Events, Truck Shows

Classic Kenworths and Whites make waves at record-breaking Coasting the Coast

Coasting the Coast

Expectations for the 2024 running of the Coasting the Coast convoy from Sydney’s north up to Newcastle were well and truly met this weekend with its biggest attendance yet.

The event, which sees trucks, cars, buses, motorbikes and more follow the route up the old and scenic Pacific Highway, jumped from 117 vehicles last year to more than 160.

Organiser Guy Ellis was overawed by the turnout from the community all across New South Wales, with vehicles showing up from as far as Wollongong and Katoomba for the drive.

“It was so much better than I expected,” he says.

“There were some serious standouts, we had three Clippers and a Leyland bus. There were a few Diamond Ts and a couple of old Macks and Kenworths.”

Old Kenny lovers had plenty to enjoy. (Image: Robert Walker)

Ellis was hoping for an increase in trucks on last year’s event, and he certainly got it.

“There was an increase in trucks,” he says, “about 20 per cent more than last year. We all heard an old Diamond T driving up through the cuttings, and the guy driving it said ‘I took my noisemaker!’”

While there were significantly more cars doing the journey compared to trucks, Ellis says the pure variety of vehicles on show made for incredible viewing.

“There were almost no two vehicles the same,” he says.

“I’ve never seen such a large array of different vehicles. From American stuff, Australian, English, Japanese, it was a lovely mix. Everyone’s seeing different types of vehicles and transport.”

Engagement with the community was just as strong as it had been in the past, with locals getting down to sit on the side of the road and watch the convoy pass from lookouts.

The drive took members through the local pie shop, with the final stop at the Swansea Workers Club.

“People on the side of the road were taking photos, there were families waving us on,” Ellis says.

“It helps the community businesses. We had 250 people at the Swansea Workers Club for lunch. They were very happy with that as a little club. It’s our third year there, and they love having us and we love going.”

Image: Robert Walker

There was a minor change in plans for the starting time, due to the sheer number of cars that showed up.

Ellis had to send the trucks and buses off 20 minutes early to clear the way for the cars to join the convoy, but this ultimately offered more opportunity for the community around Coasting the Coast to get involved.

“We had 143 cars at the car park,” he explains.

“Luckily we had a few club members, one being only 16 years old, to park up the cars and trucks. Everyone putting in makes a huge difference.

“To see classic cars with L-plates on them, that really tickles my fancy. There was a guy in a Mini with an L-plate and a ’93 Corolla, a girl in her grandfather’s car. I just think that’s fabulous.”

Ellis was able to show off his own gear too, driving down in his 1976 ACCO hauling his 1936 Dennis fire engine.

“Of all the vehicles coming up the rise, mine was working the hardest!” he laughs.

“I’ve had it for two years. I bought it off a guy in Queensland, and it’s only got a 130,000km on it. It was a farm truck, and he put a tilt on it to move his bulldozers. It came up on the market and I thought it was perfect for me.

“It’s not very fast, but it got it done back in the day. It’s still in good condition, being a farm truck. It’s always undercover. I like the coolness of it, it’s got the looks and the big bulbar on it.”

Ellis’ trucks. (Image: Robert Walker)

Planning for next year’s event is now already in the works, as Ellis says 2025 will mark a special milestone for the Pacific Highway. He’d like to celebrate it as such.

“We’re looking at maybe bringing it a couple of weeks forward for 2025 to correspond with 80 years of the Hawkesbury River Bridge being open. Currently they’re restoring it. They’ll be finished by next year.”

You can find more photos and videos from the event on the Coasting the Coast Facebook page.

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