Historic Sterling saved by New Zealand museum


Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand. Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand. Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand.
The Sterling LT9500. The Sterling LT9500. The Sterling LT9500.
Extremely rare 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker. Extremely rare 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker. Extremely rare 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker.
Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand. Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand. Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand.

Playing a vital role in Sterling’s local imprint, a 2008 LT9500 is heading across the Tasman Sea to join a 250-truck strong collection

 

A New Zealand museum has saved a 2008 Sterling from the crushers, adopting the truck to join a collection of over 250 trucks and 50 cars.

Built as an engineering development unit in the US, the Sterling LT9500 aided the right-hand-drive Sterling program meet the ADR80/02 emission standard and ensure the trucks were capable of handling the conditions in Australia and New Zealand.

Having been part of the durability and reliability test program, the 450hp MBE4000 engine-equipped Sterling was put through its paces in extreme weather conditions across hundreds of hours and rough road surfaces.

After which, the Sterling made the journey to Australia where it served Daimler Trucks as a training aid for technicians and apprentices until it was recently retired.

Currently on a boat heading across the Tasman Sea, the Sterling is travelling towards a long-deserved rest at Bill Richardson Transport World.

Located in Invercargill, in New Zealand’s south, the museum currently houses 91 Sterling trucks as part of its collection, all arriving during the brand’s final decade up to 2010.

Bill Richardson Transport World’s director Jocelyn O’Donnell , the daughter of the late Bill Richardson who established both the collection of trucks and the HWR transport group, says the fully-functional LT9500 will fit in perfectly.

"It will be a great addition to the collection and it is nice to see that these vehicles will be preserved into the future," she says.

The museum, which opened to the public full-time in November, features a range of trucks, cars, and memorabilia covering 15,000 square metres.

While previously open by appointment, the museum’s first six months have seen 28,000 people head through its doors to enjoy its art-deco hall fully-equipped with everything from a café and children’s play area to conference room.

Alongside the Sterling collection, Transport World has an extremely rare 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker, seven pre Model T Fords and the world’s only known surviving 1914 Stewart one-tonne truck on display.

Freightliner Australia engineering, product planning and technical service senior manager Rodney West says he’s glad the Sterling LT9500 lives on.

"Bill Richardson Transport World is an incredible display, with some absolutely wonderful trucks," West says.

"We are very happy that our Sterling evaluation vehicle is now part of the collection."

Sentiment backed by Freightliner New Zealand senior manager Pieter Theron, who says the Invercargill collection plays an important role in the region.

"Transport World is committed to preserving the heritage of trucking in New Zealand and to inspire the younger generation to see transportation as an exciting career opportunity," he says.

"It is a great initiative and we are happy to contribute with the donation of this special Sterling truck."

Freightliner was a sister brand to Sterling until the brand was retired in 2010.

 

 

 

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook