Friday, January 21, 2011

International Harvestor Factory & GMH Factory at Dandenong

I love aerial photographs. If you are interested in where International trucks and Holden cars were made then these photographs may interest you. They were taken in 1963, back in the olden days when Australia used to produce things rather than import things.

This was taken December 27, 1963. The Princes Highway moves across this picture from left to right, just below centre. The first intersection, on the left, is Frankston Road. The South Gippsland Highway then forks off. Running below and almost parallel to the left of this fork is the Gippsland Railway line to Sale, where it meets the Great Southern Line, as the rail to Cranbourne, Leongatha and beyond was called. In the V that is made by the Princes Highway and the Gippsland Railway line is the International Harvestor Factory. This was built on 56 acres of land, which cost them £16, 800 pounds. The building cost £686, 900 and commenced construction in August 1950. Production began in February 1952. International Harvestor was the first of the Big Three. Next to IH is Heinz. They built on a 75 acre site and opened in 1955. The factory and equipment cost £3,500,000.
The housing to the north is the suburb of Doveton, established specifically by the Victorian Housing Commission to provide employees for the Big Three. The 660 acres of land for the new suburb was purchased in September 1954 and the first houses were occupied in December 1955.
The houses in the top left, surrounded by the meandering Dandenong Creek are part of Dandenong. In the bottom right is the Eumemmerring Creek.

In this photo, also taken December 27, 1963, is the other Big Three Factory, General Motors-Holden. GMH had purchased 153 acres in 1954 and it later expanded to 318 acres. The factory cost £9 million and commenced in March 1955 and opened soon after. As well as making Holdens, the Factory also assembled Bedford trucks, which came to Australia CKD - Completely Knocked Down. GMH had it's own Railway Station, no longer used and now in a state of disrepair. As you can see the South Eastern Freeway wasn't constructed in 1963. The area to the north is the suburb of Eumemmerring (known as Doveton until May 1981) and in the top left, on the other side of the Eumemmerring Creek is Doveton.

Fleetways TK Bedford, with a Perkins diesel and a load of Holdens. Taken in Harold Road, Noble Park around 1967.

John worked for Fleetways from around 1964 to 1969 and Fleetways had the Holden contract, so he has been in and out of the GMH Factory at Dandenong many times. Fleetways also carted the CKD Bedford crates from the wharf to Dandenong, as well as carting the Holden engines, made at Fisherman's Bend, to Dandenong. Fleetways had the Ford, Chrysler and BMC/Austin transport contracts for Victoria and Southern New South Wales, as well. This was back in the days when every country town had a car dealership of some sort, generally either Holden and Ford, so the job involved a lot of country work where you might have six cars on the trailer for six different towns.

D-series Ford, with a load of Holdens. Also taken in Harold Road, Noble Park around 1967.

John also delivered the Monaro, when it first came out and the Falcon GTS - in some towns a crowd of people turned up just to get a look at the cars, when they were being unloaded. He occasionally took new models 'underwraps' out for a promotional photo shoot, one trip involving a week's stay at Pine Plains near Patchewollock.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trucks in flood

Australia is awash at the moment (January 2011) with quite severe floods, especially in Queensland. Sadly, floods are nothing new, so here are some trucks in flood photographs.

This was taken by my uncle, Jim Rouse, at Cora Lynn, around October 1962. It was during the construction of the Cora Lynn spillway which was built to syphon flood waters from the Main Drain, or Bunyip River, to the Yallock Outfall drain, which went directly to Western Port Bay. Ironically, the opening of the spillway was delayed by a flood, and this is when this photo was taken. You can just see the goal posts of the Cora Lynn Football ground in the background.

These six photographs of the Murrumbidgee River, at the Olympic Way, at Wagga were taken by John in September 1974, the year of the disastrous Brisbane floods. John was towing for Vaughans at the time and had a K100 Kenworth. They were heading for Brisbane and had been told that the Highway was cut at Naranderra but was still open at Wagga, so they made the dash for Wagga. He was about to cross and, as he was entering the water, a police car pulled up behind him and the policeman started running towards him, waving madly, but John 'failed to notice him' and he was the last truck through. They pulled the 'road closed' barriers around the back of his truck.

