George Dawson has been surrounded by commercial vehicles all his life.
The Bendigo resident obtained his first truck in 1950, running it twice weekly between Raywood and Bendigo as a general carrier. Three years later, Mr Dawson and his father successfully tendered for a school bus contract at Raywood.
“In 1956 we got another school run, so Dad drove one and I drove one,” said Mr Dawson.
In the ’60s demand for trucking services declined so Mr Dawson opened a mechanical workshop at Raywood, but his love of trucks and buses prevailed, so he went in search of the type of vehicles he drove earlier in his career.
A 1946 Chevrolet Maple Leaf was found at an auction at Newstead, while the 1951 Bedford OB bus was in a Mildura scrap yard.
With help from retired panel beater Ian Rye, Mr Dawson has lovingly restored both vehicles which will participate in the VACC Centennial Cavalcade and Show ’n Shine in Bendigo later this month. The event celebrates the formation of VACC in Bendigo in September 1918, an occasion that will have special significance for Mr Dawson.
“When I had the garage in Raywood I was a VACC member for 14 years and I was also an agent for VACC Insurance,” he said.
Mr Dawson will drive one of the vehicles in the cavalcade while Mr Rye will drive the other.
“They have a top speed of 38mph which is about 65km/h, so the cavalcade is going to take us nearly three hours, but there will be a few other slow ones,” said Mr Dawson.
As vintage working vehicles, the truck and bus have few creature comforts.
“You open the windows for air conditioning and you just rug up if it’s cold. I used to drive the old truck up to Charlton every month from Raywood picking up bran and pollard, which is chook feed, and I used to rug up with an overcoat. That’s the way you did it,” he said.
You can see the VACC Centennial Cavalcade and Show ’n Shine from 12pm-4pm on Saturday 22 September in the Bendigo Town Hall precinct. The free event will showcase up to 200 cars, commercial vehicles, trucks and motorcycles while the VACC Centennial Cavalcade will feature 100 different vehicles from 100 different years, driving from Melbourne to Bendigo. For details see vacc.com.au
VACC prepares to celebrate 100 years in Bendigo
NO MATTER where Alan Stevens travels, it always feels like home.
That’s because the camping enthusiast from Eaglehawk has an impressive collection of vintage camping vehicles, but none more distinctive than his 1952 Austin Loadmaster motorhome.
The vehicle is certain to catch the crowd’s attention when it appears at the VACC Centennial Cavalcade and Show ‘n Shine in Bendigo later this month, an event that will celebrate the formation of VACC in Bendigo in September 1918.
‘Legendary’ Alvis 12/50 roadster to go on show for cavalcade
AS A QANTAS pilot, Peter Miller is used to operating modern, sophisticated machinery, but since retiring nine years ago he’s found more time to pursue one of his other great passions, vintage cars.
Mr Miller, of New Gisborne, is the proud owner of a rare 1925 Alvis 12/50 roadster and is looking forward to participating in the VACC Centennial Cavalcade and Show ’n Shine.
“I’ve owned Alvis cars for quite some time but the 12/50 is legendary, it’s just an absolutely fabulous motor car and I’ve always wanted one. They are very hard to find so when it came on the market I didn’t hesitate,” he said.
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