Since being founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the Ford Motor Company has become one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers, with the famous ‘Blue Oval’ one of the most easily recognised logos globally.
With production of vehicles kicking off here in Australia in 1925 in a converted wool store in Geelong, heavy vehicles were soon part of the growing Ford presence in Australia, with Ford trucks being manufactured locally up until 1998.
The heavy truck heritage of Ford in Australia will be celebrated at the annual Urana Vintage Machinery Rally and Truck Show which will be held across the weekend of October 14-15 at Victoria Park in Urana, NSW.
With the show having been a popular destination for both historic and modern trucks for over 20 years, brands such as White, International and most recently in 2022 Mercedes Benz, have all had their turn as the ‘feature brand’, and no doubt the extensive Ford truck range will be well represented as the star attraction this year.
Over its near 70-year association with the heavy transport scene in Australia, Ford established itself as a key player, with a variety of models that endeared themselves to owner-drivers and large fleet owners alike.
From the Jailbar model of the 1940s through to the F-8000 of the 1960s the Ford product line was highly regarded. The 1970s and 1980s were a golden period for Ford with truck assembly commencing at Broadmeadows in 1971 and later that decade the debut of a model which became legendary in Australia – the Louisville.
From its early incarnations through to the high-end LTL9000 launched in the 1980s, the Louisville was a popular choice for many – with a total of 15,171 Louisville trucks built between 1975 and 1998.
With the sale of the Ford truck division globally to Daimler in 1997, and the Ford branding replaced with the Sterling nameplate, an era ended, with the Sterling brand itself being discontinued in 2008.
Nonetheless, the Ford brand lives on today, with a number of trucks still to be found working or having become restoration projects for those wanting to maintain the company’s heritage, and this will be celebrated at Urana this year.
This year’s event will see a range of activities across both days, featuring a show-and-shine on the Sunday, with prizes to be given out across a number of categories, with all brands of truck welcomed.
Free camping with toilets and showers is available for exhibitors and a range of market stalls and food options including breakfast will be available for show goers. Families are also well catered for with a range of free children’s activities. Saturday night will also feature a drive-in theatre night with a showing of the classic ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ which will no-doubt be well received.
Located in the Riverina region in NSW, Urana is ideally situated within close proximity to major transport routes such as the Hume and Sturt Highways, along with the larger regional centres such as Wagga Wagga and Albury and is easily accessible.
Admission is a very reasonable $5 for adults with kids under-16 and exhibitors free. The October weather will no doubt be quite pleasant so for a great weekend Urana will certainly be an ideal place to be on the third weekend in October.
For more information, check out the Urana Vintage Machinery Club Facebook page.