Friday, May 6, 2016

______________________ SOUTHERN SOJOURN (6) ______________________

Bill Richardson's Transport World is an interesting visit if you are in the deep south of Southland New Zealand. Apparently this transport museum is the largest private collection of it's type in the world. It is a privately owned collection of over 300 trucks and 150 petrol bowsers, a significant Henry Ford car, a V8 collection, VW Kombis, Pedal Cars, Wearable Arts and much more displayed under cover in over 10,000sqm of sheds.

I thought with a few modifications that this old North American petrol tanker would make quite a nice campervan.

Another option would be to fill it up with petrol and see how far you could drive it before you needed to refill it.

 1907 Ford touring car.

 1950s Ford Thunderbird (Left and a similar vintage Plymouth (Or is it a Chrysler?).

This is either a Cadillac, a Studebaker, an Impala or a Ford Fairlane. I am sure someone out there knows.

 One of Mr Henry Ford's cars that started it all.

My Standard 6 teacher Bill Liddy drove a grey coloured V8 Coupe just like this. He wasn't very impressed in 1964 when we used a couple of pieces of cardboard and some crayons and fitted a set of "L" plates to his car. Mr Liddy who was a great and influential teacher of mine drove a long wheel based truck version of this car in North Africa during WW2 during his time with the Long Range Desert Group.

 They don't make them like they used to. This is what I call a real Ute.

 I could put a sailing dinghy and a whole lot of other kit besides on one of these.

 A Bevy of V8 coupes to choose from and so shiny I almost had to put on my sunglasses.

A very red pedal car from a large collection that was on display.

 Another excellent example of a 1950s Ford Ute.

 In the 1940s there would have been fleets of these buses serving various towns and cities in NZ.

 The red truck on the left completed its working life in Mossburn in Southland.

 Yes, I am tempted to make a silly remark.

 Otautau is a small town in Southland.

 An old timer from the town of Clyde. I am old enough to remember the brown number plates.

 Early example of a Nissan diesel heavy haulage truck.

A rumble seat (American English), dicky seat, dickie seat or dickey seat (British English), also called a mother - in - law seat, is an unholstered exterior seat which folds into the rear deck of a two seat pre - World War 11 automobile, and seats one or two passengers. When unoccupied, the space under the seat's lid could be used for storing luggage..........

............. I know all of this because I looked it up on Wikipedia (So it MUST be true).
If you are in Invercargill Southland, New Zealand then this Museum is worth a visit.


Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Alden—

Impressive museum.

The yellow convertible to the left of the T-Bird is a Cadillac, I think.

The white and salmon convertible in the photo below is a Ford of some sort.

The cars of my youth.


Alden Smith said...

Thanks for that Dan. The white and salmon coloured convertible is a rather restrained model in terms of design. A late aunt of mine had a business partner who owned a De Soto that looked very much like this car except for the tail fins that were enormous. It also had huge round red tail lights that looked liked the afterburners of rocket engines - no doubt the car designers were inspired by the NASA space program at that time.

Paul Mullings said...

That tanker is one of the rarest vehicles in the world....and you want to convert it into a camper....Sacre Bleu!,, Only joking a truly wonderful place if you have only a passing interest in vehicles. It's been years since I went, back then you had to know someone to get an invite.

Alden Smith said...

Paul, you are quite right, although Sacre Blue! would be a mild reaction by myself if for example my own historic icons were desecrated by someone else e.g. if someone bought Eric and Susan Hiscocks famous circumnavigator Wanderer 3, set her in concrete in their front garden and turned her into a garden shed!

Apparently there were 75 of these Dodge Tankers made and only a few now remain. I like this truck a lot, it has a curiously appealing shape.

I found this interesting additional information about this Texaco Tanker.

Year: 1940
Make: Dodge
Model: RX70
Serial No: 8349779
Engine Make: Dodge
Engine Type: 5.4 litre, Side Valve, 6 Cylinder, 3.75 X 5in Bore Stroke
HP: 100
In3: 331
GVWlbs: 22000
Wheelbase: 188 inches
One of 303 Dodge Airflow trucks built, this truck was one of an order of 75 built for Texaco in 1939 - 1940. This was the 4th last Airflow Dodge built, completed in February 1940. It went to a contracting company and was used as a water cart before going to the wreckers. However, it was saved by Louis Wright, a tanker truck operator from Chicago who intended to restore it. He never actually did. Bill Richardson bought it in January 1992. In June 1992, Bill asked John Bevin to look at, and then restore it. When Bill bought it from Wright, it was much damaged. The rear end was caved in from a bulldozer push starting it every morning when it was a water cart. Cleaning out the sea-water that had entered the petrol tank during the voyage to New Zealand was the first task. Then Les Kennedy restored the chassis and motor. John Bevin restored the body with great difficulty. Measurements and dimensions were not clear, so Bill actually visited the Dodge Airflow in the Henry Ford Museum in the United States of America, and took some measurements from that. It was finally restored by November 1, 1996.
The Airflow series were designed to be pioneers of technology, with aerodynamic design, bridge-and-truss unitized construction, back-up battery for the lights, drum-type parking brake at the rear of the gear-box (unique to the RX70) and new lights such as flashing turn signal lights and a red light which started wiggling when the driver took their foot off the accelerator. All these innovations and more made the truck quite expensive, so it did not do too well in the Depression.
Hence, although it is an attractive, advanced, and sturdy truck, there are only a few left.