In Pictures: 2015 Australian White Truck Muster

By: Tamara Whitsed


White Muster organisers Ray and Michelle Grima with Jasmin and Jacob, in front of one of Ray’s 1978 Road Commanders from the Clutha fleet. White Muster organisers Ray and Michelle Grima with Jasmin and Jacob, in front of one of Ray’s 1978 Road Commanders from the Clutha fleet. White Muster organisers Ray and Michelle Grima with Jasmin and Jacob, in front of one of Ray’s 1978 Road Commanders from the Clutha fleet.
Ray Grima is thrilled with the success of the White Muster at Kyabram. Ray Grima is thrilled with the success of the White Muster at Kyabram. Ray Grima is thrilled with the success of the White Muster at Kyabram.
Phillip Mathie of Narooma with his yellow 1957 Mustang WC 2264. Phillip Mathie of Narooma with his yellow 1957 Mustang WC 2264. Phillip Mathie of Narooma with his yellow 1957 Mustang WC 2264.
Beautifully restored Mustangs and Super Powers. Beautifully restored Mustangs and Super Powers. Beautifully restored Mustangs and Super Powers.
Bryan Rankin of Lockington, Victoria, is looking for parts to restore a Model 20 White. It dates back to the 1920s and was the oldest White truck at the Muster. Bryan Rankin of Lockington, Victoria, is looking for parts to restore a Model 20 White. It dates back to the 1920s and was the oldest White truck at the Muster. Bryan Rankin of Lockington, Victoria, is looking for parts to restore a Model 20 White. It dates back to the 1920s and was the oldest White truck at the Muster.
James Smithers of Balranald, NSW finished painting his 1978 White Road Commander at 6am so he could show off his recent restoration at the White Muster. James Smithers of Balranald, NSW finished painting his 1978 White Road Commander at 6am so he could show off his recent restoration at the White Muster. James Smithers of Balranald, NSW finished painting his 1978 White Road Commander at 6am so he could show off his recent restoration at the White Muster.
Peter Fox’s 1976 Series 1 Road Commander still carts freight throughout Victoria. Peter Fox’s 1976 Series 1 Road Commander still carts freight throughout Victoria. Peter Fox’s 1976 Series 1 Road Commander still carts freight throughout Victoria.
Quentin Mathie’s 2014 Western Star 4800 FXB carts fuel in NSW. Quentin Mathie’s 2014 Western Star 4800 FXB carts fuel in NSW. Quentin Mathie’s 2014 Western Star 4800 FXB carts fuel in NSW.
Ted Beamish from Beamish Heavy Haulage, Wantirna, was an entertaining guest speaker at the White Muster dinner. The second-generation truck driver has been on the road for 50 years. Ted Beamish from Beamish Heavy Haulage, Wantirna, was an entertaining guest speaker at the White Muster dinner. The second-generation truck driver has been on the road for 50 years. Ted Beamish from Beamish Heavy Haulage, Wantirna, was an entertaining guest speaker at the White Muster dinner. The second-generation truck driver has been on the road for 50 years.
Brothers Adrian, 17, and Dale, 15, Reid of Stawell, Victoria with their White Road Commander. Brothers Adrian, 17, and Dale, 15, Reid of Stawell, Victoria with their White Road Commander. Brothers Adrian, 17, and Dale, 15, Reid of Stawell, Victoria with their White Road Commander.
Aldo Marson’s 1968 Diamond T with a 1952 Tooronga tank in Esso livery. Aldo Marson’s 1968 Diamond T with a 1952 Tooronga tank in Esso livery. Aldo Marson’s 1968 Diamond T with a 1952 Tooronga tank in Esso livery.
Sam Sali with his Diamond T 351 which was bought new in 1958. S Sali & Sons of Shepparton celebrates its 60th anniversary next year. Sam Sali with his Diamond T 351 which was bought new in 1958. S Sali & Sons of Shepparton celebrates its 60th anniversary next year. Sam Sali with his Diamond T 351 which was bought new in 1958. S Sali & Sons of Shepparton celebrates its 60th anniversary next year.
Geoff Rudd with his 1980 White Road Commander SE9. Geoff Rudd with his 1980 White Road Commander SE9. Geoff Rudd with his 1980 White Road Commander SE9.
A 9000 and Road Bosses. A 9000 and Road Bosses. A 9000 and Road Bosses.
John Dowling’s Road Boss. John Dowling’s Road Boss. John Dowling’s Road Boss.
Geoff Brown’s White 9000. Geoff Brown’s White 9000. Geoff Brown’s White 9000.
Ken Young travelled from Bribbaree, NSW with his White 9000. Ken Young travelled from Bribbaree, NSW with his White 9000. Ken Young travelled from Bribbaree, NSW with his White 9000.
Trevor Ellwood of Penrith, NSW with his 1975 White 4000. Trevor Ellwood of Penrith, NSW with his 1975 White 4000. Trevor Ellwood of Penrith, NSW with his 1975 White 4000.
Anthony Colombrita from Sydney with his White 9000. Anthony Colombrita from Sydney with his White 9000. Anthony Colombrita from Sydney with his White 9000.
Don Hughes’ White 3000 was one of two at the muster. Don Hughes’ White 3000 was one of two at the muster. Don Hughes’ White 3000 was one of two at the muster.
Don Hughes’ beautifully restored 1951 Super Power WC22. Don Hughes’ beautifully restored 1951 Super Power WC22. Don Hughes’ beautifully restored 1951 Super Power WC22.
Swampy Millsteed, right, and Ned Higgins with a White Super Power and White 7564 from Swampy’s collection. Swampy Millsteed, right, and Ned Higgins with a White Super Power and White 7564 from Swampy’s collection. Swampy Millsteed, right, and Ned Higgins with a White Super Power and White 7564 from Swampy’s collection.
Brian Green of Bourke bought this Diamond Reo new in 1971. Brian Green of Bourke bought this Diamond Reo new in 1971. Brian Green of Bourke bought this Diamond Reo new in 1971.
Phil Hedley of Warragul, Victoria carts general freight interstate in this patriotic 2007 Western Star Constellation. Phil Hedley of Warragul, Victoria carts general freight interstate in this patriotic 2007 Western Star Constellation. Phil Hedley of Warragul, Victoria carts general freight interstate in this patriotic 2007 Western Star Constellation.
Jim and Ida Hitchcock of Nowra, NSW worked together to restore their White 9000. Jim and Ida Hitchcock of Nowra, NSW worked together to restore their White 9000. Jim and Ida Hitchcock of Nowra, NSW worked together to restore their White 9000.
Ian Lee with his restored Diamond T which pays tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. Ian Lee with his restored Diamond T which pays tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. Ian Lee with his restored Diamond T which pays tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Dave Willis and John Laffan will return to Kyabram on March 19 and 20, 2016 for the Mack Muster. Dave Willis and John Laffan will return to Kyabram on March 19 and 20, 2016 for the Mack Muster. Dave Willis and John Laffan will return to Kyabram on March 19 and 20, 2016 for the Mack Muster.

