ON March 26 and 27, the American Truck Historical Society and friends staged a weekend show at Lancefield, about 45 minutes north of Melbourne.
This would have to rate as one of the best displays of vintage and not-so-vintage trucks in the country. Unlike many country truck events, owners don't attend the ATHS meets to win awards (they hold another in Echuca each September) – which is just as well because there aren't any. Rather, it is about showing the public a working history of trucking. From Robbie Green's three Peterbilts – in various states of restoration – to his old man Sid's ancient Blitz, to Ray Shalders '77SAR, this show is trucking heaven.
If not one member of the public turned up, I have the feeling that these blokes wouldn't give a damn – they are so busy swapping yarns, both true and tall. Many of the vehicles displayed are trucks that once belonged to fathers or uncles, got sold and have been hunted down to bring them back into the family fold. It's gratifying to see the number of young 'uns involved as well.
A standout was the Peterbilt that wasn't! Starting life as a GMC ambulance, David Boxhall of Midway Concrete Garden Supply modified bits off an '84 Pete to create something very special. As mechanic Geoff Maloney explained, David decided to “start a project” and it sort of got out of hand.
“She's got FC50 diffs, fully air bagged with the GMC 7litre turbo diesel. We shortened the bonnet and the sleeper and ended up with a real head turner.”
The truck is used for the Variety Club Bash, as well as a rolling company advertisement. Ross Talbot turned up with his 1972 International Butterbox. Bought as a “toy”, Rosco loves the looks she gets. “She's got a 425 Nissan V8 in her now, rather than the original 671GM, along with a 15 speed overdrive and 44,000 Rockwells. She's had a few mods – like the love-heart shaped windows in the rear pillars and the leopard skin wrap-around dash. I reckon the previous owner did that as a sop to his missus.”
All in all, the organisers reckoned the attendance was over 110 trucks of all makes and vintages.
Set in the beautiful surrounds of Lancefield, this is a must for your calendar next March. Tell all your friends. They won't be disappointed.