Warren Caves commemorates the nostalgia of the KW brand
As I walk across the grassed carpark past the scattering of empty float trailers and various other trailing equipment loaded for the Monday’s transport commitments, the sun’s glare began to reflect off the polished aluminium and stainless-steel adornments bolted proudly to what would have to be the most accessorised, customised and admired truck brand in the country, Kenworth.
I am of course entering the fourth instalment of the increasingly popular, “Kenworth Klassic”.
Taking place over at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds, Clarendon, about an hour west of the city of Sydney, the Kenworth Klassic was again held in conjunction with the Clarendon Classic.
The Clarendon Classic showcases a diverse display of machinery, mechanical equipment and trucks of days gone by and is put on by the Sydney Antique Machinery Club Inc.
The dual-faceted show of the Kenworth Klassic and the Clarendon Classic, held simultaneously, draws good crowds with interest from attendees spilling over to both areas of the show.
If there was to be any freight moved over this weekend in September, and it was to be carried on a Kenworth, there’s a real chance it was going to arrive somewhat later than perhaps anticipated.
Over 360 Kenworth trucks descended upon the showgrounds in a display of passion for the brand, culminating in what could be described as the largest gathering of Kenworth trucks at the one location in Australia.
The Kenworth Klassic is a casual gathering of like-minded owners and operators who are passionate about their rigs. That passion is demonstrated by the high standard of presentation being extremely obvious from the time these trucks arrive on the Saturday morning.
To those from outside the industry, this effort may go a little unnoticed. The fact that a lot of the attendees would have been working late into Friday and then turned up first thing on Saturday morning looking like they just rolled out of Kenworth’s Bayswater facility, is an outstanding effort.
At the Kenworth Klassic there are no prizes, no awards and no dramas, just a laid-back, family-friendly event featuring Kenworth trucks of various ages and condition.
The cross section of trucks is quite diverse, with brand-new T900 legends plus immaculately-presented K200’s and T909’s standing proudly while parked up next to a 1970’s “Grey Ghost,” that might be showing signs of many years of highway toil.
As anyone who remembers those earlier days of overnight express runs along the Hume might comment, it’s highly probable that the ‘Grey Ghost’ could itself recall being operated regularly at weight limits substantially higher than those mentioned in any State legislation, while travelling at speeds that also might not quite conform to the posted advisory limits.
In order to cater for those members of the trucking industry that are equally interested in other brands, over in the Clarendon Classic display area there were examples of heritage trucks from such manufacturers as International Harvester, Mercedes Benz, White, Volvo and more, along with tractors and stationary engines, chuffing away in a sooty display to entertain onlookers.
Event co-organiser and founder of the Kenworth Klassic, Bruce Gunter, says the numbers of participants at the show is growing year by year. He also acknowledges the support of Kenworth Australia, together with the considerable support locally from Gilbert and Roach of Huntingwood. Bruce also wanted to show his appreciation and gratitude for Park Lea Sand and Soil for its assistance in supplying landscaping materials for display areas, and the loan of a truck to move the Autism Spectrum trailer (ASPECT) which operates as the engine room for the show’s administration over the weekend.
Bruce is also quick to point out that an event of this scale is by no means a one-man job and he couldn’t do it without the help of event co-organisers Dave (Chappo) Chapman, Michael McCormack and John Turner. These guys from North-West Trucks in Riverstone have a long-standing history in Kenworth circles.
Word of the Kenworth Klassic has spread far and wide. According to event organisers, there were 12 trucks from New Zealand on display, with visitors checking in from as far afield as Perth, NZ and the US.
Trade stalls, raffles, food vendors and rides for the kids were on hand to entertain visitors and contribute to covering the events costs.
A few stand-out trucks in my view were the outstandingly-presented T900 Legend and colour-matched trailer of Bransgrove Trucking. The overall fleet presentation from Lawrence Transport, and regulars on the show circuit such as the Ballinger Transport fleet, were particularly significant effort only a few short weeks following the sudden passing of company founder Dane Ballinger in a tragic truck crash near Nambucca, in NSW.
As regular participants in truck shows, the Ballinger fleet is always hard to miss at these events with a level of immaculate presentation that’s just about unbeatable. In a display of true transport-industry grit, and a show must-go-on attitude, the Ballinger Transport fleet had a high presence at this year’s Kenworth Klassic.
Representing the octogenarian generation was a 1937 Kenworth, model 520, owned by Paddy Ward. It features a Cummins H-series, 120 hp engine producing 500 ft/lb of torque, driving through a Spicer 4X3 transmission.
The 2019 Kenworth Klassic should be regarded as another success, with PowerTorque’s congratulations to all those who made it possible. Even the Weather Gods came in to support the show, and, having threatened rain, the significance of the event won through with fine conditions for what was a top-shelf show.