About 10 years ago I was talking to Bob Merhtens and he invited me to join him and a group of friends on a weekend away on a Truck Run, which was a group of guys that had restored or semi restored Classic Trucks visiting machinery collections around Mid Canterbury.
A friend and I decided to join the run in my car as we didn't have a truck but we enjoyed the trip so much that I decided I needed a Classic truck so the fun began to restore a G88 Volvo. During the restoration we did several more runs with the numbers increasing with trucks from as far as Christchurch and Dunedin joining us and some trips being 3 days to places like the West Coast.
About 6 or 7 years ago Bob said to me it’s time we found a building somewhere we could store our Classic Trucks as many owners had them sitting at home where no one got to see them.
After a while looking for a building to lease I was talking to Jack White at Prestige and telling him about Bobs vision. A few days later Jack said to me his dad Fred White wanted to talk to us, so a meeting was set up and Fred explained to Bob and I that he was President of the local Traction Engine Club and they were looking at ways to revitalise the club.
After further discussion between the Club members it was decided our group should join the Club, spare land was available to build a Truck Shed and incorporate the two groups into one. This was a point of no return as we had the land and a bigger group to make it possible so the building was priced up and the fund raising began.
A deal was done with Pro Shed Timaru and Chris Broadhead to build the shed with some great discounts to make the final price manageable for us.
We did all the ground work ourselves with massive help from Fulton and Hogan, Hilton Haulage, Paul Smith Earthmoving, Mehrtens Transport, and Peter Hardie Building.
Along with this came the fund raising and our local community became a huge part of making
the project possible, the donations came from Anderson Family, TMC Trailers, Transworx, HOPS, Southpac, Timaru Signs, Bleeker and Weith, Elite Transport Refinishers, Tyre General, Vinz, 1NT Auto Electrical, Hobbs & Banks, Nigel Hope (BTR), Peter & Julie McAuley, Brian Raycroft, Lusk Engineering, Blair Cartwright, Simon Waldren Eartmoving, Des Cunningham, TWL, C Harris, BT Washington, Neil Foote, MD & T Ryder, Crown Hotel Temuka, and Temuka Butchery.
Once the shed was finished the word went out to anyone wanting to display a Truck in our Museum for a small annual fee and in no time the shed was full.
Our vision now is to keep developing our property to a full Museum status displaying our Traction Engines, old farm Machinery including a large Tractor Collection along with the Trucks. (Watch this space)
Words by Bruce Anderson.