Next to the truck, a car is being towed from the flood by a Council front-end loader.

Empty bus shelter on the right, obviously no buses running that day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Last of the Chrome Bumpers 2010 and Traf Trucks Christmas Party 2010

We haven't really taken the Volvo to many shows over the past few months, however we did go to the Last of the Chrome Bumpers Car Show at Cora Lynn Recreation Reserve on October 3. It is primarily a car show, but there were around 25 trucks on show and it is really close to home and it wasn't raining, so out came the Volvo. We also went to the Trafalgar Truck Restorers Club Christmas Break-up at the Darnum Public Hall on December 5 - so here are some photographs from both events, starting naturally with the Volvo.

It is hard to get a really good photo of the Volvo, especially in low light conditions, as it is a dark paint colour, but I was happy with these two photographs - what a beautiful truck, even if I do say so myself!

This is Wayne Henry's 1928 Ford, taken at Darnum.

The S-model Kenworth belonging to Vyn Harris, 1980 model, taken at Darnum.

Ian Benson's Mainline Ford ute. First time we have seen it and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Also taken at Darnum - Andrew McIntosh's AB130, John Denholm's 1966 AB182 timber jinker and Vyn's Kenworth.

The Historic Commercial Vehicle Club tent at Cora Lynn, next to Stephen Corstorphan's 1957 Diamond T.

A neat little International next to Peter and Tracey Rochow's 1976 C60 Chev, then John's timber jinker again, at Cora Lynn.

More Cora Lynn vehicles, above and below.

Bill and Pat O'Halloran's International, then Ian Blake's Landy and other similar type vehicles (well they look the same to me) on display at Cora Lynn.

Two red trucks, both Inters. John and Bev Ferguson's 1948 KB3 and Dennis and Petra Boulton's 180 below. Taken at Darnum.

By coincidence, these two trucks are both owned by Graemes. Graeme Latter owns the 1954 R180 and Graeme Johnston the 1976 TK Bedford. Taken at Darnum.

Finally, because blue is my favourite colour - here are three blue trucks, you have seen them before in this blog and you will see them again. Eric Shingles, 1974 LS 1418. It always takes a great photo, and has a paint job which looks fabulous in any light conditions. Taken at Cora Lynn.

Another blue truck - Des and Lynn Judd's Acco, also taken at Cora Lynn. Once again, this truck always takes a great picture.

Finally, John Fowler's 1947 Dodge, taken at Darnum. It used to be owned by Jim Bury.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

H.C.V.C Display Day 2010

It was a bit of an overcast day for the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Display day at Sandown Racecourse on Sunday, November 28 - luckily John got the Volvo down on the Saturday and he just arrived at the venue when the rain started, so even though it got wet, it didn't get dirty. It was great day, as usual. It is one of my all time favourite truck events. So, here's a wander through some of the trucks on display - starting with our truck, the N1025 1976 Volvo and the 1976 38ft Freighter trailer.

This neat little truck is owned by Graham and Shirley Pollard, but I can't remember what it is or read the badge. Whatever it is, it's a good looking vehicle.

There were three Mercedes Benz trucks on show, all 1418s. The one above belongs to Keith Tilley, and below is Russell Ashley's cab-over, and then Eric Shingles 1974 LS model.

Stan Hamilton's 1946 Maple Leaf, made in Canada. It's a great truck, one of my favourites.

Plenty of Macks on Show - this is Rod Calleja's B-model (above) and Mick Black's B-model below.

Two more B-model Macks, Freestones 1964 one is below.

Mack Superliner, above, and R-model below.

Warwick Bryce's ex-Calleja Transport Leader, above, and another Leader below.

