Here we go again! K414 KNW must want me to own her I reckon. I spotted this truck way back in the 1990’s in Braintree (not Spain!). As a lad she caught my eye and looking at the photo above you can see why, perfect looking motor in my book. See my original post from 2011 by clicking HERE.
After I posted my original blog, I had loads of feedback and ended up with a load of photos from Rich Tilford. Rich used to paint Manton’s new vehicles when they arrived, in the companies infamous yellow and green livery. It just so happens that Manton bought this truck either as an ex demo or second hand – would be good to have this clarified just because please. As it needed a full paint job, Rich’s steady hand was used and you can see above and below the before and after photos, good job Rich!.
Then recently my photo was shared on another Facebook group saying the photo was taken in Spain. To be fair I wish I had been in Spain rather than an industrial estate in Braintree, but not sure my BMX would have got me that far. Sparing any names for the embarrassment, i put said person correct and as with most good truckers, there was a fair bit of banter and mickey taking and it turns out we all agreed it was Braintree. bearing in mind the photo was the 1990’s, I would have thought the beloved K414 KNW may have been long consigned to the scrap heap or a life in the Middle East. Please prepare yourselves for further posts on this “never say die” truck as it has been bought and rescued by well known Suffolk haulier, Matt Gregory Transport Ltd. Matt commented on the Facebook post saying, not to worry she has been saved and will be returned to her former glory. Not only that, she had been sitting 8 miles from my office until Matt found her. Now wouldn’t it be cool to have her back in Rich Tilfords paint shop and returned to the green and yellow! That said she will look awesome in MGT’s resplendent shade of yellow, so she will once again be a very eye catching, stand out the crowd truck. I’m already looking forward to the next lot of Manton info and the update on the restoration process.
It’s been another funny old year and I haven’t actually done many shows sadly. There have been plenty of new trucks about despite the various cancellations and seemingly endless restrictions, and a lot of shows were still able to go ahead as they were outside. My annual trip to a foreign show was once again put on hold, but hopefully next year I can take my own truck abroad for the first time since UJN 509V back in 2009! Anyway I digress. Trucks of Year really comes following the week in trucks idea, which despite contrary belief first came about on TB and not elsewhere. I wanted to point out a few stand out trucks for me this year in the hope you will all share photos of some of your favourites too in the comments below.
I’ll start with Coles & Sons New Old Skool. Coles never disappoint and they really are no show ponies, they spend a lot of time abroad and do a lot of high profile work. For me I found this truck to take Coles back to their roots and back to the family business colours, but at the same time wowing us all as always. Just for info the Coles & Sons page released the first photos and videos of the truck back in January this year and have since had over half a million views, most of which came in the first week.
Next one worth a mention is this Volvo FH V1 restoration my Bert De Mooij and Bert De Mooij. I love the Retro Truck Show in September and for me this truck is 100% what it’s all about. The retro trucking scene is for trucks that have been restored and put into the glory of years gone by, perhaps with a modern twist. If we cast ourselves back to 1993 when Volvo launched the version 1 FH, this truck would have been spot on for a Dutch flower truck. Not over the top by any means, just clever use of paint (of course it’s Dutch!) and a few accessories that are easily accepted as being period. It looks spot on for me, love it.
Next a couple of personal favourites. The above Actros Edition 2 special Edition with all the boxes ticked is an amazing truck. Once again MB Trucks are pioneering the way with technology, which whether you like it or not is coming now the majority of manufacturers are now copying and offering similar. This Actros is my favourite new truck delivery of the year. Everyone loves new truck day, but perhaps because of how passionate Wilkin & Sons are about Mercs or perhaps because it was the first Edition 2 on the road in the UK, for me my favourite work related truck.
Next up…. The Gr814. My own truck, bought and imported from Germany in February. I love little sleeper cabs, I love mini tractor units and when I bought my first truck in 1997 I couldn’t afford an 814! This has had two owners since 1989 and has done a genuine 260,000km from new. It has nearly all the available factory options from the time, which really just leaves me only to do a little titivating and then hopefully get it painted before 2022’s show season.
