Well, our return to activities was unfortunately short lived, as our masters decreed we should cease until they had developed a Covid-19 safety plan for the Netherby precinct. Needless to say, the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, and as I write this, we have no indication of the nature of the plan nor any restrictions it may involve. This is disappointing, to say the least, as we had just begun to pick up the pieces where we had left off when we closed down originally in late March.

Being retrieved, after engine was removed.

During our brief return, we did however follow up on the offer and collected from a local family a new machine, a Howard Hauler. This is another 3-wheeled utility vehicle similar to the Pyramid Auto Truck which we have restored and featured in these pages. It was manufactured at Northmead by Howards of rotary hoe fame, and is said to have been originally used at Central Railway Station, Sydney, to transport passengers’ luggage along the platforms in the steam era. It was retired to an orchard at Arcadia and lay derelict for many years before we rescued it. We intend to restore it too, aided by the fact we have a spare engine of the correct type. Howard products have a strong following in collectors circles, and we are assured of help and some replacement parts.

Not much to report on the International truck project, with efforts mostly directed at assembly of the engine. One minor milestone was the reuniting of the gearbox into its proper place in the chassis, which allows work on the missing tail-shaft to proceed.

Hopefully our next report will be more positive, as long as events in Victoria do not put another spanner in the works.

If you would like to contact us, call Ian 0419 435 475, or Vern 0405 703 413.