Mint condition 1972 Dodge Tow Truck is owner’s “pride and joy”

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Peter Waghorn’s extensive collection of vintage vehicles includes over 20 cars – and one bright red tow truck. 

The impressive 1972 575 Dodge truck, which came equipped with a 318 V8 engine, is certainly a little different from his array of Morris Minors and Pontiacs. 

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But Waghorn, a former panel beater who now runs his own caravan business in Warragul, Victoria, has a lot of love for the unique machine. 

“It was originally a roadside assistance tow truck belonging to the RACV, apparently from Traralgon,” he tells Deals on Wheels. 

“It’s in great condition.

“Whenever I walk past it, I think about how glad I am that I got it.” 

The Dodge tow truck definitely stands out

Waghorn bought the Dodge truck off a man in Geelong about five years ago, after first spotting it for sale on Facebook. 

“I showed my wife the picture of it and she said: ‘Grab it!’

“I rang up the bloke, and he sent me more photos. 

“He said he’d had to handle so many timewasters – so I said ‘I won’t waste your time!’ and I drove to Geelong to get it. 

“My wife’s father is right into trucks and he came with me, he said it was in great shape for how old it was etc. So I bought it then and there.”

Waghorn said the previous owner took great care of the Dodge, and it didn’t need much work after he purchased it. 

“Obviously somewhere down the track it has been painted,” he says. 

“But it’s pretty original. I put some tapes around it and tidied it up but that was about it. 

It has such a unique colour story!

“It has a few little marks here and there, which I’ll fix up eventually, but no-one would notice them unless I pointed them out.”

Waghorn kept in contact with the owner after buying the truck, but the owner has since passed away. 

“Before he died, I tried to keep in touch with him just to let him know that I really appreciated the truck and I was looking after it,” he says. 

Waghorn likes to take the truck to shows, like the Heritage Truck and Vehicle Display at Lardner Park in February. 

“I enjoy going to the shows because we all love our cars and trucks, and we’re getting older now.

“It’s a chance to get together and have a mingle and a bit of fun.” 

The interiors

When the truck isn’t being shown off at events, Waghorn doesn’t like to take it on the road too much. 

“I take it for a drive a couple of times a month, but I don’t go too far,” he says. 

“I get a lot of enjoyment from looking at it, even from washing it!

“I’m very fussy about my cars and trucks and like to keep them very clean.” 

Waghorn has spent his whole life in the vehicle trade – starting with his first part-time job as a teenager, washing cars at a service station. 

After that, he did an apprenticeship as a panel beater and eventually went on to run two different panel beating businesses. 

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Peter’s pride and joy

He also spent 25 years as an insurance loss assessor, particularly for trucks and buses, and worked as a used car manager/valuer at a Ford dealership in the ‘80s. 

Now at the age of 73, Waghorn says he’s “slowing down”, but his vehicle collection is a wonderful reminder of a life spent doing what he loves. 

“I left school when I was 15, I was never any good at school,” he says. 

“Sometimes in life you think ‘Oh, I wish I had done something else.’

“But really, I’m happy I’ve done what I’ve done in life. 

“I look at my cars and my truck and I’m so glad I have them.”

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