Next a proper big hitter and a worthy truck of the year mention. This DAF by Paul Cecil is simply awesome. Even if you’re not a DAF fan, or a fan or green trucks you have to appreciate this Gloucestershire beauty. I don’t know Paul too well but we have the odd chat and I remember a few years back at Assen, Paul saying the truck was in build and was having a few paint issues, but those have all been overcome and the result I’m sure is exactly what Paul and family were after. One thing to remember is that building a show winner takes time and patience people. That said it is a hard working truck, it covers all of Europe on a regular basis and is cleaner than nearly any other truck you’ll see. It is also clearly appreciated by the European show circuit too, picking up trophies at both the Nordic Trophy and the Powertruck Show in its first year. Well done Paul.
For me I think this is my truck of the year 2021. A boy hood dream and poster truck for lots of us. I have been doing the Centurion list with Richard Payne and hopeful of getting a publisher for ‘22, but finding out this truck was being restored back to its original glory and then seeing her in September will take some beating. I have spoken to Michael Taylor during the restoration and was also privy to seeing the artwork being done by Matt during the painting process. I have even spoken to John Philips and he is over the moon with it too. The truck is as good as I’d hoped, the attention to detail is everywhere. Note the Keltruck mudflap’s have the 1991 phone number not the current one. I also love the artwork, we all know Matt is a true artist and should be recognised in the art world for his masterpieces. I also like that the artwork is a modern take on the original, as in the images aren’t quite as they were in 1991 but are Matts take on them. A real dream truck for me and once again well done to Michael and all involved, I really look forward to seeing again in 2022. They say you shouldn’t meet your hero’s…… certainly not trucking true in this case.
Well once again the magical world of Manton European has reared its very interesting head. In fact this is an additional line, as since this blog was planned to be published, last night, another Manton blog was created and will be published soon enough. Back to this one…..
I had an email from a Alasdair Cowan, who has recently bought a classic race motorbike to restore and get back to its glory days (much the same as MEFF Part 12!). Alasdair is trying to find old photos and any information on the bike as it was in the above photo so he can get it back to how it used to be. If anyone knows the current where about’s of Dave Manton, would they mind of ask Dave he minds getting in contact with myself and I can pass on Alasdair’s details. Interestingly, when I was sent a load of photos from Rich Tilford, there was one of a Scania rigid, painted up in race team colours. Not unusual to have a company supplying transport or a vehicle for a race team, so I didn’t ask any further questions. As was the nature of Manton’s livery, the green and yellow stands out from the crowd, where ever it goes. Did you see the race team anywhere, are you secret biker?! I wouldn’t worry I’m not about to change to Bikeblog, this only gets on to the blog due to the Manton connection.
I have no money and certainly can’t afford another truck, so unless by the phrase “auction” they actually mean swap meet, I’m sadly out of this one. I was sent a link to this auction on Friday and I have been dreaming ever since! Some really nice motors here for auction and I’m sure some will go for big money. Plenty of Volvo and Scania but also a couple of nice English trucks and some lucky dip cupboards from the workshop that you can bid to win all the contents. The auction will be held onsite in Burnley, Lancashire and bidding is open until 11am on the 23rd September. It’s all online and you can visit the website by clicking the link – HERE.
So what will come first 100 trucks on the list or a publisher??!
In the mean time we are now down to 4 confirmed Centurions we don’t have numbers for and amazing we have 4 empty spaces on the Centurion list. Is it a coincidence or have RP and myself (and all our informants) just about got 96 other trucks right?! Well there is a good chance as all the others are based on plenty of evidence, each number backed by at least 2-3 facts on the truck.
The above 4 trucks are all genuine Centurions, we know that for sure. Amazing we can’t get anyone with any concrete evidence on what number they were. I have even been having contact from Chris Kelly at Keltruck and even he can’t find any evidence of what number J606 UOE was and he drove it out to eastern Europa on an aid mission!
J727 TRO in Cambrian Pet food livery, but it does look a little tired in that photo.
J606 UOE. Well photographed and was a demo, but what happened to it after? Did it end up with a repaint and on the SEAS fleet after they parted company with #100? Just a thought.
