King of the road

IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN... Kenworth K-125 CR was the first model constructed in Australia. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

THE first Kenworth trucks in Australia were fully imported from the US. It wasn’t until 1970 that Kenworth started assembly of the vehicles at the new plant in Bayswater, Victoria.

One of the features of Kenworth was that each truck was custom built according to the buyer’s specification. Cab style, chassis length, powerplant, transmission, fuel tanks, gauges and paint finishes were all personalised design features.

The K-125CR was the first model built in Australia in 1971.
This particular K125 CR was built in 1978 when it was purchased by Phillips Transport in Shepparton through Brian Thompson Motors.

Fitted with a Cummins NTC 350 engine and 9 speed Eaton transmission and drive train, it spent six years doing linehaul work between Shepparton to Brisbane and then 15 years Shepparton to Melbourne before slowing down for local transport around Shepparton.

It was donated to the Kenworth Hall of Fame in Alice Springs before being brought back to the Museum of Vehicle Evolution here in Kialla where it will stand in the truck pavilion when the rebuilt MOVE opens in August.