As Old As The Greek Gods

It must be holiday season?! A week or two back a good customer of mine, had some time away in southern Greece, Kalamata to be exact. Kalamata is the kind of place that still seems a little bit more relaxed about modern life and a delightful place to go for some downtime and old school truck spotting. I am so very pleased that’s it’s not just me that spends holiday time looking for trucks native to where ever said holiday destination is.

What else do all of our better other halves enjoy more than spending time with us?? Yep you guessed it, truck spotting or if you’re in Greece, Malta or anywhere else not plagued by Euro emissions legislation, old school truck spotting. It would seem this particular busman’s holiday maker came across a parking area that can only be described as gold dust to us few Merc fans. The beauty of Greece is the serious lack of rust and rot on these ageing machines. Up here in Northern Europe the humidity and moisture takes hold of anything that is 20+ years old and you have to say goodbye to your old favourites. Judging by the condition of this group of transport OAP’s (old age pensioners / senior citizens), they have clearly been worked hard during their lives in the sun but there is not a lot of rust or ruin. Battle scars are of course acceptable and par for the course.

This little lot all seem to have similar bodywork, dropside types and or tippers. Even the mighty F16 looks like it may be pulling a tipper of some sort. Perhaps someone can tell us what Kalamata is known for? Olives? Watermelons? Other Fruit? Must be something like that, as is the way with Greece, supplying the rest of Europe with these delightful summer commodities for us to enjoy.

If you are off on your holidays or should a I say, treating the other half to some top spotting, these are the kind of holiday photos we do want you sharing. Better still if your away slightly off the beaten track, then if you do come across anything you want to share then please email me with a few pics and some details of where you are and what you’ve found, just incase we can’t work it out. Thanks to Peter for this episode of Holiday Haulage.

My email address is: ben@truckblog.co.uk

Classic & Vintage Commercial Show

So it’s been a few years since I’ve last been to a truck show. A free Sunday just landed right for a chance to go to the classic and vintage commercial show me and the wife put the dog in the car and headed south. I’ve been to and competed in quite a few truck shows over the years in the UK and Europe and even won trophies, but I have to say this is one of my favourite shows in England.

Being in my mid 40’s I grew up on 1970’s and 80’s trucks and this was a perfect chance to see some of my childhood favorites and wants. The show is full of like minded people no lairyness, no shouting, pumping music or fighting that now seems to be the norm at UK truck shows. A nice relaxed walk down memory lane of being with my dad.

The set up and staff made the day feel great and soon brought out my inner truck nerd to get the phone camera going. There’s also a model show inside for those that like miniatures and of course the museum which I spent a while walking round few years ago. It is full of interesting old British cars and vans, both preproduction and design specials.

Overall this years show was brilliant, of course helped by a helping of sunshine. If you like your older trucks then I’d definitely recommend visiting next year.

Written by Gavin Pearson.

Mystery DAF in the Dock

So my good pal who many of you will know by various names, Mat Ireland, needs a little help with a mystery DAF 3300. Spotted many moons ago in Felixstowe dock, this DAF was never seen again, by May anyway. Clearly an owner driver or small haulier, with a cab covered in murals of well clothed ladies, some extra lights and generally a great looking truck. Not to mention seen here pulling a trailer from one of the best trailer companies there is (I may be a little biased!), Continental Cargo Carriers.

As you can see there is just a chance that it’s still sat somewhere in the UK, since January 1998, as no export market given, but that isn’t always correct. Was still listed as blue, was on the road for 13 years and judging by the date the tax expired it had been taxed for 12 months every year. That’s about all that my Columbo skills can tell me. I am sure that someone somewhere will know the truck straight away and be able to give a name, to help Mat get some sleep at night. Has anyway got any other photos? Did you own it at some point? Any info greatly received, so please leave comments or contact me.

Centurion List – The Final 4

J727 TRO – 113M 360
J606 UOE – 113M 360
J5 LOS – 143M 500
J949 EDS – 113M 400

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; ben@truckblog.co.uk

…..now where the yellow pages…. P for publisher….

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 12

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.

Trucks of The Year 2021

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.

©️Tim Andrew

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.

Attention to detail.

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.

My son took my picture next to the truck I had on my wall as a boy.

Manton European Freezer Freight Part 11

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.

Taken by Rich Tilford.

Online Auction – J A Transport

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.

Centurion List – The Final 4

J727 TRO – 113M 360
J606 UOE – 113M 360
J5 LOS – 143M 500
J949 EDS – 113M 400

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; ben@truckblog.co.uk

…..now where the yellow pages…. P for publisher….

Wanted: Ex Sally Line Employees

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.