Trucks return to Sylvia's Gap

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


IMG 8518 Leigh Rankin of Katunga with his prize-winning 1977 White Road Boss. IMG 8518
IMG 8630a Gordon Garner (right) and his son Malcolm Garner from Tumut with their 1947 International KB7 at the Gundagai Truck Show. IMG 8630a
IMG 8721 John Rees, Rex Shiel and John Scott travelled Sylvia’s Gap Road in Churchill’s shiny 1990 Kenworth T650. IMG 8721
IMG 9116 Dave Willis travelled Sylvia’s Gap Road in his Mack. IMG 9116

The third Sylvia’s Gap Road Run raised funds for a permanent truck museum at Gundagai.

 

Sylvia’s Gap was one of the most perilous stretches of the Hume Highway until the highway was diverted in 1983.

Today this section of road near Tumblong, New South Wales, is on private property. But owners opened their gates on Sunday, June 11, for the Sylvia’s Gap Road Run.

The event has been held annually since 2015 to raise money for the Australian Road Transport Heritage Centre (ARTHC) which plans to build a truck museum at Gundagai.

This year 48 trucks took part, led by Churchill Transport’s 1990 Kenworth T650. John Scott, 75, was behind the wheel and Rex Shiel, 90, was in the passenger seat. The retired interstate truck drivers have known each other since the 1950s.

The run reminded John of the old road’s dangers: "I can’t believe that the road was so small, so narrow, and so windy and steep."

Motorbikes, utes, cars and ex-military vehicles followed the trucks on the run.

The ARTHC’s fundraising weekend began with a truck show at the Gundagai Show Grounds on Saturday, June 10. Prizes were awarded to Leigh and Kerry Rankin of Katunga, Victoria, for their 1977 White Road Boss; and the Garner family of Tumut for their restored 1947 International KB7.

On Saturday night 180 people attended a dinner where an auction raised $9,500. Barry Grimson, one of five instigators of the 1979 Razorback Blockade, was guest speaker.

The ARTHC is already operating a truck museum from a temporary location at the corner of Tor Street and Jack Moses Avenue, Gundagai. It is open from 10am to 3pm from Thursdays to Sundays.

Funds raised over the weekend will help build a larger permanent museum.

Anyone wishing to become involved with the ARTHC or to donate funds should visit www.arthc.com.au or phone Daryl Weston on 0427 756 983 or Jim Morton on 0408 441 495.

See the July 2017 issue of Owner//Driver for our pictorial report on Sylvia’s Gap Road Run and the Gundagai Truck Show, on sale July 10.

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