New Zealand is littered with trucks that have long since had their glory day. Some lay hidden in dusty back lots on the outskirts of town. Some stand in the middle of the nation’s paddocks, covered in moss, almost blending into the scenery. But each has a story to tell; each was once a valued partner on the road, someone’s first truck, someone’s millionmiler. In this new series, we’ll give these forgotten heroes one more moment in the limelight. And, where we can, share some of their stories.

If you’ve ever turned off SH5 and taken Broadland’s Road towards Taupo, you’ll no doubt have noticed this Bedford J6 in the middle of a dairy farm paddock just outside Reporoa. It’s parked almost as though on display for passing motorists, tyres still pumped up firm but heavily weathered and patinaed. “It’s been packed up for years and I want to restore it,” says current owner Calvin Thomas. First registered in 1966, it was powered by a 300 cubic-inch (4.9-litre) 6-cylinder petrol unit. The Thomases bought it with a farm circa 1983. “It was an awesome truck to drive. An awesome bulk truck.”