Page 3.   SD Enthusiasts' Club Newsletter - Winter 2017.


In what seems to me to have been a remarkably short time a small team in Australia have fully restored a 1925 SD Freighter. The Freighter is now housed in the Whiteman Park Car Museum in Sydney.

I believe this to be the oldest Freighter in existence and the vehicle has the serial number  53119. The engine is an E.H. White one.  It appears that the vehicle was unused since 1927 but carried this tax disc from 1937.

 It is thought that the chassis was stored outside since that time in a scrapyard. It was rescued by Eddie Riggs who hoped to restore it. Sadly Eddie died before he could achieve this objective. But Rose Earle and Maurice Mcgregor purchased the chassis just a couple of years ago and set about restoring it.

The photos show the splendidly restored Freighter which now attracts a great deal of interest at the Museum.

The restoration team shown in the photo are left to right Tony Gibbs, Nick Rykers, and Maurice Mcgregor owner.

I thought it was worth reminding you of how Rose Earl started the story in November 2015:-  

Written in the words of Eddie Riggs . “My freighter came from North Coburg , a suburb of Melbourne, where it lay in a scrap yard since 1937. According to old records it was first registered in 1925 with number 2031 and sold to the dealer in 1937. Although unused since 1927 it remained licensed, and I have its last wind screen disk for 1937, mounted on a glass disk as it never had a wind screen. 

The story goes like this. Eddie and his friend were in the yard looking for A E C MATADOR 4x4 parts, and as we moved a pile of rubbish, I stood on an old truck tray to get a better access and fell through the rotten timbers, after regaining my dignity I noticed the offset prop shaft realised it was something unusual, and proceeded to uncover it after many years of hibernation. After discussion with the owner I made the purchase, and was given the rego disk, the front S&D badge, together with most of the original tool kit in its drawer. Despite all of its years in the weather the engine[ no 653 E H WHITE ] still runs, gear box, steering and rear axle are in good order, but needs front brakes with all fittings to pedal, front engine panel and small controls mounted thereon.” 

Our part of the story has begun, Maurice had noticed a sale of car stuff at Eddie Riggs place, at this time we had never met and it was only through friends at Whiteman Park that we now knew of him. Eddie had been a volunteer there and had been involved in the Museum for some time. Eager to check out Eddies bit’s and pieces we arrived at Eddies place. A very sad meeting Eddie was very sick and the prognosis was terminal . We got chatting over a cup of tea and I said that I was English and Maurie a Kiwi. He said he might have something to interest us, he showed us the old Shelvoke wreck and the book Kaleidoscope, something magical happened and I felt Eddie knew it too. Where would you ever find another like this. Maurie and I felt that it would probably be the ultimate challenge so took charge of her and the books plus other things that are another story. 

Having got all of the bits and pieces home Maurie, started to work out what was what, he realised that the truck tray had been stretched and could be short or long depending on what back the customer might require. He had seen a picture of a bus used on the Blackpool front, as an open top tourer and thought that could work. 

Although there was a stumbling block eventually with the help of Nick and Tony, Maurie using a large electric drill in the special crank handle finally she started. I would like to say the champagne flowed but we will save that for her unveiling. But we did have a couple of beers and a lot of laughs.

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