At this past weekend's 43rd Berrima District Historic Vehicle Club Rally, I managed to catch up with Stephen & Tanya Chalker-Holz & their son Mitchell.
What a pleasure & honour it was to talk to Tanya about the history of their very rare 1938 Ford 2½ ton truck. This Ford Classic, is renowned for it’s unique shaped grill, which is often referred to as a “beer barrel” grill.
|Manufactured by Ford in Windsor, Canada, assembled in Australia during WWII|
and pressed into service with the Australian Army.
This truck has been in the hands of the Chalker-Holz family
The Australian Government purchased 500 of these trucks from the Ford Plant located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada for the war effort. These vehicles arrived in Australia in a knocked down form & the Ford plants here in Australia re-assembled these vehicles to Australian Army requirements.
After the war, the Australian Government couldn’t afford to bring these vehicles home, so they were mostly left in the theatres of war in which they operated, like Africa & New Guinea.
After the end of World War II, in 1946, Tanya’s Grandfather attended an Army Auction in Goulburn, NSW where all surplus military vehicles were being auctioned off. You had to be a Primary producer to put your name down in the ballot to be eligible to purchase a vehicle.
Tanya’s Grandfather elected to put his name down for a truck & this is what he received.
|This rare 1938 Ford 2½ ton truck is a family heirloom and has |
been in the Chalker-Holz family for the last 76-years.
For many years this vehicle worked on the family farm & later was used as the local fire truck in their district until 1965, then tucked away in a shed on Tanya’s Grandparents farm in Mittagong.
Then in 1999 they brought the truck home to Gosford, to where the Chalker-Holz family now live, where the embarked upon a 10-year restoration
By now Tanya’s father was in his 80s (a carpenter by trade) did all the timber work to return this vehicle to its former glory. Restored to factory specifications, including the original paint colour. The timber used in the restoration: The flatbed tray is constructed of WA Jarrah, and the Toolbox & Headboard are made of Redwood.
Since its restoration in 2010 this master piece has driven over 30,000 miles (48,000 kms) to Adelaide, Brisbane, Victoria & appeared in several movies including Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson in 2016.
Before Tanya’s fathers death he was able to see his father's truck in this movie on the BIG screen. Tanya’s Dad just shook his head & could not believe that his father's farm truck & the truck he learnt to drive in as a 15-year-old was now in a Hollywood movie.
|Restored to factory specifications, including the original paint colour. |
The timber used in the restoration: The flatbed tray is constructed of WA Jarrah,
and the Toolbox & Headboard are made of Redwood.
Stephen & Tanya were telling me that their son Mitchell will eventually inherit this truck which he is very proud of. So it certainly looks like this automotive relic from another era will stay in the loving hands of the Chalker-Holz family for a 4th generation.
Now the best news about to come...
The Chalker-Holz family have assured me that their pride & joy (this unique 1938 Ford Truck) will be on exhibition at Cronulla for our 5th Sylvanvale Pre-WWII Car Show on Sunday April 14th, 2019 to help raise much needed funds for the Sylvanvale Foundation to support people with disabilities to reach their potential.
WHAT EVER YOU DO, DO NOT MISS THIS ONCE IN A LIFE TIME CHANCE TO VIEW THIS ‘CLASSIC’.
As the event organiser I am delighted that 20,000+ Motor Enthusiasts will be able to enjoy this very, very special part of history right here on the tiles of Cronulla Mall on Sunday, April 14th, 2019.
See you there,