Truckstar Festival 2017

You will have noticed I’ve been very quiet since the last weekend of July. It just so happens the last weekend of July is the biggest and best truckshow (in my opinion) in Europe – Truckstar Festival. When you get off the ferry in Hoek early and have a good run up through the Netherlands to the TT Circuit at Assen. It’s taken me this long to recover in all respects, so I’m ready to share. When you arrive at the show to check in and the above new Scania pulls up along side, you know it’s going to be a good weekend! Just a note both Scania’s are top of the range for their time. Nearly 40 years apart there is a huge difference between the two, but good to see them side by side to compare. Having checked in and moved on into the oldtimer section in the pit area of the circuit, we are greeted by this DAF 3600. Newly and fully restored truck and trailer, when this is the first truck you see in the oldtimers you know it’s going to be a good weekend! I’ve never got to close to one of these very popular old DAF’s, but although the fridge trailer is now all wooden floors, plush bedrooms and a gorgeous kitchen suitable for any Michelin star chef, the interiour of the cabine was brilliant. I’d never realised there was quite so much space in the first Space Cab. It would pass as a decent twin sleeper today, let alone 30 years ago. The one thing that caught my eye was the gearstick standing in the side of the drivers footwell, not on the engine tunnel. Compared to the 3600 DAF, there were plenty of newborn DAF’s with simple but stunning paint jobs. Perhaps the big DAF cab warrants a “less is more” paint scheme?? The purple on this truck was amazing, it gave lots of different shades depending on the intermittent sun, but overall just stunning. Then further round the show truck area was another “less is more” stunner. The black was just black. If you get annoyed that you can’t get a simple straight red or green as there can be too much choice then this was the opposite. If you just was gloss black then this was it. It’s just black. A few simple accessories such as the American influenced wheel nut covers, then this truck is the ultimate definition of “less is definatley more”. One thing you notice when you get to Assen is that the Dutch are ridiculously friendly and secondly it’s a truck show. It’s not anything else, it’s trucks, owned and operated by truck people, on show for truck people. If you’ve not been, I say it every trip, you’ve got to get yourself along. I’ll leave this blog with a selection of other finds from the first few hours at the show. When you see all these trucks in the first afternoon, you know it’s going to be a good weekend! More to come another day dear readers. I’m off for a lie down. 

Norwegian Holiday Snaps

It just goes to show we are a reflection of our parents. Everyone asks where I get my obvession with trucks from and I usually say my parents, most tend to think I’m joking. To prove my point this blog is made up of the holiday photos from my parents recent maiden voyage to one of the most beautiful countries in the world…..Norway. If any proof was needed any where my parents go they usually return with some truck photos. Even staying at their best friends holiday home in southern France, my old man happily sits in the town square listening to the old V8 Scania’s heading in and out the hills and quarries en Francais! Something I have noticed about Norwegian trucks is that everyone of them is painted. Even the new white Arocs tipper above has painted plastics and a painted grille. Also (may be not quite right) quite a few are painted a single solid colour as opposed to multicolours. The DAF at the top is black with a few red highlights, the breakdown trucks are solid reds and yellow, seems to be a slight pattern. Once again I think you can see a specific Norway style!Now, the big black DAF is a bit of a beast and I’m sure it sounded a real treat but Ma and Pa set me a challenge…..Can we find the owner or driver on social media within a few days of publishing this blog?? The photo was taken in Bergen and the truck has Bergen written on the sun visor. The company name is Hagebø Transport AS, so come on someone must know the driver……

Immaculate F89 For Sale

I’ve been emailed with this immaculate 1976 Volvo F89 rigid. Yes it’s just been washed but even so it looks in good condition. The owner is still working it out in Korinthos, Greece but is looking to sell her on. I am told she is all original but you Volvo fans will tell me different. She has a drawbar coupling, which would prompt me to put her back to a drawbar with two tilt bodies to give her the real 1970’s look. 

Just imagine the trip to driver her home. Ship back from Greece and up through Italia over the Alpes and your back. While your down there you might find a trailer, in fact I haven’t asked my new Greek friend if he has a trailer to go with it. I’m loving the exhaust pipe, twin wheel rear lift and best of all the polished beer keg water container! Now get ready, you might be thinking great truck what about the price?? Well between you me and the gatepost I reckon you get it all the way back to the UK for less than £20k. The truck itself is for sale at €12,000……yes you read it right; €12,000. That’s got to be a good price and it has to head back to the UK or Northern Europe surely?! If anyone is serious and wants contact details I can happily buy you in touch. If you just want photos I have a few more I can send you.  Any takers?? 

Special Edition Trucks

What do you want in a special edition?

If you wanted one thing in a special Edition truck what would it be? Stereo system? Metallic Paint? Alloy Wheels? Top of the range engine or a choice so company bosses can still buy the most fuel efficient? Leather seats? Have a think and comment below. If someone has already answered then perhaps suggest something else. In my book of the trucks on the European market I think Volvo seem to have it about right. It seems that the Special Editions those from Gothenburg offer have minimal options to chose from. I think this is right, right? Why have a special edition if there is a load of options to choose from? Surely then it becomes a fairly normal production truck? Take the Canadian Edition Peterbilt I blogged recently, the options list on that is virtually none existent as it comes with all the bells and whistles and a special paint job. Where as looking back at the Scania Centurion, it was 100 hundred trucks that in the main started out as big power, newest cab but supposedly became a choice of which ever cab and which ever engine. Surely then your just buying a truck with a set of special badges? This little blog does have a purpose so all feedback and comments will be read and taken into account. 

For me it’s a couple of engine options as I don’t think it’s fair just to go billy big power. I think the physical truck itself needs to be all singing all dancing otherwise it’s not special. And finally any options such as paint need to be a minimal number, perhaps two or three choices maximum. I think the specification has to be set and the choices very limited. Now it’s over to you, the drivers and the owners are those who need to respond as your the ones who’ll spend the time and money on such a beast. Please get commenting!! 

WSi ACH Model 

One of the best retro companies in the UK for me, Aston Clinton Haulage or ACH are sadly consigned to the great truckstop in the sky. I have a close affiliation to ACH and because of that I started and still run the ACH Facebook page, seemingly with the blessing and backing of ex drivers and also owners. The idea of an ACH model truck isn’t a new one but it is one that is getting a lot closer to reality. With the expertise and persistence of Steve Bowden, the owner of Anglo Dutch Model Trucks Ltd, Steve now has permission from the Fowler family and is ready to start finalising the model. This is crunch time. The most likely model will be a 1/50 scale WSI and the most likely combination is a Volvo F12 Globetrotter with a rear bogie lift, hooked up to a blue tilt trailer, much the same as the photo above.  The main problem for Steve Bowden is knowing how many to make and also how much to sell for. They will be produced in a limited one off production run and will end up (hopefully) around the £130 mark. Steve is looking for guidance from you all to see if it’s all plausible. The truck is very likely to be a Volvo as I said, so please comment and say “yes please” if your keen and would like to get your hands on one. All feedback is likely to end up in the production of this model, so please have your say and make this model happen!