Newspaper Article 2019 – Rustic truck has buddies far and wide

Rustic truck has buddies far and wide

More Bedfords and their fans emerge in response to tale of lichen-covered classic

Roger Moroney

The recent story and lichen-coated image of an old Bedford truck on a rural Hawke’s Bay property has seen a couple more of the classic motoring favourites emerge from slightly more distant parts as readers in Auckland and Australia spotted it through Hawke’s Bay Today online.

One reader spotted a rather rusting but equally historic model parked up on a property in Takapuna – just across the road from Westlake Girls’ High School.

The photo he had of it had been taken a couple of years ago.

“But it’s still there.”

Unlike the 1964 JG Bedford on David Ward’s Waiwhare property west of Napier, the slice of transport art from seaside Takapuna has a serious-looking rust issue.

As is the case with Ward’s parked-up Bedford, it does not appear to be going anywhere in a hurry.

Nor does what appears to be a slightly earlier model Bedford parked up beside a historic bank in the small town of Helidon, east of Toowoomba in Queensland.

Its design suggests it is a Bedford A-Type of around the 1955 vintage of the one spotted on the Hawke’s Bay Today website by the son of its owner, Peter Hill, who said, despite having been laid up for years, it was not about to be retired.

It had been owned by a local farmer who, many years back, would drive it into Helidon and park up outside the old bank, which is now run as an Airbnb for visitors to stay at.

The farmer also used it to deliver produce to the railway yard in the town.

“It was left in a paddock 30 years ago up the valley,” Hill said.

Tourists and guests at wedding receptions nearby used it as a colourful and eye-catching backdrop to photos.

At that time the engine would still run, and Hill said it probably wouldn’t take too much to fire it up again.

It is now settled beside the Old Helidon Bank which he operates and he has great plans for it.

“It will be central to the cafe and paddock-to-plate market I am building beside the old bank.”

Hill said the grand old wooden tray would be used to display fresh vegetables used for a “zero food miles” vegetable juice bar.

It is certainly in a historic spot, with the old bank building having been built in the late 19th century before being converted to the local banking spot in 1923.

There was once a bank robbery there and guests are often asked to have a good look around to see if they can spot bullet holes in the roof.

And see if they can guess how old that slightly weary, but equally historically fascinating, four-wheeler nearby is.

Photo captions –

David Ward’s 1964 JG Bedford muck, covered in lichen.   Photo/ Christina Hansen

Peter Hill with his classic old Bedford buck which sits in his Queensland yard.    Photo / Supplied

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

Copyright on this material is owned by Hawke's Bay Today and is not available for commercial use without their consent.

Can you help?

The Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank relies on donations to make this material available. Please consider making a donation towards preserving our local history.

Visit our donations page for more information.

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

14 August 2019

Creator / Author


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.