponsors was motoring enthusiasts insurance specialists, Shannons.

Steve and Annette Rub
Steve and Annette Rub Bob Riley

Their Toowoomba-based regional development manager for the Darling Downs, Steve Robinson, was attending his 31st motoring event for 2018 and said he still had a few more events booked in before the end of the year.

Steve said his area covered west from Gatton to Roma, south towards the NSW border and north to the South Burnett. 

Steve and Annette Rub, regular supporters of the Gatton event, displayed their well-known R model Mack prime mover which s nick-named "Spare Dollars". 

Coupled to the Mack was a drop deck trailer which Steve and Annette had used to transport their restored 1953 Allis Chalmers EB tractor and a smaller Case tractor Steve had converted from its former role as a ride-on mower. 

The Gatton event has always been a good venue to catch with old friends and to make new friends. Standing against a backdrop of the three Macks displayed by Paul J Hailey from Laidley were, from left; Noel Sippel, Paul Hailey, Tim O'Keeffe and Ashley Burcham.  

David and Vicky Ryan with their 1965 AB150 International.
David and Vicky Ryan with their 1965 AB150 International. Bob Riley

Making its debut following a 12 month restoration was David and Vicky Ryan's 1965 AB150 International. 

They are the former Gatton-based Inter's third owners and when they acquired it 12 months earlier it only had 83,000 miles on the clock. It was quite a celebration for the couple as it was the first time the truck had been on display since 1986. 

Parked beside the Ryan's truck was Graham and Pam Beutels's 1967 International C1500 series. It has been in their family since 2012 and was previously owned by Betros Bros in Toowoomba.

Now retired, the couple formerly owned and operated Beutel's Transport out of Kalbar in the Scenic Rim region. 

With several grand parades of vehicles staged across the day and with the HCVAQ's regular commentator Graham Kirchner roving the main ring with a microphone talking to participants, there was plenty happening for everyone.

The big announcement of the 2018 event was that the 2019 HCVAQ event will include a Mack Muster to celebrate 100 years of Mack Trucks in Australia.

It will also represent an opportunity to take back the current Australian record of the most Mack trucks assembled in the one place, that's held by Victoria.

There'll be more details about that on the HCVAQ's Facebook page in coming months. 

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