Aussie pride all over the bonnet
A SENSE of Aussie pride and a crash led Yatala's Murray Strike to create a beautiful work of art for his Kenworth T401 using the Australian flag.
Strike owns transport business Fimur Pty Ltd and contracts to Trans Pacific carting dangerous goods from the Northern Territory down to New South Wales.
When Big Rigs asked him why he got the flag airbrushed onto his bonnet, Strike told us it was a funny story.
He bought the Kenworth just over 10 years ago and only after having it for a few months disaster struck.
"I was slowly buying up new parts for her and I planned to have everything to do the truck up from scratch," he said.
"I was asleep in it out the back of the airport. A security guard from the Port of Brisbane fell asleep at the wheel and ran into me."
The vehicle struck the truck on the right hand side near the fuel tank.
Strike was facing a lot of repairs even to the drive axles and so decided to hook in and do all the work.
Royans Truck Repairs at Wacol repaired the truck, it originally had a round 401 bonnet but he wanted a different look and tracked down a T404ST square bonnet.
"Before the accident I wanted something to stand out a little bit," he said.
"I looked everywhere for a T404 ST bonnet."
Strike found his ST on a wreck at Wagga, it had been involved in a roll over and needed repair on the left hand side guard.
After the repairs he took the truck to Kool Kustom Paint at Sandgate and air-brusher Brett Picard came up with the idea to have the flag look like it was bursting from the bonnet.
The truck also features a Cat sign on the left guard, which was to originally go under the bonnet, but Picard thought the left side looked a bit bare.
Strike said Picard then told him it needed something else.
So he told him to do what he wanted, as long as it still had the flag. After thinking about it for a while Strike came back to Picard. "I thought I can't stand flames. He said it was too late."
Picard had already airbrushed blue flames onto the bonnet. But Strike said he was "real happy" with the final product.
All up it cost Strike $70,000 to do up the 14-year-old truck, which has travelled 2.2 million kilometres.
"Myself and mates put a lot of time into getting it back on the road."
All the work has paid off, on the truck's first trip to Sydney it grabbed a lot of attention.
This Australia Day Strike washed the truck and went jetskiing with his wife Fiona and four kids.
After 20 years driving he now has two drivers that see the truck working 24/7, but he still does the occasional trip.
He thanked his wife for putting up with all the stress of rebuilding the truck and Brown and Hurley Yatalla for helping with the parts.
"It was one headache after another. But worth doing," he said.