J5 LOS. Perfect looking 143, we know a lot about it and have original photos from the owner before and after sig writing but no number!
J949 EDS. Had quite a few owners including Thomas Douglas Haulage from Glasgow. Still no one knows the number.
The remaining 4 numbers in the Centurion list we can’t allocate to a truck or a reg number are: #037 / #043 / #054 / #068.
No need to go over old ground but if you know anything on these 4 trucks or a Centurion number rings a bell as you’ve seen a certificate from Scania in a transport office, please, please let us know. Comment below or email me; email@example.com
Wanted: Ex Sally Line Employees. I’m on the hunt for ex Dover or Ramsgate employees who may well be still in touch with and who knew lots of the other employees during the 1980’s and 1990’s. If you know anyone please ask them to make contact with me please. You can leave a comment below or message me how ever you wish but I have a new of enquiry I want your help with please.
RP and myself thought it was time for an update on the Centurion List as it’s been a little while since we said anything. As with everything we could blame COVID for everything but that’s only part of the recent issues. Firstly book publishers seem to have gone to ground and we are struggling to find a new publisher for the book as the original has pulled out and has no interest what so ever. Not particularly helpful, but you know of or have published your own books then please get in contact. Next we have the on going issues with the Centurion box set model. Centurion number 001 model of fine and looks a treat. The Master Centurion on the other hand, has proved a little more tricky. The truck itself and the detail is correct, the problem is the paint colour. Having spoken to the original painter who painted the truck their seems to be no record of the official colour used. Richard and I had selected a colour that we felt is as close as we can get and also what will look good on the model bearing in mind pearlescent paint on 1:50 scale models is not possible. The paint code was given to the model maker and without any notice or consultation they have painted the truck in a different colour that isn’t correct. This is an ongoing piece so you will also have to bear with us on that please as we want to be as right as we can be for such an iconic model truck.
As for the list itself well we have a little more time to fill the remaining gaps while we try to confirm a new publisher. As it stands we have only 5 on the 100 editions that don’t have an original owner or reg number against them.
Does anyone who anything about; 037, 039, 043, 054 or 068???
We also have 5 or so trucks that we can’t assign to a number and seem to be untraceable thus far. Above we have J606 UOE on AID mission to Romania in 1992. No one at Keltruck can remember or has a photo that shows the Centurion number. We suspect that this was sold on under a different registration number. Anyone know who bought it from Keltruck???
J5 LOS a cracker of a Centurion and one we have plenty of info on and photos of from Blairmore Haulage. Still no number for this one either. Anyone???
J598 AAO was new to AW Jenkinson and then went on to Stephen Sanderson. Neither can remember the number and the following owners have also not been able to confirm the number. Anyone???
This great photo of Cambrian Pet Foods appeared on the Centurion Facebook page from Stephen Vandevoorde and we knew Cambrian’s had a Centurion, but no record of the number. The registration was J727 TRO. Anyone???
We still haven’t solved the mystery of this photo either and all the clues and evidence is there but no idea on the number. Anyone???
Can you confirm the number for J949 EDS please. Belonged to Thomas Douglas and Misfud. Anyone???
Finally this classic. One of her Owners Steve Clark from Essex, is sure it’s number 024 and that fits as we knew 024 was a 450hp and the reg number is J450 MGV, which also fits with it being a Robinsons of Stowmarket truck. Does anyone know anymore about it???
We have tons of info as you can imagine so we don’t really need to go over old ground but if you have anything else you can tell us then please step forward. Happy hunting Centurion lovers!
He’s done it before and he’ll probably do it again, Mr Moody has created another belter in his own colours. Remember the 143??
This Volvo F12 had lived a life in the Mediterranean and was looking for a new owner after a good service for its Sicilian owners. MM was tipped off about the truck and soon enough she was on her way to Grimsby.
A number of months and a lot of £’s later and the end result is just perfecto! The angle in the photo above is much the same as looking at your favourite pin up on a centre page spread, it just looks absolutely spot on, it’s that good I’m not sure I’d show my mother!
