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…….

    Wilson Wednesday – European Volvolution

    I could have titled this blog many things, but I had to get another Wilson Wednesday on the blog for all the regular fans. Thanks to Volvo Trucks UK we can have a WW with a slight difference. Buying a Volvo will have been a big decision for HCW, especially as they haven’t ever bought a new one before. The last two they had in my early years at HCW we’re both acquired 2nd hand I do believe. I low height 6×2 and a low height 4×2. When I heard Simon (Wilson) had decided to order a new Volvo I have to say was a little surprised. Saying that all operators need to keep manufacturers on their toes and if one can supply a truck better suited to the operators specific requirements then their isn’t a lot that can be done. Over to Volvo;


    Well-known industrial and plant fabrication carriers, H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. of Suffolk has ordered its first new Volvo truck; a high specification FH-540 8×4 Tridem tractor unit, supplied by Ian Reed, Area Sales Manager at Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia.

    The Globetrotter XL 3,900mm wheelbase Tridem Pusher Axle tractor unit is powered by Volvo’s D13K engine, producing a maximum of 540hp. The FH was ordered with an I-Shift Crawler gearbox containing a direct top ratio of 19:1 and a deep multi speed reverse gear with a ratio of 37:1. A gearbox-mounted retarder also provides a substantial secondary braking system. The final drive tandem single reduction axles carry a ratio of 2.83:1.

    The vehicle is rated for maximum 90-tonne operations, but will predominately work in the 55 to 60-tonne weight brackets. Both the front and pusher axles are nine-tonne air suspension units, the latter contributing to a rear bogie capacity of 32-tonnes.

    “We’d previously bought our four axle tractor units from Holland, but this requirement is now better served through a dealer local to our business,” states Simon Wilson, Managing Director at H.C. Wilson Transport Ltd. “Volvo were genuinely interested to quote for such a vehicle and having a factory built four axle tractor unit was also a bonus, saving on purchase cost and delivery times.”

    A Jost cast fixed fifth wheel, steel front bumper and Dura-Bright EVO alloy wheels are also included the specification.

    Simon explains, “European work makes up two thirds of our total business and the regulations around German axle weights drive our choice of four-axle tractor units. I’m not a big fan of really big engines, but we have to balance power outputs and fuel consumption levels with terrain traversed and higher operating weights. We operated some early Volvo FHs that were sourced as used in the mid-1990s, but this is our first Volvo ordered new. We’re feeling our way with the vehicle at present and it’s early days. However, there’s been no complaints from the driver,” he adds.

    ACH Model Now Available

    Here it is, the ACH model is now available through Anglo Dutch Truck Models. I have to say I did have a little hand in getting it released but Steve at ADMT did the hard work and what a belter it is. Based on one of ACH’s F12 Globetrotters, F81 HFC, the model is well detailed with a matching tri-axle tilt. There are only 200 models all with their own certificate’s available and I know over a third of these are already reserved, so now they are on general release you better get in quick!

    Get onto ADMT and get your ordered while you can, click the link to order yours HERE & NOW.

    Thanks Steve and WSI for creating another awesome model. If your free Steve and ADMT will be at the NEC in Birmingham this weekend and he will have the mode with him if you want to get your hands on one super quick.

    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!

    ACH Model Released for Pre Order

    Finally the ACH model is available for preorder from the amazing Anglo Dutch Truck Models. This has been on the cards for a while but as you can imagine there is a lot of planning, checking and making sure colours and liveries are correct. The truck is F81 HFC, a genuine ACH truck (see photo below) that is actually still on the road in Ireland. The Volvo F12 Globetrotter tractor unit is well matched to a classic tri-axle tilt in ACH’s famous livery. I have to say Steve at Anglo Dutch has excellent himself with this one, it is very very realistic!

    The model can be preordered by clicking the following link: PREORDER ACH TRUCK MODEL.

    The model is likely to be physically available around October and I am reassured it will definitely be out way before Christmas. The production run will be between 170 and 200 units depending on how well they sell, so get ordering!….then we may be able to get a second one commissioned!!

