‘W’ stands for love...

REUNITED: Leo Kelly with his beloved W Model.
REUNITED: Leo Kelly with his beloved W Model. Graham Harsant

He loved that truck and made sure it was something special.

"You have to live in a truck and you want it to be as nice as it possibly can be," he said.

The W Model was so nice in fact, that it took out a Rig of the Year prize in 1990.

The truck also won Truck of the Year in Perth, necessitating a trip across the Nullarbor.

"In 1992 I sold it. I bought a farm and I didn't think I would need it. I thought I'd got out of trucking. I bought an old Scania to do the odds and sods around the farm. That was a mistake but I didn't think that I would need much of a truck.

"I regretted selling the old girl. As luck - or otherwise - would have it, I started carting some stockfeed around and needed a better truck than the Scania. The world turns I found myself back into trucking. I had an Iveco Powerstar with a Cummins signature which was a good truck but I never forgot that old Kenworth."

Fast forward 22 years and Leo's son, Daniel is on Facebook.

"Hey dad! Your old W Model is on FB. It's in Adelaide."

"I couldn't help myself," said Leo.

The restored rig.
The restored rig.

Leo has taken the truck back to nearly original, including the colours that won the ROTY in 1990, Castlemaine, Penshurst and many other awards.

"The truck is original apart from the bull bar that I won as a prize at Penshurst Truck Show. The drive tyres aren't original either."

Leo has had the truck back in the stable for 15 months.

"We went right through it mechanically, as well as the body. There's new suspension under the back end and we did the bottom end of the motor up."

Leo has two other trucks - a T900 and a 604 - to do the daily grind of carting livestock and grain. He intends to keep the W in the family forever: "Because it is part of my life."

Topics:  kenworth transport truckiepride trucks

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