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Clarendon Classic 2016


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Owner/Driver  /  October 28, 2016

It was a Kenworth invasion in the NSW Hawkesbury region for this year’s Clarendon Classic. Peter and Di Schlenk checked out the fine machinery on show

Despite this year’s Clarendon Classic Machinery, Truck and Hobby Rally theme promoting the theme of ‘all things European’, the event was notable for the inclusion of the Kenworth Klassic featuring 265 historical and working Kenworth trucks.

Held at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds in New South Wales on September 17 to 18, the event presented around 500 trucks, plus a large range of antique engines, tractors, motorcycles and cars.

Also on show were working steam engines, earthmoving equipment pushing up dirt and chain-sawing.

Adding further to the show’s retro feel, double decker buses were used to shuttle patrons to Richmond Station. A steam train kept the mood going, blowing its whistle, with the steam traction engines at the show to whistle back.

For those in for the long haul there was on-site camping available with clean toilets and showers.

The entire show was a smooth operation, with trucks efficiently signed in, bins regularly emptied and traffic promptly directed. It all went off without a hitch.

Early exhibitors were welcomed with a Friday evening barbecue, however trucks continued to arrive the following day.

Saturday evening’s highlight was the vintage tractor pull. A 12hp Buffalo Pits steam tractor engine made light work of towing the sled, with the ash and embers pouring out of its exhaust making for a spectacular sight.

The proceeds from gate takings at the show were being donated to the Windsor Hospital Ladies Auxiliary.

Close to home

Bernie Learson’s Kenworth W900B is a regular at truck shows around the country, although the Sydney Historical is easily the closest to his home at Cranebrook, which is around 10 minutes away.

"This is actually the closest trip we do on the whole 12-month cycle, so we don’t get much of a road trip," Bernie smiles.

He says up until recently there W900Bs in Australia, although he’s heard that on was written off.

"It’s fun having something different from what anyone has," Bernie says. He’s owned the truck for the past 10 years.

"I retired the truck last December and this is how it looked when it was working.

"We worked it pretty hard doing a lot of long distance stuff.

"It’s all set up with a built-in stove and gas bottle; one of the lockers under the bunk is the pantry."

Bernie loves old school trucks such as Ford LTLs and Road Bosses.

"They were the trucks that I grew up with.

"Today I still keep driving but at a different pace, doing the same things as before but you don’t have to fill out invoices," laughs Bernie.

Legendary Kenworth

Damien Radburn was proudly standing alongside a T950 Legend that is operated by Kerdens.

"Kerden is a combination of both mum and dad’s names – ‘Ker’ from Kerri and ‘Den’ from Dennis," Damien explains.

"We have been operating for around 15 years and now have almost 30 trucks, mainly Kenworths and Western Stars.

"We run mainly between Sydney and Melbourne but on occasion to Adelaide and Brisbane as well."

Damien was waiting for the company’s 2005 T950 to arrive. It was purchased brand new and has now done three million kilometres.

"It was due for a coat of paint and now off it goes again; it doesn’t owe us much, it was a good investment," he says.

"I drive the new T950 together with another driver and they are beautiful trucks.

"Kenworths are worth the investment when you get that sort of mileage out of them."

Weather watchers

Cornfoot Bros Earthmoving trucks are a familiar sight in Victoria, but not so much around Sydney – until this year’s Clarendon Classic.

"We decided on Wednesday evening to come up and we left the next day," Norm Cornfoot says.

"The rain has quietened things right down so it was a good chance to get up here.

"We looked up the weather and it was predicted to be sunny so up we came."

Norm brought five trucks up, two of their own small trucks, an SAR, a T900 and a T350.

"It’s great to give people the opportunity to see our gear; everyone’s got good comments about them which is really pleasing."

Norm was impressed with the facilities, the organisation and that there would be no trophies presented.

"No one will go home upset that they didn’t win a trophy," Norm remarks. "You come here to show off your trucks and there is such a range from untouched left-out-in-the-paddock jobs right through to the rebuilt custom stuff.

"All these trucks have heaps of history and it is great to catch up with like-minded people."

Weight’s right

Nick Albury’s Kenworth K104 had many of the showgoers taking a closer look.

Nick has been in the trucking game for 24 years and an owner-driver for the past 12 months, his K104 dressed up as a Ned Kelly-themed rig.

"My mum Marilyn passed away last year and I promised her on her death bed that I would lose weight and stop driving for dickheads and drive for myself," Nick says.

"I was 203kg, so I took a chance and lost 100kg and am living the dream with my own truck."

Ever since Nick bought the Kenworth he had a Ned Kelly theme in mind.

