Retro Show – The Social Part

Another weekend and I’m back at Londra Camp or perhaps even the Hotel National in Belgrade. Loads of the best retro trucks in the UK and a growing number from Europa and all the kings of the road you could ever hope to meet and listen to stories from. The shows this year have become more and more social but combine this with trucks from my childhood and once again an awesome weekend was had by all. For me meeting these Kings of the road is what it’s all about, the stories they can tell, the places they have been and the trucks they have driven, my generation can only dream. To name a just a few people I stood and chatted/listened to this weekend;

  • Charles Russell
  • Roland Simey
  • Nick Bull
  • Karl Skilton
  • Andrew McDevitt
  • Kevin Mackin
  • Paul Rowlands
  • Baz (if you know you know!)
  • and of course one of my true hero’s still out and about on the road………
  • These men all need dictaphones and books written about them or by them, Mr Coghill you need to get on with it! As I said in my Truckstar blog, sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy the golden era but chatting to these knights of the road you can get a real idea of the adventure, hardship, bad times and of course good times they endured. For any young drivers of the current modern generation, can you imagine being told to go to Pakistan from London?? No? just to add to the adventure there was no sat-nav, no road maps or readable signposts once past Turkey, for that matter not many “roads” either. One of the best quotes of the weekend from a certain Charles Russell went something like this;
  • “When I was a young owner driver with just one truck, my pal Ralph had his own truck too. I met him on his way back from his first trip to the continent and do you know what he said?? That continental work isn’t for me.”
  • – The Ralph in question was of course a certain Mr Davies. Just brilliant but unless you take the time to talk to these men then you never get to hear such awesome tales.
  • The show itself was once again a triumph. Lee Herbert and his team put on what was the best retro show I’ve been too, that said next year is the 10th anniversary so I can’t wait for that already. Get the date in your diary, next years Retro Truck Show is from September 11th to 13th 2020. There seemed to be more restored/retro trucks than ever before. The quality of these trucks gets better and better and there is definitely more types of truck, not just Volvo and Scania. Renaults, ERF, Iveco eight wheels MAN’s and even a Fiat all being restored back to their former glory. As it goes there was only one Transcon that was at the start of its new life and very much need a good polish! I’m sure there are more Transcons about that could come along next year but after one of Roland Simeys stories I’m not so sure….
  • If you are a truck enthusiast then the retro show is for you. It’s run by truck people for truck people. Evident that the man who runs the show is a gas engineer but grew up with trucks and loves trucks. All who attend are truck mad and as there are no prizes to be won it just shows that all trucks are there as their owners are proud to show them and just do it for the trucks and love of diesel! Not a lot of feed back from those I spoke to other than more trucks the merrier. Perhaps the one thing I did hear from a few people was, there were a lot of new trucks there again. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing them and being able to compare the same make 30 or 49 years apart is a pretty cool concept. I am guessing there is an element of a few new trucks make up the numbers but then again what do you class as a retro truck?? I fine line for the organisers to think about but for me personally I don’t think it is far off perfect at all.
  • MB 817 still Going International

    After all the hype of the little MB814 I saw last week on my holidays, I was sent a few photos from various readers….thank you. Of course there’s always a Top Trump in the pack and it just so happens it was sent it by one of the original 814 pilots himself, Mat Ireland. Out and about in Austria last week on his way to Romania, imagines Mats excitement when his big DAF came upon this little #littlebigcabclub gold member! This is a Mercedes-Benz 817, sleeper with tilt body as you can see. Photoed in Austria heading eastbound, it was most likely heading home to Serbia judging by the registration plate. Another 1000km minimum added to the odometer if not more depending where it had actually been. I do wonder how many miles the old girl had in her but I guess that’s the age old question, I better get measuring that piece of string! Top Spotting Mat thank you.

    The Holy Grail of 7.5 Tonners

    Those of you who know, know – I’ve heard that phrase a bit this week so thought I’d use it. I love a Mercedes-Benz and I love a sleeper cabbed 814, if you’re into #littlebigcabclub trucks such as this, then you know back in the early/mid 1990’s there was no better 7.5 tonner than the little German. For its day this was a big cab on a small truck compared to the competition who to be honest didn’t really offer a “proper” sleeper on their smaller ranges. Couple the comfort and no speed limiter, back then this made the 814 the ultimate international hot shot truck. I still remember a few days after getting my car licence, I met a chap in an 814 from Nottingham I think. He had a sleeper cabbed version with a crane on and he said all he did was hot shot oil field work all over Europe….perfect. I know my pal Mat Ireland (Now at Transam Trucking) started his international driving career on an 814 with a 20ft Tilt body lucky bugger!