Built in 1987 the truck is one of the last of the F series off the production line, before the launch of the FH. She’s got 385bhp and a 12 speed manual box, with the best gear stick you’ll ever find in a truck! Truck restorers please note how much of a difference it makes to the truck if you use period parts, look at the small hole wheels!
Not content with making the rust free exterior look like a million dollars, the interior has been given a freshen up and looks as box fresh as it can be. It looks like a copy of the Volvo brochure, not a lot wrong with it in my head. Well done Mick and the team, I look forward to the next one! The question you’ll walk asking while reading has the following answer; Yes it will be at some point but it’ll be up for at least half the price of a brand new one and some!!
Another great character and old school driver off to the big Truckstop in the sky – Trevor Dodwell.
Sadly another one gone to join some of the other names we all know and looked upto. If you were of my generation (I’m 41), then we were of the age where M.E. Opportunities were becoming a little thin on the ground, but hearing about and reading about those lucky enough to carry on doing the M.E. runs upto the end were what our driving dreams were made of. I was lucky enough to meet Mr Dodwell on one of my first trips across the water in my artic. Having tipped and reloaded in Meer, Belgium for Germany I had to call into Meer Truckstop to see what it was all about. While walking across the parking area what did I come across, yep, the above Volvo with Astran stickers on the doors. Of course I went over to have a closer look and Trevor appeared. To me Trevor was one of those proper truck driver types, a big man, looked like a tough old boy but he was more than happy to have a chat for 20 mins or so. Full of knowledge and he told me a few tips to help with my first trip to Germany, a local for him of course! As old school drivers become rarer and rarer to find I urge all you younger ones to glean as much info from our elders as you can. As the world of international transport continues to change quicker than you can say “what’s a tacho disc?”, tips and tales from those who have been doing the job since the golden years are truly invaluable and will be lost eventually. I could have stood and listened to Trevor talking about his travels for hours. A true Middle East regular he made loading from Gouda out to where ever it was, sound like a local, like my trip to Germany. After a while Trevor took me into the Truckstop showed me where everything was before getting me a coffee and giving me a couple of Astran stickers. I don’t drink coffee but how could a refuse, I was a little wrapped up in the moment. This happens a lot to me and I hope I’m not alone. I was at the Fox on the A1 with an old boy I shared a table with for dinner and he started talking about his M.E. Days until another gent came in and they hadn’t seen each other since 197? in somewhere east of Turkey, then again at the Astran weekend at Gaydon and I was stood in a ring of all the faces from Destination Doha, just awesome tales to take on board. Not to mention the Nick Bulls, Karl Skiltons and Graham Balls of this world, who were the last of the last on the Middle East run, that said I know Nick and Karl are both ready and waiting for the call!
Not to mention the tales of Uncle Dick Snow who Trevor knew as well. In a brief meeting in a Truckstop on the Dutch Belgian border I met one of the greats. Sad times as our elders get older, so rest in peace Trevor and for that matter Bob Headley who also recently passed away. Bob was also a well known face on the Middle East run.
For those who are interested the outfit Trevor had was know as a “seller”. Bought from UK customs I think he said, loading from NL to the Middle East, both truck and trailer would then be sold and left for a new life in the sun. If I remember rightly Trevor said the trailer had been impounded in the UK, as it was caught smuggling drugs, fags or both in the coil well under the main floor boards. I think the Globetrotter also came from the same source, a UK government auction having been impounded by HM Customs and abandoned after its dodgy crossing to the UK.
I say mystery machine but we can all agree that the evidence suggests it’s a lovely old SK Mercedes-Benz. That said, would you expect to spot it in a very windy Dover, waiting to ship out on a Tuesday evening?? No not really. Spotted by top #littlebigcabclub member Mr Marsh, this old girl was joining the lines waiting to head off to France last night. A few thing to consider, it’s a day cab, it’s a Luton, it’s got a rear loading well, it’s plain white, it’s not your average continental spec is it. Taking all that on board I think it is a regular on the high seas to Europe. Why? Well it’s an 18 tonner but why is it so low, especially for a Luton body, if it was UK only surely it would be taller??
Anyway a little bit of fun, any ideas who’s it is or what it’s doing?? Have you seen a regular shipper outer who doesn’t fit the shipper outer bill??