5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 6, 2020

In August the Northern Classic Commercials club organised a two-day run around the Manawatu and Horowhenua so members could blow the cobwebs off trucks that had been parked up during the pandemic.

Photo: William Stephenson‘s immaculate 1980 Kenworth K124 leaving Harrisville Speedway.

Starting in Sanson at Viv‘s Kitchen (home of the famous cream horn!), the club travelled to Harrisville Speedway. Built alongside the air force base at Ohakea by Brent Harris, the site features a speedway track as well as a small museum filled with a vast array of motoring treasures from days gone by. Despite the weather forecast predicting rain the whole weekend, a brief shower on Saturday morning was followed by brilliant sunshine for the rest of the run. A visit to the Old Stag Deer Park was an eye-opener, with an incredible display of dropped antlers and tame deer. William Stephenson took up owner Jeff Hansen‘s invitation to hand-feed one of the stags with a huge set of antlers still in place, while others got up close and personal with a deer that liked to kiss the ladies! Lunch was at Bryan Menefy‘s home near Palmerston North. Well known for his highly specced working trucks as well as his immaculate collection of classic Macks, Bryan also has about a dozen classic Ford cars and motorcycles.

After gathering for dinner in Palmerston North on Saturday night, Sunday saw a convoy of classic trucks travel from organisers Ray and Fiona Reid‘s yard at Rangiotu to JB‘s Environmental, John (JB) and Karen Matangi‘s operation in Levin, for morning tea. JB has a number of classic trucks himself, including ERFs and Macks, and is also storing some of Bryan‘s. Next stop was at Richard Webb‘s well drilling business just off SH1 in Levin. In addition to two working Bedfords and a T900 Kenworth, Richard has a shed dedicated to his collection of classic tractors and a Kenworth undergoing restoration. The last stop of the weekend was to view Gordon O‘Riley‘s model trucks at Waitarere Beach. Gordon has a particular love of New Zealand trucks from the 1970s and 1980s and visitors marvelled at the familiar fleets replicated in miniature on his shelves. About 35 trucks took part in the event, with most of the major makes represented, including small Chevy pickup trucks, 1980s ERFs, 1970s Internationals, several Macks and Kenworths and even a 1975 Fiat 684J. “It was great to see so many familiar faces and plenty of new ones as well. Everyone was keen to dust off their trucks after lockdown and get them on the road again. It‘s fantastic that people are willing to open their collections and treasures to us, and it‘s amazing what is in our own area to see,” said Fiona.

Photo: A lineup of Bryan Menefy‘s stunning classic Macks at John and Karen Matangi‘s yard in Levin. From left: 1990 R722RST, 1982 R797, 1983 A8FR788RS, 1988 MCE 388 RST, and 1986 WR 788 RST.

Photo: One of the more unusual trucks on the run was this 1975 Fiat 684J.

Photo: Richard Webb‘s vehicles are always beautifully presented. Here are his 1976 and 1974 Bedford KM6V71s and 1991 Kenworth T900.

Photo: Obscured behind Old Stag Deer Park owner Jeff Hansen is William Stephenson, the only person game enough to take up Jeff‘s offer to handfeed this stag with a full set of antlers!

Photo: A 1995 Kenworth T650 alongside a 1981 Kenworth K144.

Photo: Neville Jamieson‘s 1994 International T2700XT looked right at home on one of Horowhenua‘s rural roads.

Photo: Mark Moody from Koputaroa‘s 1999 Mack MH613 was looking sharp on the run.