Volwreck to unveil restored 1973 Volvo G88 in Urana

Wander into the work shed at Volwreck HQ in Campbellfield, Victoria, just to the north of Melbourne’s CBD right now and you’ll spot a 1973 Volvo G88, or at least the shell of one.

The G88 is the latest restoration project for Volwreck’s Graeme Troutbeck.

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It’s a work in progress – a passion project that Graeme is hoping to have in some sort of order for this year’s Urana Vintage Machinery Club’s Vintage Rally & Truck Show in October. 

Given the work involved – time will tell whether the dream becomes reality. 

Already the cab has been stripped down to its elements and the hard work of panel repair and replacement have begun.

Luckily for Graeme, he is surrounded by classic Volvo parts, and with more than three decades’ experience as a mechanic including the past 23 involved mainly with Volvo product, he has a headstart when it comes to getting things right.

The F88 restoration will be the fourth for Graeme, following on from a 1972 F86, a 1989 FL10 and a 2010 FH16 XXL Globetrotter.

Show time for Volwreck involves three restored trucks and one big trailer!

The bigger trucks were restored as business decision to help pick up wrecks from around the country, while the little F86 was one of those things that Graeme had always wanted to do.

It was the F86 and the other models of that era where Graeme honed his skills as an apprentice mechanic and began building his years of experience in troubleshooting and repairing all manner of Volvos.

“It gives you a good challenge when you are working on them, especially the air systems on the old models,” Graeme told Deals on Wheels’ correspondent Warren Aitken back in 2019, just as the F86 was ready to roll out to the truck shows – five years after its restoration began.

Volwreck’s Graeme Troutbeck brought this F86 model back to life, and is now working on an F88 with plans to unveil the results in October

The F86 was restored as closely as possible to the original truck, with one modern addition being that of a mobile phone charging port that was simply not a thing back in 1972, or it would surely have been included in the luxurious interior modelling Volvo’s are known for. 

“It’s still got that comfort, you get thrown around a bit, but it’s still got that comfort,” reflected Graeme all those years ago.

The F86’s were first imported into Australia by Mayne Nickless. They were fitted with a TD70A engine and produced 185hp (138kW) tied to an eight-speed synchro gearbox.

1973 G88 model as it arrived and in the paint booth.

Having put all the hard work into restoring the trucks, the Volwreck team enjoy sharing the results with other historic truck lovers around the country, often loading bringing all three of their completed projects to historic truck shows around, with the Globetrotter taking on the role of truck carrier.

In October the Volwreck crew will head north to the country town of Urana in New South Wales where this year’s truck of choice for the Vintage Rally and Truck Show is Volvo.

The G88 will share a similar colour scheme to the 1972 F86

The two-day event will feature a Vintage Tractor Trek, Twilight Tractor Pull, and a Show and Shine section on the Sunday that is sure to attract plenty of interest.

For show updates see www.facebook.com/uranavintagemachineryclubinc/ 

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