Hidden Transport Treasures Exposed - August 2012

  hidden transport treasures 031915 Republic Three years ago my search for a parts truck, spare parts and the like took me to Colac, Victoria. I went there to meet Merv Brunt, a former truck driver, business owner and keen restorer of old trucks. Merv has been interested in trucks all his life, even before he started driving them at 17.

 Merv and his late wife, Faye, set up M & F Brunt Carriers, and ran a fleet of 25 trucks. They sold up after Merv’s stroke 16 years ago. The stroke put his right hand out of action which meant he couldn’t restore his trucks alone. Former mechanic John Paterson spends a few days a week bringing the rusted relics back to life.

Fast forward to 2012, at the age of 77 his collection has grown to 37 fully restored vintage trucks including rare International models. His range includes a long list of British and American trucks Rare 1915 International trucks manufactured in the early 1900’s: AEC, Albion, 1920 model  Bean, Bedford, Brockway, Diamond T, Federal, Indiana, International, Leyland, Mapleleaf, Morris Commercial, Republic and Thornycroft.

Each truck has its own story. There is a 1915 Republic with no cabin, chain drive and solid rubber tyres (used at the Melbourne wharves and markets until the 1930s) and two Internationals with ‘coal scuttle’ bonnets and gas head lights.

Merv has restored eight Brockways. His red 1935 model went to the 2010 Alice Springs Reunion, raising $75,000 for local hospice Anam Cara House.

Merv has big plans to turn his Clark Street warehouse which houses the trucks into a museum by years end. So if you’re down near Colac it is well worth the time to call into see Merv’s collection. 43 Clarke Street, Colac, Victoria. Tel (03) 5231 5782

Thanks to David West for updated details, courtesy “The Weekly Times”

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