Classic Scania L111 lives to drive again
A very early example of one of the Scanias on which the company established its reputation in Australia has been restored to its former glory and will be proudly on show at the 2014 Alexandra Truck Show.
A 1976 L 111 bonneted Scania 4x2 has been brought back to life thanks to some dedicated effort by Scania’s parts team and local truck restorers.
The truck has been repainted in its original colour scheme, as specified by its first owner, Bill Larsen, who used it for logging in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, around Mount Bogong and Lightning Creek in the state of Victoria.
“I liked the style of the truck, that’s what drew me to it first,” he says. “Scania appealed to me with its European looks and also it had cross diff locks, which were essential for the terrain I had to drive through.
“It was very manoeuvrable, and the single-drive was good on tyres, which was important in the bush. The gearing was very well suited to the task and it had excellent brakes. The springs were strong enough to take a heavy load, as well,” he recalls.
It was very muddy on the logging routes in those days.
The L111 was not Bill’s first Scania, as he had owned a new L 110 previously. He later bought a stream of Scanias graduating to an early V8 142H, using them all in his logging transport business into the end of the 1980s.
“The Scania was good to drive, much better than American trucks. They had a better steering lock as well, and they were much quieter in the cab. It was unusual to see a Scania in the logging industry at the time,” he says.
Scania enjoyed a strong reputation over many decades in Europe in the logging industry, as it does today. In northern Europe, Scania is a popular choice in the snow-covered logging routes that demand excellent grip, reliability and strength.
“I used the L 111 in the softwood logging industry for 10 years,” Bill says.
“We switched to softwood when you couldn’t access the hardwood forest anymore. Much of that area is National Park now.
“The truck was painted in Hamersley Brown and Caterpillar Yellow and it had my name on the doors. For much of my career I ran 4 to 5 trucks. After I traded the L 111 I lost track of it. I recall someone saying it was painted red and blue,” he says.
The truck was indeed painted in these colours when Scania acquired it in WA a few years ago.
Alexandra Quilters 2014
Thirty years ago a small group of women met to undertake lessons in patchwork and quilting under the tutelage of the very talented Shirley Hibbert. They enjoyed the classes so much that, at Shirley's suggestion, the Alexandra Quilters friendship group was formed. Since then, the number of members has continued to grow so that today over 60 ladies meet twice monthly at the RSL Hall to share their love of this ancient craft, encourage each other with their projects and simply to enjoy each other's companty. An associated Craft and Chatter group meets on the third and fourth Fridays of every month at the local bowling club.
Throughout the years, the Quilters have given much to the local community. Early in the group's history, charity quilts were made to raffle for causes close to the hearts of its members or to provide comfort to those in distress. Today a community quilt is made every year and donated to a local charity to raffle. Those who have benefitted have ranged from Kellock Lodge and Darlingford Nursing Home to the Secondary College's driver education programme, the SES Support Group and the Yarck and Taggerty Fire Brigades. Proceeds from the group's annual exhibition of work also go to the designated charity for the year. In 2014 this will be the Alexandra Playgroup.
Last year a wall quilt was donated to the Alexandra Hospital which depicts a timeline history of the Alexandra area and of the hospital itself. Seven large panels show the changing face of the town from its earliest inhabitants to the present day. A number of old photographs, reproduced on fabric, show the growth of the hospital from a small bush nursing building to the magnificent structure of today. This quilt was hung in the foyer of the hospital earlier on this year, appropriately as part of the group's 30th anniversary celebrations.
Every year, in conjunction with Alexandra's Truck, Rod and Ute Show, the Alexandra Quilters hold an exhibition of their work. For many years this was held in the Masonic Lodge hall with a number of lodge members helping with the setting up and hanging of the quilts. Following last year's move to the Shire Hall, the 2014 exhibition will again be found here with additional opening hours on Saturday afternoon.
It has been recognised in quilting circles that exhibitions by the Alexandra Quilters are well worth the visit. There is always a huge variety of quilts on display as most members have their own individual style that they love whether it is reproduction, floral applique, tiny hexagons or machine strip piecing. Each year a member's challenge is also part of the exhibition. This year's theme is "30 Years of Stitching Pearls" highlighting the group being in existence for 30 years.
New members are always welcome to join Alexandra Quilters - beginners as well as experienced patchworkers.
2013 - Rolling On
Thanks Peter, a great sponsor and supporter of the show for these memories of the 2013 Alexandra Truck Show weekend. From the memorial on Saturday 8/6 through to the completion of the show on Sunday 9/6, all to the tunes of Adam Harvey and Tracy Killeen and friends.
Congratulations to our 2013 Winners
The success of our show relies on some very dedicated people who consider every detail when they present their beautiful vehicles. Congratulations to every one who showed their truck, ute or rod in Alex in 2013.
A big congratulations in particular to our big-ticket winner, Andrea Crawford of Batesford with her stunning 2010 Peterbilt 388.
Congratulations A&J Haulage!