Centenary Mack Muster for Gatton

By: Tamara Whitsed

The first Macks arrived in Australia 100 years ago. 'Bulldog' fanatics will have the chance to celebrate at Gatton in September this year.

Tony Champion hopes to take his 1919 Mack AC, ‘Ethel Mae’ to the Mega Mack Muster at Gatton. The restored AC originally carted fuel in the USA.

Mack enthusiasts plan to celebrate 100 years of Macks in Australia at a Mega Mack Muster at Gatton, Queensland, on September 28 and 29.

"The main thing is to tell anyone interested to save the date, because something big is going to be happening in Gatton," says Mack fanatic, Gary Richards.

Gary’s career included roles as Mack National Marketing Manager and Volvo Group Australia National Product Manager. He retired in 2013 and now lives in Bendigo, Victoria, where he maintains a large archive of historic Mack records and photographs.

He has teamed up with fellow Mack lovers Glen Beutel, Russell Simpson and Dennis Taylor to plan the Mack celebration at the Gatton Showgrounds, in conjunction with the Historic Commercial Vehicle Association Queensland (HCVAQ).

Gary hopes the 2019 event will attract Macks representing every decade since their arrival in Australia. The format has not been finalised but is likely to include trophy presentations and an official dinner.

Gary Richards is helping to plan the Mega Mack Muster at Gatton.

Mack began producing motorised vehicles in the USA in 1900. The centenary celebrations at Gatton will mark the arrival of the first Mack ACs to Australia in 1919.

It is believed none of the ACs which arrived in Australia in 1919 have survived. However, Tony Champion of Rockhampton, Queensland, imported a 1919 AC from the USA five years ago.

Tony describes his AC as ‘a twin’ to the first AC imported to Australia in 1919. "They would have been coming down the assembly line in sight of one another," he suggests.

He plans to take his AC to Gatton for the Mega Mack Muster, along with three or four other Macks from his private collection.

For information about the HCVAQ annual rally and Mega Mack Muster like ‘HCVAQ Inc’ on Facebook or phone HCVAQ President, Ron Carroll, 0402 234 657.

Volvo Group Australia will announce its plans for Mack centenary celebrations later this year. The company began 2019 by launching a promotional video titled Driving Australia Forward. The video features a special version of Jimmy Barnes’ iconic ‘Working Class Man’. Watch it on YouTube here.

See Owner//Driver's February issue for a special feature on Gary Richards as he talks about his love of Macks and his historic archives.

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