Heaps of Kenworths on display, including above, a cab-over early 70s model and a1946 W-model below.

Two more W-models from the mid-seventies.

Another W-model, above, an S-model below.

Another S-model Kenworth with Warwick's Leader. The Kenworth, below, got a lot of attention from early Kenworth lovers. John has identified it as a K100, from around 1972.

Line-up, above, includes a W-model Kenworth, an Atkinson, another Kenworth and an International Acco.

Vyn Harris came in his 1978 Kenworth crane truck and next to him is an International 150.

Jock Crawford's International R190, with the Australian cab with the twin rear windows. Jock and his R190 featured in the second edition of Vintage Trucks and Commercials magazine

International Accos, which I have just found out stands for Australian Constructed Cab-over. Above, is Ken Whitworths Fire Engine and Des and Lynn Judds.

Above and below, more Accos.

International Transtar and two C1800s, above. Below, Andrew McIntosh displayed the family's AB130s.

George Pyers Inter 182 (above) and below a 180 owed by Dennis and Petra Boulton. Dennis is the President of the Trafalgar Truck Restorers Club.

More red Inters. A C1800, above, and a neat little 130 below.

Ian Latham's custom built 1976 Inter.

Ivan Howard's 1946 GMC.

Lots of Fords - a 1930s V8, above, and below, a Ford Thames.

Russell Marshall's neat little 1941 Ford above. Below, a 1946 Ford and Ian Latham's 1949 Morris Commercial.

Don McGregor's 1960 F500, above, and another F500 below.

This T-model Ford made a great exhibit. It won the President's Award on the day.

Frank La Torre's 1961 Foden.

Graham and Heather Cameron's 1971 Dodge, John and Bev Ferguson's 1948 KB3 International, then a Ford then an Atkinson.

Above, an early 1970s Dodge. Below, Bill Shelton's 1935 Dodge Brothers.

Dodge 744, above, and below is a Dodge 700.

Rod Calleja's Diamond REO, above, formerly owned by Fred Love. Joe Zammit's Diamond REO is below.

Stephen Corstorphan's 1957 Diamond T, and again (below) with our Volvo and Ian's Inter.

Sam Cape's 1956 De Soto, another of my favourite trucks.

Above - a Commer Knocker tipper. Below - Bob Lee's 1937 Diamond T and John Gramlick's 1961 Commer Knocker.
Ian Chatfield's 1939 Chev.

British Bedford's - above and below.

Above, a Bedford, Dodge and Dave Horne's famous 1934 British Bedford. A Bedford bus is below.

Two more Bedfords, on the right is Bob Needham's neat little truck. As I like Bob's truck so much, here's a better shot of it, below.

J-model Bedford.

Above, another neat little Bedford next to Bill and Pat O'Halloran's 1975 Dodge.

Ian Latham's 1951 Austin Lodestar Fire engine, above. Below - another Austin Lodestar, a 1952 model.

An Austin van.

Fred Bignall's Austin with an Austin A30 on the back.

A Ford, next to an Atkinson.

Ansair Flexible Clipper from 1954.

An Albion and a Vulcan. The Vulcan is owned by Terry Burrows, who, I presume, also owns the Albion? Warning: Trivia alert! Vulcan was the God of Fire in Roman mythology and his name gives us the word volcano. Albion is the name given in ancient times to the British Isles. The Romans associated the name with albus, in reference to the white chalk cliffs of the south - east coast, also called the White Cliffs of Dover. Now days, Albus is known to many children as it is the name of the Head Master at Hogwarts (Albus Dumbledore) in the Harry Potter books. While we are on the Harry Potter theme, the actual Knight Bus (the bus which provides wizards with public transport) seen in the film adaptation was built by grafting the top deck of a London AEC Regent III RT bus onto the top of another "RT" bus. Shown below is John Phillip's 1952 AEC Regal Mark 3 bus.

John Phillip's 1952 AEC Regal Mark 3 bus.