A vista of veteran Volvos
The largest display of veteran Volvo trucks seen in Australia was showcased at the recent HVCCVC Vintage Truck Muster, held at Kurri Kurri, NSW.
Members of the recently formed Australian Volvo Truck Heritage Group (AVTHG) travelled from Victoria, northern NSW and Queensland with their prized Volvos to achieve this record gathering - a veritable vista of veteran Volvo trucks!
A spokesperson for the AVTHG said that "It was great to see 6 decades of Volvos on display, which included the one of the first Volvos in Australia to the latest FH16. The highlight of the show was, for the first time ever, Volvos outnumbered Kenworths!"
The Hunter Valley Classic Commercial Vehicle Club event provided an ideal venue for the Volvo gathering and the club's ongoing support for the AVTHG was instrumental in achieving this gathering.
Andrew Blacklock from the HVCCVC said "It was great to play a part in the Viking gathering. The AVTHG works closely with us, adding another dimension to our preservation and restoration efforts. The AVTHG web page is proving to be an interesting extension to our club site (http://www.hunteroldtrucks.com/HunterAVTHG)
The Muster also gave AVTHG members the opportunity to 'spread the word' on finding the oldest Volvo in Australia. Efforts so far have found the 3rd oldest - a 1968 F86, which is still working. On display at Kurri was a rare F88 belonging to McPhans Cranes - only 50 of this special model were sold.
If you have any information or photos on early Volvo trucks, you can email the AVTHG at firstname.lastname@example.org
The history of Volvo trucks in Australia started in the late 1960's then as part of the Volvo car activity. In July 1970, a new company, Volvo Australia Pty Ltd, was formed to strengthen the Volvo brand and the support available for car, truck and bus customers. Starting modestly with 95 employees in 2 converted warehouses in Sydney, the growth in Volvo popularity meant these faculties were soon outgrown and new purpose built facilities were built in 1971.
This was the trend in major capitol investment over the next five years, with Volvo locations opening in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
In June 1972, just 4 years after commencing commercial vehicle operations in Australia, Volvo opened a large plant in Wacol, Queensland to assemble its range of trucks and bus chassis.
At that time, it was the 2nd largest Volvo truck assembly plant outside of Sweden and even today, it is the largest truck assembly plant in Australia.
Wacol factory expansion 1972 - Photos by Millars Photographics/Tony Petch (ARTHA) Collection
This investment culminated in a National Parts Warehouse facilities at Minto in 1975.
Volvo Trucks' global developments over the past 80+ years is an impressive testimony of vision and achievement. You can read more on the key product milestones by following this link
The Volvo museum in Gothenburg, Sweden is where you will follow the history of Volvo and its development from 1927 until today. The museum exhibits products from the whole Volvo range, including cars, trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine engines, aero and many more interesting Volvo products over 6000 sq m of large spacious exhibition areas. There are a number of video reviews available at http://www.volvomuseum.com
In 1967, Swedish Motor Importers P/L, under the leadership of Max Winkless, import four F86 4x2 trucks for evaluation. Two units operate with Mayne Nickless and two are used for demonstration and promotion
SKD assembly operations are established in Wollongong, NSW.
March 1968 – the first retail sale occurs. Brambles Port Kembla buy a F86. A total of 27 trucks are delivered to customers
1968 saw the release of the larger, more powerful F & G88 models.
In 1969, 96 trucks are sold.
On 1 July 1970, Volvo Australia P/L formed – a collaboration between Swedish Motors and AB Volvo. In 1970, 200 trucks are sold
June 1972 – Wacol Qld Assembly Plant opens. Considered to be the most modern truck plant in Australia and at the time, was the 2nd largest Volvo truck plant in the world !
487 trucks are sold in 1972
In 1973, the G89 - the most powerful Volvo truck so far is released. With its TD120 engine producing 243kW, the G89 extends the appeal of the Volvo truck range.
The N series conventional range is added in 1974 to the popular F model COEs. Available with 7, 10 and 12 litre engines, the N series was aimed at tipper and heavy haulage.
1977 – AB Volvo’s 50th anniversary. In Australia, the 5000th Australian assembled Volvo truck is delivered – to Mr Gorono from Eudlo, Qld.
The site for the first locally assembly operation was the Swedish Motors facility in W'gong. After the initial few fully imported units, the trucks were bought in as Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kits.
In the SKD kit form, each truck arrived as a collection of crates, having first been fully assembled in Sweden then "knocked down" in sub assemblies. The cabs came in complete, the engine and gearbox as a unit, etc