    If you are a genuine ex ACH employee then please can you register your interest on the ACH Facebook page, or through myself or Tony Giddins as names have to be checked to qualify for something extra.

    To the rest of you then you can preorder on the Anglo Dutch Truck Model website. While you’re there have a look at the other highly detailed models that are expertly created by Steve along with WSI. I have to say I’m so pleased this model was done as a WSI rather than any other manufacturer as I think they do just pip the rest on the fine detail. The details is what makes them realistic for me.

    Anyway get ordering by clicking above or click HERE.

    VOLVO Launch FH 25 YEAR SPECIAL EDITION

    To celebrate the introduction of the Volvo FH in 1993 – a quarter of a century ago – Volvo Trucks is releasing The Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition. Available as both Volvo FH and Volvo FH 16, it is characterised by its distinctive exterior and interior design, superb driver comfort and state-of-the-art additional features.

    The Volvo FH is one of the industry’s most successful models ever with nearly 1 million trucks sold since launch, creating a way of life for millions of drivers all over the world. The Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition is therefore not only a celebration of the truck itself, but also a tribute to all the customers and drivers who have been driving this icon for the past 25 years.

    “The Volvo FH is the perfect representation of a customer focused mind-set and a model that has been pushing the boundaries for a quarter of a century. This magnificent edition truck is therefore both a tribute to the first 25 years and a starting point for our continued successful journey with customers and drivers”, says Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.

    “The first-generation Volvo FH meant so much for Volvo Trucks and the whole industry. It was a milestone; in fact, it was a game-changer that totally transformed the perception of a modern truck. Working on the design of the edition truck has been a real honour,” says Nigel Atterbury, Senior Graphic Designer at Volvo Trucks.

    Cont/…..

    The exterior of this special edition is best described as contemporary with a retro twist. The silver/grey and orange décor highlights the truck’s origin and the striping forms the number 25 to signal the anniversary. The striping combines 3D effects and shadows to echo the design trend of the early 1990s and gives the truck a distinct retro look. There are two launch colours, one darker, cool grey tone (Mammoth Tree Metallic) and a shiny red (Crimson Pearl), the latter a modern tribute to the original red cab colour of 1993.

    When opening the door, a premium and luxurious interior awaits the driver. Safety has always been key to the Volvo FH and this passion is manifested by orange details in everything from seat belt stitches to curtains, carpets and reflective safety door decals. Using subtle, yet distinct accents, the design team has created a continuation of the safety and driver focus that has always been essential in the Volvo FH. And to enhance a great driving experience, the seats combine quilt and leather to offer exceptional comfort and design.

    The limited edition truck also embodies how the Volvo FH has been, and remains, an innovation leader. It includes some of the truck’s latest breakthroughs and it can be specified with the brand-new extensions to Volvo Dynamic Steering:

    • Volvo Dynamic Steering with Stability Assist. Designed to prevent skidding accidents.

    • Volvo Dynamic Steering with Lane Keeping Assist. Engineered to help the driver stay in lane, preventing collisions and roll-over accidents.

    • Volvo Dynamic Steering with Personal Settings. Allows individual adjustment of steering wheel resistance for convenient and comfortable driving.

    “This truck really shows how Volvo Trucks is driving progress and continues to set new standards in trucking, just like the Volvo FH has done since 1993,” explains Tomas Thuresson, Global Long Haul Segment Manager at Volvo Trucks.

    Tomas concludes: “It is a fantastic edition that pays tribute to a quite outstanding truck and the millions of people; customers, drivers and fans that have been engaged in the Volvo FH for 25 years.”

    To summarise the official Volvo press release here are the basic details you all need to know;

    Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition

    • Two versions: Volvo FH and FH16

    • Two launch cabs: Globetrotter high sleeper cab or Globetrotter extra high sleeper cab.

    • Two launch colours: Crimson Pearl or Mammoth Tree Metallic.

    • Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition branded interior and exterior:

    o Globetrotter sign

    o Striping

    o Emblems

    o Customised interior design (curtains, carpets, seats, safety door decals etc.).

    • The Volvo FH 25 Year Special Edition will be built for a limited period during 2018 and 2019.

    • Sales will begin in end of June 2018