The sixth Australian White Truck Muster attracted a record number of Whites on March 21 and 22. Tamara Whitsed travels to Kyabram, Victoria

 

Ray Grima can’t wipe the smile off his face as he admires 58 vehicles from the White stable assembled at the Kyabram Showgrounds for the 2015 Australian White Truck Muster.

"This certainly is the largest amount of trucks we’ve had here since we’ve been running the White Truck Muster," says Ray, who has organised six White musters since 2005.

"It can only get bigger and better in the future."

Among the 58 are trucks branded Diamond T, Reo, Diamond Reo and Western Star. There are even Cletrac crawlers.

Ray has welcomed these brands as part of the White family because they were produced or acquired by White Motor Company.

The muster is held in conjunction with the Kyabram Vintage Engine Club’s annual display.

Whites have centre stage, but nearby another 70 trucks are polished and on show.

Kenworth, International, Mack, Dodge, Leyland, Foden, Dodge, Scania, Morris, Bedford, and Austin are among the many brands represented.

The American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) is watching over the Brand X collection, leaving Ray to focus on the Whites.

Ray says support from his wife Michelle and their friends make it possible to organise the muster despite his work demands — he carts general freight between Melbourne and Kyabram for Scott’s Transport.

His love of Whites verges on obsession. He has even collected five White sewing machines. (The White family made sewing machines in the mid-19th Century before it produced trucks.)

The oldest White truck at the muster is a Model 20 dating back to the 1920s. It is owned by Bryan Rankin of Lockington, Victoria.

Bryan bought the rusting treasure 16 years ago and has transported it to all six White Musters hoping to source parts for his restoration.

"I’m still a few parts short," he says. An unusual brass honeycomb cord radiator is top of his list. He plans to import parts from the United States and aims to complete the restoration before the next White Muster in 2017.

The next oldest White is Ray’s pride and joy — an unrestored 802 from the late 1930s. Ray says it is possibly the only 802 in Australia.

"It’s a pretty rare bird," he says.

