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.
  • Big Boys & Their Big Toys

    Big boys have big toys we all know that, but when two company directors are as truck mad as the drivers they send all over Europe, then why shouldn’t they have a big toy to play with?? If I could afford a truck and trailer to play with then I’d do the same, at the end of the day with directorship comes big responsibility and big stress, so surely that allows big toys?!

    The two directors above are two of the biggest truck nerds you could meet, both nuts about their respective Swedes. The photo was taken en route to the Truckstar Festival in Holland back at the end of July and the two trucks were side by side for a fair distance from what I hear. What a treat for all the drivers coming the other way, 1980’s retro trucking at its best. The other this I hear is that the two of them were giggling like school boys with new BMX bikes oh and something else to do with no speed limiters but I don’t know what they are on about!!

    What a sight, even better with a little black and white. I’m not sure which one I’d rather be piloting, both great to look at, both big cans compared to the competition, both a drivers dream. For me restored trucks don’t get better than these two and I just wish everyone could afford to have a trailer with their tractor units, it just rings every bell on the old skool wall. For me I saw these two and as awesome as the scene is, it just reminds me in every way of two other famous trucks…….

    Designed for Little Truckers

    I saw one of these little rigs in Holland last weekend and I have to say I want one. Being slightly too old and with a risk of overloading the front axle I think I better not take the risk. That being said if I was still as small as most aunts and uncles claim I was the last time I last saw them, then I would be getting one of these bad boys.

    An acquaintance of mine, Ben Lord, and his company many of you will know, Speedbird Promotions, are an Authorised Exclusive Distributor for Scaled Rigs ride-on trucks. Scaled Rigs ride-on Scania truck is a premium quality product for kids, designed to ignite their imagination and passion for trucks. Manufactured in Ireland sourcing components within Europe. These little trucks are fully specced up too;

    • Battery powered 24V unit with chain driven transmission.
    • Functioning fifth wheel allowing for coupling/decoupling of trailers.
    • Pneumatic 6-ply tyres .
    • Sturdy plastic moulded cab and rear valance.
    • Functioning tail lights.
    • Scania V8 engine noise .
    • Forward/reverse.
    • Variable throttle speed.
    • Safe top speed of 6km/h.
    • Safety shutoff/cooldown built into the ECU to prevent damage in case of overloading.

    If you’re keen and you want to give the kids the best thing since the BP Mercedes-Benz racing truck, Call Ben’s Sales Team on +44 (0) 1359 232667 for more information on how you could have your own Scaled Rigs Ride-On Truck.

    Swiss Garlick

    Another guest blog this week. The one and only NLG, Nick Garlick. Now forget the marque, someone honestly tell me if it was your favourite marque and it was your trip, this has to be one for the bucket list. Carry on Nick……….

    Having chatted with Charles Russell we’d planned to transport his Pride & Joy to this years Trucker Country Festival in Switzerland. But due to the pressures of running a busy company it became clear Charles couldn’t go, so I naturally assumed the trucks wouldn’t be going this time. “Oh no” insisted Charles “you can still take them, I trust you” he said.

    So there I was on Wednesday in his yard loading probably the most precious cargo I’d ever transported. Leaving early, very early 03.15 am  the next morning I left Coombe Hill, bound for Dover. Leaving that early meant I could reach Dover and park in the lanes in my 4.5 driving spread. A most welcome breakfast courtesy of P&O settled the butterflies in my stomach. A steady run to Reims where I took my next break before cruising along the RN4 to Perthe where I parked up for the night. I shared my table with two drivers from Strauman Heavy Transport from Colmar who were most taken with the 140/141 on the trailer. In fact they were constantly being photographed and videoed along the route.
    The pressure was now off and I enjoyed the trip along the RN19 via Vesoul and skirting Belfort arrived at the French/Swiss border at Boncourt with no problems.
    After a delicate debate concerning customs documents I was allowed through with smiles all round once I’d got a new road tax card.
    The A16 motorway runs south through tunnels and beautiful scenery taking me a couple of hours later round Bern. A stop for a cash machine and lots of smiles and photos from the Swiss truckers gathered there. I was surprised by how many enthusiasts lined the road waving, shouting and taking photos as I passed by.
    At the entrance I was met By Ferdy D Martin (Toprun) and escorted through the assembled trucks to the center point of the show area where we unload the LBs and parked my truck up for the weekend.
    Some 1500 trucks were on display over the weekend with temperatures reaching 40degrees.

    Truck Detective: Scania 1?0

    MTW 262J – Who knows it??

