Raffled off 1982 Kenworth finds new home in Sydney

What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever won at a raffle?

At the raffles I’ve attended, you’d be considered lucky to receive a free pint.

A gift voucher may grace the prize pool, or a meat tray if you stumbled in on a particularly cashed-up day.

Never have I seen a 1982 cab over Kenworth as second prize, but that is precisely where Andrew Mede’s truck originates.

A local advertisement for the raffle

Fascinated by trucking history, when Andrew purchased the Kenworth in 2016, he was immediately drawn to find out its past.

Through some digging, Andrew found that the first owner won the rig at a Jerilderie Apex raffle in 1982.

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With a man called Butch claiming the first prize W model Kenworth, a couple from Western Australia went back home with the cab over and put it to work.

Pulling two trailers for Southern Transport, the cab over rotated carting cotton and grain around the Albany area for two years.

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The rig spent two years carting cotton and grain around the Albany area

Shortly after, the couple decided to give up the rig, eventually selling it to Kevin Rules of Rules Haulage.

“He had that truck for a while, I believe it was around 20 years,” Andrew says.

Kevin made his mark on the three-year-old truck with a fresh coat of yellow and brown paint, and some snazzy decals.

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It didn’t have the iconic yellow and brown colourway in the beginning

Andrew eventually got into contact with Kevin’s wife, who came strapped with a loaded history on the truck.

It turns out the rig was used to cart roof tiles, bricks and timber around the Albany area.

Having stints transporting cow hides and wool as well, “it was running heavy most of the time.”

Kevin and his wife had even helped organise the first ever Convoy for Kids in Western Australia in 1993.

Taking the front spot in the line-up, the Kenworth led the Convoy and became synonymous with the history of the event.

The Kenworth was the lead truck at the first Convoy for Kids WA in 1993

When Kevin sadly passed away, his wife sold the truck to one of their drivers who eventually took over the business.

After a couple more years in the fleet, the Kenworth changed career paths and landed on a farm in WA as a run-around.

Now, we know being a farmhand is no easy task, and after 10 years in the paddocks getting dirty, it needed some desperate TLC.

The Kenworth eventually moved off the farm and into the arms of Maurice Murphy, with the intention to restore it to its original glory.

However truck restorations do not always go as planned..

Despite his best intentions, Maurice had to give up the dream as time wasn’t on his side.

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The original truck on display in Jerilderie as a raffle prize

It was then 2016 when an eager Andrew Mede stumbled across the advertisement for the truck to be sold and decided he just had to have it.

“So yeah, I ended up buying it and brought it over to Sydney,” he says.

Buying it in June, he anxiously awaited the arrival of his new toy until October.

With work to do, Andrew buckled down and began fixing it up.

“It’s  had an engine rebuild in 2017, and it’s got the original motor,” he says.

Andrew says his friend Adrian Tanner and his late brother Chris were instrumental in helping with the engine rebuild and getting the truck back on the road.

A lot of work had to be done to bring it back to life

The truck is a K124CR powered by a Detroit Diesel 8v92ta @ 445hp.

The Kenworth has a 14-speed overdrive Spicer SST and 4:11 DS440p diffs, while the engine and front diff are original.

However, the rear diff had a bearing collapse at approximately 1 million kilometres.

“It’s done just under 2.4 million kilometres, which is probably a great deal for a truck of its age.”

Keeping the original colours that Rules Haulage had it painted, Andrew eventually got his friend to make up the stickers of the company to go on the cab.

“I want to preserve the history of where it spent most of its life working,” Andrew says.

“If I come across the money, eventually, I’ll probably restore it exactly how it was.”

The Kenworth now holds historic registration in Sydney, where Andrew takes pride in taking it around and showing it off at truck shows.

Andrew wants to honour where it spent most of its life working

“I go to the Kenworth Classic every year, and usually do the Haulin the Hume run, from Sydney to Yass,” he says.

“It’s been on the Crawlin the Hume run too, from Melbourne to Albury.”

Andrew says it’s a highlight being able to take the rig around and he hits the road to “take it to whatever shows I can, when
I can.” 

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