"It’s been wrapped and I’m rapt," he smiles. "Stand up for what you believe in and deliver."

Hard worker

Just over 51 years ago, Sunny Warby picked up his new B model Mack just over 51 years ago. It was registered on September 7, 1965.

"Back when I was a little fellow Anthill Ranger had a display at the showgrounds," Sunny recalls. "I was only a kid and saw these integrated cabs and I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to buy me a Mack one day’."

Sunny says he worked hard back in those days, putting down a third deposit on the truck and then paying it off over three years.

"I didn’t muck around; I used to work for every bugger," he says.

"I always had a job but on the weekends I worked and saved my money. Other blokes would be out having a good time and I would have a good time working. I loved it.

"I still enjoy what I do, I drive a truck and dog tipper and I see all these blokes around here that I’ve known for years," he smiles. "Life’s a picnic, you know."

Sunny initially subbied to Fridge Mobile and later bought his own trailer in 1967 and, like his B model, it has been restored and refurbished. It was also present at the show.

"Look at the equipment around here and stone the crows, it’s terrific," Sunny exclaims.

"It’s the appreciation and the excitement of the people as they wander around – and you can’t wish for better."

Mountain Macks

Bob Miller is a Mack man through and through and he had a couple on show at Clarendon.

Bob bought his first Mack, a B model, in 1974 and worked it on interstate with Vaughn Transport.

"I sold it to a friend in ’76 and he used it for hauling coal up around Lithgow," Bob says. "He passed away in 2005 and I bought it back from his estate. It had been in a shed for 20 years.

"The Flintstone I bought three years ago. It was originally a crane truck and we put a bunk on it, and it’s on its first outing here today.

Bob, who lives just up the hill at Valley Heights in the Blue Mountains," had a few tippers on the road during his truck driving years.

"The livery on my Macks is from the Valiant S models of the ’60s.

"Today, all of my three boys, John, Barry and James drive trucks and now I drive a school bus."

Mack in the middle

Dallas Fabian is well known around the NSW Central Coast. His business, DJF Haulage is based at Mangrove Mountain near Gosford and is owned by Dallas Fabian, running five semi-tippers. He had a Super-Liner on show at Clarendon.

"The Super-Llner is only a spare truck so when one is off the road, it takes up the slack," Dallas says, who brought along his wife Katie and children Lilian and Jackson.

"We come down here every year; it’s probably one of the better shows we do," he says.

Dallas is so keen on Macks that his children have it incorporated into their middle names.

"My daughter is Lilian Mackenzie and my son is Jackson Mackinley," Fabian says.

"I wouldn’t have any other truck and it’s great to be able to come and show them off and be appreciated by others."

Show on the road

One of the rarer trucks on display was Kirby Maxwell’s well-travelled Oshkosh.

Kirby bought the Oshkosh in 1976 and put a towing body on its back, traveling the Pacific Highway for years. In 1994, he took the body off and fitted a turntable and began heavy haulage work.

"It’s been a fabulous bit of gear, perfect for towing," Kirby says. "As a tow truck it weighed in at 23 tonne and had a 200 tonne winch behind it.

"I could load a bent-up prime mover onto its own trailer and tow it all. I never left anything behind."

Kirby sold it in 1997 and it had a few different owners. In 2010 a mate showed him a photo of an Oshkosh for sale in Adelaide that he thought was Kirby’s old truck.

"I rang the guy and he reckons it belonged to Brambles. I convinced him it was mine and the vendor wanted an arm and a leg for it compared to what I sold it for," Kirby explains.

"Anyway, we negotiated with him. I brought it home and it took us 12 months to refurbish it again.

"It cost a lot and I actually drove to Alice Springs last year."

These days Kirby spends most of his time going to historical shows. He rates Clarendon as one of the best.

Making hay

Craig Heffer’s cab-over Kenworth hauls hay and straw from Yarrawonga up to Sydney, but it had a day out for the Kenworth Classic.

"I’ll cart anything really," Craig says. "I have a B-double drop deck and we’re kept busy with the straw.

"I unloaded close to here yesterday so it was a good opportunity to come to the show."

Craig bought the Kenworth four years ago, rebuilding and refurbishing it. Unfortunately it was written off soon after completion.

"I blew a steer tyre and it just wedged into the fuel tank and went hard left into a tree," he recalls.

"It was on the road for three months before the accident.

"It took 12 months to rebuild it the first time, but only took four months the second time because I did it full time."

Craig found a brand new cab which sped up with the second rebuild.

Picture gallery - https://www.ownerdriver.com.au/events-news/1610/clarendon-classic-rally-2016

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