Mercs brave wild weather to muster at Urana


The town of Urana might have been surrounded by floodwater, and a number of roads in the Riverina may have been closed, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of showgoers who gathered at the weekend for the annual Vintage Machinery Rally and Truck Show.

Making its comeback after a couple of years in recess due to Covid, the event drew truck enthusiasts from as far afield as Melbourne to the south and Narromine to the north and everywhere in between.

With the feature brand in 2022 being Mercedes-Benz, a variety of models in all manner of operating condition bearing the ‘three-pointed star’ badge made the trip with a healthy roll out of other makes and models around the Victoria Park oval.

With Mercedes-Benz having long had a presence on Australian roads, the evolution of the brand over the last fifty years was evident with a 2022 model 2663, supplied for the show by Daimler Trucks Wagga, on display with a 1972 cab-over 1418, with the 1418 model in both bonneted and cab-over forms still held in high regard today by a number of operators.

A variety or brands from across the eras were on display at Urana.

Geoffrey McDonnell, himself the proud owner of two 1418 models, was overseeing the truck component of this year’s rally, and was delighted with the roll up of trucks, and the benefits having such an event brings to small rural communities such as Urana.

“Having a feature brand helps get the interest out there – all these ‘Benz blokes have bought their trucks and have come here and reckon they have never seen so many ‘Benzes in one place….this is the Clarendon for Mercedes!” he said with a smile.

As is often the case the show is put on and run by volunteers and also serves an opportunity to get together.

“In these little towns, everyone pulls together and makes it happen,” he said.

Two awards for the Mercedes-Benz entrants were up for grabs, and it was a successful trip down from Orange for Les and Greg Bird, who took out ‘Best Original’ with their painstakingly restored 1967 cabover 1418, while the bonneted 1924 of Lebo Blekic from Benalla, painted in its TNT ‘peaches and cream’ colours took out ‘Best Overall’.

[l-r] Lachlan Garnock and Brock Gladman from Wagga with Scott Menz’ Kenworth T650.
For all the other brands represented, the hard work put in with the polish prior to the show by Brock Gladman and Lachlan Garnock of Wagga Wagga paid dividends, as the 1988 Kenworth T650 owned by Scott Menz took honours in the ‘Truck of the Show’ category.

With the event having had a successful track record stretching back over two decades, planning will start soon for next year’s event, with the 2023 Feature Brand and other details to be released in due course.

One thing that does not change from year to year is when it will be, so put a mark on the 2023 calendar for the third weekend in October.

For further information check out the Urana Vintage Machinery Club page on Facebook.

For more photos from the show, make sure you pick up your free copy of the next print edition of Big Rigs, cover date October 28.

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