Lloyd Robert Borrett

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Trucks etc.

Kenworth, Fords & Farm Machinery

To really get right away from everything to do with computers, I go and visit my neighbour Mick Gardiner. Such visits often lead to me helping out with work on one of his car, truck or farm machinery restoration/maintenance projects.

Mick has a 1964 S model Kenworth truck, the “Seattle Star”, which he built from the chassis rails up in his shed. In spite of being an everyday working highway truck, the “Seattle Star” has won numerous prizes at truck and custom car shows. It's powered by a Detroit 12V-71, with twin turbo chargers and inter-cooling. (That's twelve cylinders at 71 cubic inches per cylinder, i.e. 852 cubic inches or 13.96 litres in total.) Power output is as Mick puts it, "More than 500 horse power."

It's amazing the level of detail and customisation that has gone in to the “Seattle Star”. And every time Mick starts to do anything to it, he ends up making numerous "improvements" along the way. But that's just typical of the way Mick does things.

The first major "project" I helped Mick with was a 1952 Chamberlain tractor with a Detroit 3-71 engine. He'd bought it cheap and we were just going to "clean it up and get it going", as Mick put it. That turned in to a complete rebuild and renovation of everything. Plus numerous "improvements" along the way. I was to learn this would be typical of the way Mick worked. 

Mick also has a 1955 Ford Thunderbird (being restored), a 1956 Ford Victoria, a 1957 Ford F600 truck, a 1958 Ford Customline, a 1959 Ford F100 truck (customised), a Grove RT38 crane, a GM Blitz crane, a Terex bulldozer and two VW Beetle based All Terrain Vehicles.

Mick's work car is the Ford F100 truck. Mick's, "let's just get it cleaned up and roadworthy," turned in to a complete strip and rebuild. The Cleaveland V8 that was in it was replaced with the Y-block V8 motor that Mick prefers of the car's era. The F100 now also sports a front tilting bonnet.

And if we're not tinkering with trucks, cars and farm machinery, then there's always something else to be done. Like turning a hay shed in to a six vehicle, three sided shed. Or turning a single car garage in to an eight car garage using main bearers cut on the property and the weatherboards and roof cladding from an old farm house that had to be torn down. Or extending the main shed/workshop so as to be able to part the Kenworth together with its trailer and the Terex bulldozer under cover.

There's usually something interesting on the go at Mick's.

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Last modified: Monday, 01 April 2013


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