Once a truckie, always a truckie - reliving the old days

Pies and soft drinks.

Graham Manson says they were the best parts of being a logging truck driver for most of his life.

Sadly, these days the 83-year-old’s doctors are advising him to steer clear of "that junk" as he prepares for his 84th birthday later this week.

But when he gets to go on classic truck rallies, like the Southern Classic Commercials Rally that is going around Otago and Southland at the moment, he revels in being able to relive his old days by driving his 1947 International KB-1 and having his favourite pies and soft drinks at truck stops.

Mr Manson has owned his own transport company in Rotorua and has driven big rigs on rallies for many years.

More recently, a broken hip and a hip replacement have forced him to start driving something smaller and more manageable.

Graham Mason, of Rotorua, in his 1947 International KB-1 flatbed truck, which he is driving...
Graham Mason, of Rotorua, in his 1947 International KB-1 flatbed truck, which he is driving around the South Island in the Southern Classic Commercials Rally. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
He said the International was perfect because he had always wanted one and he joked this one had almost as many miles on the clock as he had.

"She still runs better than me these days. She’s a lot more reliable, that’s for sure."

Mr Manson was driving one of about 70 classic trucks from around the country that passed through Dunedin yesterday.

Rally organiser Simon Vincent said the trucks gathered in Blenheim and had travelled down the east coast to Dunedin.

They would continue around Southland and Central Otago over the next few days before finishing in Wanaka.

The rally was raising funds for motor neuron disease and child cancer, he said.

It was also a great opportunity for "a bunch of like-minded people who are interested in vintage and classic trucks" to share information and yarns about their restorations and driving careers.

"Most of us have been in, or are still in the transport industry. We’re a group of people who have a shared passion."


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