A Trip Down Memory Lane 

a trip down memory lane

Tucked away in a large purpose-built shed at Brown and Hurley’s Kyogle, NSW headquarters, Paul Matthei takes a trip down memory lane as he is given a guided tour by Jim Hurley.

Jim has amassed an eclectic array of trucks and machinery that collectively span the 76 years Brown and Hurley has been in business.

On of the foundations on which the Brown and Hurley network of Paccar dealerships selling Kenworth and DAF across Queensland and Northern NSW has been built, is its sense of loyalty and tradition. These qualities have seen the business go from strength to strength and now it can reflect on its own history with the museum containing a historic vehicle collection put together by Jim.

Jim has amassed an eclectic array of trucks and machinery that collectively span the 76 years Brown and Hurley has been in business. Paul Matthei takes a trip down memory lane as he is given a guided tour of the museum by the man himself. 

Most people involved with trucking in Australia immediately associate the Brown and Hurley name with the Paccar brands of Kenworth and DAF that the dealership, as Australia’s largest Paccar distributor, so successfully sells and services.

a trip down memory lane

However, from 1952 to the late ‘70s the company sold a number of other truck brands including White, Leyland and Volvo, in addition to a range of tractors and other machinery. 

As the son of Jack Hurley, co-founder of the company, octogenarian Jim Hurley has witnessed the full extent of the journey from humble beginnings in a Kyogle bicycle repair shop to the massive truck dealership with multiple branches across northern New South Wales and Queensland.

As such, over the last 14 years or so Jim has made it his mission to collect and oversee restoration of examples of machinery with wheels and tracks, and even chainsaws, that the company has sold over the years.

Asked about the impetus to start the museum, Jim says it began when former Paccar Australia Managing Director, Andrew Wright, asked him to take on DAF distribution in Australia and flew him to Eindhoven in Holland to view the DAF factory. 

“They took us through a museum there, displaying all the trucks and machinery the company has built over the years, and it struck me that we have a fair bit of history with all the gear we’ve sold, so we should do the same sort of thing,” says Jim. “I had already acquired the first Kenworth (W923) we sold to Toowoomba-based operator Doug Wyton in 1965 and as time went on I collected the rest, piece by piece, with the end result what you see here today.”

Jim adds that he and Andrew Wright were instrumental in establishing the Kenworth Pavilion at the Road Transport Hall of Fame at Alice Springs in the mid 1980s.

“I was at the inaugural meeting for it and assisted in kick starting the project from day one, along with Andrew Wright from the Kenworth factory side until he retired, and I’ve been helping drive it ever since,” says Jim. “We have 22 brand new trucks up there that will never work and about 18 customer trucks, some fully restored and some still in their work clothes.”

As for Jim’s Brown and Hurley museum at Kyogle, the following pictorial is a snapshot of the contents, each unit representing a distinct era of equipment sales in the company’s almanac.

a trip down memory lane

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