    Now the photo above is of a brand new 814 about to be handed over to, I’m sure, a very happy customer, at my now place of work, Orwell Trucks way back in 1992ish as it’s a K registration. I have to say I know nothing about the truck or what it was intended to be used for, but may be it was embarking on its own international career?? Anyway a little cracker in my book.

    Imagine my surprise when driving around the Essex riviera this week with the family and in a back street I spot a sleeper cabbed 814. I backed the car up, opened the window and took two quick photos not really taking much in other than it being an 814. Once home I looked at the photo and instantly recognised the number plate. A delve through my archives and I confirmed (only to myself!) that the truck I spotted was the very same truck as I have scanned and have on my work screen saver. So a little now and then photo with a 27 year gap. I looks in pretty good condition to be honest and you can still see the slightly modified original sign writing. I am very very tempted to go back and see what it’s upto and find out where it’s been. Does anyone know anything about it please? You’ll have to be based in an Essex seaside town to know if it’s current ownership but if you know anything else or even have photos of your own 814 then please let us see them on what ever social media platform you prefer or email me; ben@truckblog.co.uk

    TB on The Move – Kyrgyzstan

    My pal and super mega trucker Mat Ireland has a handful of stickers that he is handing out Trucks he meets from far and wide, the further and wider the better! TB on the move is a global thing I’ll have you know. From council trucks in Brazil to Road-trains in Australia, through to Africans, Americans and some of the last Astran trucks to the Middle East, not to mention scrap metal trucks from Ipswich, they all want, crave, strive, are part of the big TB family. Truckers one and all are welcome to my club. Anyway enough of my nonsense and onto Kyrgyzstan. Where?? You don’t need a sat-nav, just follow the sun like John Williams, Dave Poulton and Dick Rivers, it’s South of Kazakhstan, 2 countries above Afghanistan and shares its eastern border with China, its quite a way from the Bad Benthiem border in Deutschland where Mat met this driver. Nice to see he’s driving a proper truck, take note Mat…..

    “I pulled into Bad Bentheim border for my usual walk around with my camera to see what far flung countries some had come from, and that was parked in there! I could see the chap was about so thought he was worthy of a sticker! He spoke no English and my Russian is very limited but he understood it was a present from England, and looked very happy! It’s a long long way to Kyrgyzstan!!”

    Job #1 – Actros5 1851LS Rolls off Production Line Today

    So production of MB’s long awaited Actros5 has started today. The first Actros5 in Sapphire Blue has rolled off the production line and I for one cannot wait to see these out and about on the road. Here’s the press release from Mercedes-Benz Trucks;

    • With the sapphire-blue Actros 1851 LS 4×2, series production starts in the largest Mercedes-Benz truck assembly plant
    • Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “For the new Mercedes-Benz Actros we have developed solutions with the clear goal of making it the safest, most efficient and most connected truck ever. Thanks to our expertise in the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, we are now putting it on the road. The Actros is now ready for its customers.”

    Dr Matthias Jurytko, Head of Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant: “In more than half a century the Wörth team has built up outstanding know-how: They know exactly how trucks are produced to the highest quality standards. And they have once again demonstrated this impressively with the start of production of our new flagship.”

    Wörth am Rhein – At the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant, the sapphire-blue Actros 1851 LS 4×2 was the first customer vehicle to roll off the production line. Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Gerald Jank, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks Operations, and Dr Matthias Jurytko, Head of Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant, accompanied the series production start of the Mercedes-Benz flagship truck together with the production team in the Palatinate town of Wörth.

    If you want to know more about the Actros5 including technology, spec, pricing and further details then please call me: 07971 139016.

    LowRider Friday

    Do you drive a low height tractor unit??

    There seems to be more than ever about at the moment. I want to do a Lowrider Friday tomorrow so get sending over your photos please. You can get me on all the normal channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagramme or good old fashioned email! Come on LowRiders let’s see your trucks, I’m guessing most will be 4×2’s but extra points for 6×2’s!