Vintage Kenworth a tireless toiler

By: Steve Brooks, Photography by: Steve Brooks

Kenworth 923 1 The 1964 Kenworth 923. Kenworth 923 1
Kenworth 923 2 Owner-driver Paul Mifsud. Bought the 1964 Kenworth 33 years ago and they’ve been toiling together almost every day ever since. Kenworth 923 2
Kenworth 923 3 On the inside. Age has certainly taken its toll but the cab remains remarkably sound. Kenworth 923 3
Kenworth 923 4 The old Kenworth now has a 365hp Cat 3176B under the bonnet. Kenworth 923 4

Paul Mifsud's 1964 Kenworth 923 model is still going strong.


Funny how things happen. Like, I’d just climbed out of the first of Kenworth’s stunning T900 Legend trucks and was walking back to the main office when this old banger with the homespun paint job came into view, by chance unloading at the Paccar Parts warehouse.

Time was short but owner-driver Paul Mifsud was more than happy to share a few details. For starters, and despite the ‘KW 1965’ number plate, he said it’s a 1964 923 model which has been working faithfully almost every day since he bought it in 1984.

Asked about the truck’s early history, Paul walked over to the cab and produced a photostat copy of an original build sheet, showing that it was brought to Australia by Cameron Kenworth Imports in Melbourne. Ed Cameron, of course, was the driving force behind the introduction of Kenworth trucks to this country.

The truck was delivered to the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works in September 1964.

Built on a heavy-duty twin-skin chassis, power came from a six cylinder GM punching 238 horsepower into a Spicer four-speed main box and four-speed auxiliary, feeding into Rockwell SQDD-P diffs running a deep 6.44:1 final drive ratio. Top speed was a blistering 47 miles per hour, or roughly 75km/h.

Nowadays it’s powered by a 365hp Cat 3176B and the four-speed main 'box has been replaced by a 10-speed Roadranger but with the four-speed auxiliary still attached. Meantime, the original diff set has made way for Rockwell SP40s and a 4.1 final drive ratio.

As for the truck’s future, Paul’s not sure. He’s not getting any younger either and retirement is starting to look good. Even so, he’d like to find a good home for the old toiler.

Fair enough!

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