    This photo has done the rounds on social media over the last few weeks. Usually this means all sorts of people comment about who’s it was, where it went, when they met the driver in Belgrade, or what ever the story may be. This truck whoever has returned with not a bloomin lot. In my book she has been well worked and looks to be taking a rare day off. I’m not sure if it’s a 110 or a 140 but I bet she sounded a treat. David Scarff took the photo in Bob Stewards yard and there is a comment on FB that the truck at that time was owned by a Greek. All I can tell is that she has an Essex registration plate and that’s all we have to go Inspector Clueso!! Come on you lot always have answers and more info.

    Wilson Saturday??!

    It’s been ages since we did a classic Wilson Wednesday, so I thought we’d have a little teaser to see the response. As an ex Wilson, what they get upto still fascinated me, even having helped moved everything from steel rolls, to boats, to plastic planes and everything else in my time in the traffic office. These days things are still much the same. 60% of the work is to and from Europe and as I’m sure is the way with most sectors of international haulage, imports are big and exports and few and far between. Even so some regular jobs are still ongoing. Above is Jon Pryke, seemingly an HC Wilson lifer! Loaded from Germany and heading to Ireland. In my time at Wilson’s I spent lots of time trying to get Jon to start taking photos and then trying to get him to take photos where you could actually see the truck. Now I have to say Jon takes some of the best photos on the fleet.

    Next up with GT, Geoffrey Tarbun. Who doesn’t like Geoff? Who wouldn’t want a Geoff on their fleet?? Never moans, always smiles, nothing is to much of a problem. Then again if we all spent as much time on holiday as Geoff then we’d probably all have the same attitude to work! A nice easy load for the new DAF above, a load of JCB’s from the yard to Port. HC Wilson have a long history with JCB and at one point we’re doing more loads out the factory than Brit European. Legend has it someone wasn’t happy with red trucks delivering yellow machines…..but who knows.

    Number 1 subbie, Mr Tasker. Not quite a lifer but defiantly a fully qualified Wilson. Now back to having just his own truck on the HC Wilson fleet, the heady heights of his fleet got to a total of four trucks at one time. By my calculations I think the current steed is number 8 or 9, but I’m sure MWT will tell us other wise. Loaded with a good size tree in Belgium and heading for Oxfordshire.

    Finally in our teaser is the 2nd new DAF, driven by Ian “Slim” Godfrey. Once again another driver who has been at Wilson’s for 15+ years. It must say something about the job or the company when you have so many long service employees on one fleet. I have to say I didn’t get any load details on this one but I’m happy to publish such a great looking load! loaded from NL to Bristol. Apparently an airport sprayer. With the two new DAF’s having only been on the fleet for a few months there has been lots of talk about the new diagonal stripe from the back of the cab to the top corner of the window. Any thoughts???

    TB Truck of The Year 2018?

    Aren’t I predictable???! After everything I saw out and about last year and at all the shows in the UK and of course the trucking Mecca which is the Dutch Truckstar Festival, I come back to a true classic and of course as you all know my all time favourite truck – a 143 Streamline boogie. Yea, yea I know there are 10 or 20 trucks I couldn’t have chosen but this caught my eye late in the year and it’s just perfecto! I also like what Truckstyling Lunteren did to achieve their piece de resistance.

    Most of us want our own classic truck to take to shows, to live and care for and to make into a truck that perhaps was slightly before our time. This goes for all of us, Volvo, DAF, MAN, Mercedes-Benz are all now at the various oldtimer shows, but the number of 20/30 year old trucks available is dropping every year. So if you can’t find the classic you want what’s your only other option?? Yep, build one.

    Find a donor truck, in this case a rigid chassis with a boogie lift. Get the gas axe out and start cutting. I have no issue with this what-so ever although I’m sure some of you aren’t keen on trucks that aren’t original. Think of it like this, most want tractors as they are smaller and easy to keep, where as a long rigid chassis is to big for most to house. This in theory would then mean we have a load of decent rigid trucks that are just going to waste, so why not make the most of what’s left and turn a rigid into a tractor? Great idea!!

    I spoke with Truckstyling Lunteren and they told me a few of the basics about what went on and this is the summary;

    “I can send you some foto’s of the project. We start at september 2017 en we finished augustus this year . The truck was a long chassis. We cut it and make a trekker.”

    So after a year and a bit and lots of hard work they ended up with this gorgeous black beast. Will they sell it?? Unlikely unless they are offered a huge crazy price then they make think about it! Having made such a classic, that is the ultimate less-is-more truck I’m not sure I could bring myself to sell it either. The paint work is awesome and has a showroom finish to it and the interior is not crazy but gently styled with a bit of black and grey leather, in keeping with the trucks original colours.

    All in all I can’t think of a better looking 3 series, or in fact a better looking truck. I am in love and I apologise to all you non Scania fans, but you can’t deny that this is a cracker. Well done Truckstyling Lunteren, if my numbers come up on the Euromillions then you will get a silly offer for it!