Back in August I reported on a Scania 141 cab I had delivered to Canacraft in Suffolk, if you missed it you can search for it on the blog by typing “Wrecked to Riches” and hitting enter. The idea is that Howard at Canacraft is going to put HVF 520V back to its original spec of a 4×2 tractor unit rather than a 4×2 recovery chassis. I have a fair history for this particular truck, but not through any effort of my own. As many of you know I have been lucky enough to be given album after ablum of 70’s and 80’s truck photos taken by David Scarff. HVF 520V is a truck that has spent a lot of time in and around East Anglia, having had a long career at MRCT (the chicken people!) and also a career before MRCT at local haulier DA Garnham. I have managed to find from the thousands of photos in the Scarff collection this right gem of HVF 520V in full MRCT colours at Scania in Stowmarket, I did think there was one of here heading down Jubilee Way into Douvres but its only a 111 not a mighty V8.
Any way having put up “Wrecked to Riches” up on the blog, as seems to be the way, I received an email…..This time a fascinating email full of info from an ex driver of said Scania 141. Now to me this makes the blog all worth while (although these days I don’t do the blog half as much as I’d like to!), I put stuff up on here purely what interests me and now and again what might interest some of you. What I love is the romance of trucking (as GW will testify!), I like the life story of a truck and these days a trucks history/pedigree can even increase its value on the 2nd hand market. So to find pics of this truck in its original guise, to seeing it in its current sorry state, to then hopefully seeing it in a few months time, back to a tidy decent truck, makes it all worth while. The only thing that can add to the icing on any cake is a few extra sprinkles, in this case an email from ex driver Gilbert McClusky. Mr McClusky said the following on his email;
“I have just seen the picture of HVF520V in its current sorry state!! and I’m glad that somebody has rescued it for restoration. I worked at MRCT for about 10years from the early eighties to the early 90’s and if you google “HVF520V” you will find a couple of pictures I took on the Thetford road near Garboldisham in about 1983. I also have a couple of others kicking about. The unit was originally new to DA Garnham and Sons of Diss and came to MRCT second hand. After being resprayed It was driven originally by Denis Carlton then Timmy Riches and finally by Melvin Farrow up to being converted to a recovery truck by Mick.. Garnham??? (Sorry surname forgotten) at the MRCT workshops in Stuston Road Diss, in about 1991 or 2. As a 4×2 unit it was a phenomenal machine compared to the 111’s that all the other lads were slugging around in. A lot is obviously written about the Scania V8 and how good they were / are. As far as I can recall we didn’t touch that engine in the 10 years I was there, and I doubt very much it was touched as a recovery truck!. As with most 140’s and 141’s The only weak spot when in the hands of “fleet drivers” were the gearbox range changes and especially half shafts which could break very easily if not treated with respect. The cab had 4 resprays from being in Garnhams colours when new then the cream and red in about 1982 ( As per my photo) Then it had a further respray into white and red in about 1987 – 1988, finally being done for the last time in the blue and white as you have in about 1992 or 3.”
So good to hear all this info directly from the horses mouth. All ex drivers are welcome to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org , and tell me your stories, knowledge and what ever else. Photos to accompany any info is perfect then at least we can relate to what kinda trucks your talking about. Hopefully I’ll soon have some photos of HVF 520V restored and ready for another owner. Just to finish off, Mr McClusky mentioned all other MRCT drivers were “slugging around in” Scania 111’s, so to anyone who’s in the slugging gang, I found a photo of sister truck HVF 521V, which was in fact a Scania 111.