The 802 is parked beside Ross Talbot’s restored 1954 White 3000. Ross demonstrates the cab-over’s electric tilt cabin. The mechanism, which was state-of-the-art in its day, was also used to open the bomb compartments of B-52 bombers.

 

Beautifully restored Mustangs and Super Powers.

Mustang power

Two expertly restored Mustangs are crowd favourites. Phillip Mathie of Narooma owns the yellow 1957 WC-2264 and green 1962 White 4200.

He specialised in logging and earthmoving for more than 40 years, retiring five years ago when he lost his eyesight.

Showing his magnificent Mustangs helps Phillip keep in touch with trucking friends.

Don Hughes of Eurobin is busy in a marquee, answering questions about his extensive collection of White badges, ornaments and merchandise.

He has three Whites on display — a 1951 Super Power WC-22, 1955 White 3000 and 1975 White 4000.

The 4000 is an example of the quality trucks which rolled out of the White factory at Coopers Plains, Queensland, during the 1970s.

White 9000s, Road Commanders and Road Bosses were also made at Coopers Plains during what is considered the heyday for Whites in Australia.

Five Road Bosses, 10 Road Commanders and two 4000s were on show at the event.

"The Bosses and the Commanders are pretty good tough-looking trucks," Ray Grima says. "They’re highly collectable these days."

Ray has four Road Commanders at the muster. His 1974 Road Commander was imported from America. The three 1978 Road Commanders all previously carted coal in the Camden District, New South Wales, for Clutha.

Ray introduces us to Peter Fox of Epping Victoria who is standing beside a 1976 Series 1 Road Commander. Peter bought the Road Commander in 1980 and still drives it from the Melbourne wharves to destinations throughout Victoria.

Livestock carrier James Smithers of Balranald, NSW sings the praise of his 1978 Road Commander which he bought in 1990. It operated as a road train until 2007.

"It’s been a very good truck to me — a very strong truck," James says.

Brothers Adrian and Dale Reid are both in their teens. They enjoy working on their Road Commander at their home in Stawell, Victoria and are proud to display it at Kyabram.

Jim and Ida Hitchcock’s one-owner 1974 9564 stands out among seven impressive 9000s at the muster.

"We’ve been three years restoring it from chassis rails up," Jim says.

"Every night we did something on it, Ida and me."

The couple operated Jim Hitchcock Haulage until 2005. They now focus on their Nowra workshop, South Star Trucks.

 

Sam Sali with his Diamond T 351 which was bought new in 1958. S Sali & Sons of Shepparton celebrates its 60th anniversary next year.

Diamonds

White acquired Reo Motors and Diamond T in the late 1950s, and these brands are represented at the White Muster.

Aldo Marson’s 1968 Diamond T P5000D is attached to an eye-catching 1952 Tooronga tanker in Esso livery.

Sam Sali’s 1958 Diamond T is loaded with empty apple crates. The truck was purchased new in 1958 when S Sali & Sons was in its infancy.

Brian Green travelled from Bourke with his Diamond Reo which he bought new in 1971. It has clocked up 4.7 million kilometres.

"It’s done nothing else but road train work," says Brian who drove it for the past 20 years of his career.

By the end of the 1970s White had a solid reputation for quality and reliability. But over-investment in North America contributed to financial difficulties.

The company was liquidated in 1981 and acquired by Volvo which gradually phased out the White brand.

But Western Star — a brand launched by White in North America in the late 1960s — is still in production today.

Nine Western Stars are at the White Muster, including Quentin Mathie’s 2014 Western Star 4800FXB which carts fuel in NSW. Quentin, 28, operates three trucks from Narooma.

The newest truck here is a Western Star 6964 recently sold by Hartwigs Shepparton to Rhype Livestock Transport.

Encouraged by the success of the 2015 Muster, Ray is already planning the 2017 Muster.

For more information go to the White Truck Muster Facebook page or phone Ray Grima on 0407 311 007.  

 

Dave Willis and John Laffan will return to Kyabram on March 19 and 20, 2016 for the Mack Muster.

Macks back in 2016

Plans are underway for a Mack Muster at Kyabram on March 19 and 20, 2016.

The show will be held as part of Kyabram Vintage Engine Club’s annual display.

Organisers Dave Willis and John Laffan attended this year’s White Muster at Kyabram and promoted the Mack Muster with a banner strung across Dave’s 1983 Mack Superliner 1.

Organisers will welcome other brands at the Mack Muster.

For more information, visit the Kyabram Mack Muster 2016 Facebook page or phone Dave Willis on 0428 692 753 or John Laffan on 0427 484 247.

 

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