Remembering the Kenworth Grey Ghosts

By: Greg Bush


A retired Kwikasair driver has used his lockdown days to help maintain the memories and fellowship of the Kenworth Grey Ghosts of yesteryear

Remembering the Kenworth Grey Ghosts
The Kenworth K125 Grey Ghost

 

Despite the effects of the Sydney COVID lockdown, retired driver Bob Hall is showing determination to keep the memories, and the camaraderie, alive that existed at former logistics company Kwikasair during the 1960s and early ‘70s. Especially the years when the 8-wheeler Kenworth ‘Grey Ghosts’ were introduced into the fleet.

Bob says the COVID has curtailed any plans of a reunion. However, the idle times that comes with lockdowns has brought an alternate opportunity for Bob and his former workmates.

"We had a pretty big reunion a while ago at Bankstown Sports Club; we had 120 blokes turn up," Bob explains.

"But unfortunately, the way things are at the moment, it looks like we can’t get together.

Bob Hall behind the wheel of the first Kenworth K125 on its maiden trip in early 1971. Kwikasair's lineal manager John Watt is in the passenger seat,

"So what we’ve done, we’ve put out a polo shirt with the Kwikisair emblem on it and K125 Grey Ghost and the Kenworth logo.

"The polo shirt deal came probably out of boredom. It gave us something to in lockdown."

Bob recalls driving 5-speed Thames Traders for Kwikasair before the arrival of the grey Kenworths which were a step forward, although he says they were pretty basic trucks compared to today’s standards.

He was behind the first completely knocked down 8-wheeler as it made its maiden trip from Melbourne to Sydney.

"When I look back at them now, the times that we were doing on the old road up through the Putty, even the guys now with 650hp and four lane roads, they’re still not doing it."

A Grey Ghost emerges from Kwikasair's Alexandria depot in Sydney.

Bob spent around 10 years at Kwikasair before "coming to his senses" and began driving concrete trucks before retiring in the late 1990s. "I was into them for about 30 years, which was a little bit of a different ball game to what I was used to."

He explains that the K125 Grey Ghost shirt colour is platinum to present the truck colour, with the K125 and Grey Ghost in royal blue to match the colour of the fleet numbers.

T-shirt.jpg

Bob asserts that this is not a money-making enterprise, he’s selling the shirts at cost price.

"We have made these shirts to try and keep the memory of Kwikasair and the old trucks alive," he adds.

"Any driver on the highway that wants one can have one, but it’s just something mainly for the older drivers ’cause there’s still a few of us around."

Bob advises that anyone who wants to order a cost-price shirt should email vjhall@macarthurgardens.com.au with Grey Ghosts in the subject line.

 

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