The Heritage Truck Association Australia has confirmed its big annual classic truck show will be held at its traditional home of Rocklea Showgrounds on the weekend of the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show
Cool classic trucks will again be a feature of the Brisbane Truck Show, with the Heritage Truck Association Australia (HTAA) confirming its big annual event will take place on the weekend of May 20-21, 2023 at Rocklea Showgrounds. Gates will open from 8am on both days.
HTAA’s Michelle Wilkie says the association is hoping to once again see the showground at capacity, filled with all different makes and models of trucks, tractors, cars, utes and machines. The showgrounds are just 15 minutes’ drive from the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC).
The return to the Rocklea Showgrounds follows the committee’s difficult decision to cancel HTAA’s annual show in 2021 for the second year running due to COVID restrictions – but one that ultimately had a silver lining with a “once-in-a-lifetime” offer to display a number of its members’ vehicles in a prominent location on the ground floor of the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show.
In what turned out to be among the most popular exhibitions at the event, members displayed 12 classics: a 1946 Ford Jailbar ‘Roxanne’ painstakingly restored by show partner NTI, a 1948 Chevrolet Loadmaster, a 1954 International AR110, a 1962 Mack H673 ST, a 1970 International Loadstar, a 1971 Mercedes Benz 1418 LS, a 1972 AEC Marshal, a 1973 Kenworth W924, a 1975 Bedford KMR/XT5, a 1975 International D1310, a 1978 International 3070B, and a 1986 Kenworth W925 SAR.
“It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our club to be an exhibitor at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show. The amount of interest from other exhibitors and the public in the heritage truck display was wonderful to see and gave another dimension to the show,” Wilkie says.
“Being a first-time exhibitor, the process was daunting at first but all went smoothly, from bump in to bump out and everything in between.”
Wilkie says the exceptional response to the exhibition reflects an increase in interest in historic trucks in recent years, a trend also mirrored by steady growth in the number of trucks on show at its events as well as HTAA membership.
“These historic trucks are a piece of our history and if not restored, we will lose those pieces of history,” she says.
“There is a passion to keep the past alive for the men and women who started the transport industry, along with those wonderful hard-working old trucks that worked on not-so-good roads. Many travelled extraordinary distances on highways throughout Australia.
“Some of these vehicles have been lovingly restored to their original glory and create a spectacular display. There is a pride and passion by all members in their vehicles.”
Held on the third weekend in May every year at Rocklea Showgrounds, the annual event has experienced strong growth in the volume of exhibitors showcasing their trucks, tractors, machinery and stationary engines.
At the last show in 2019, more than 200 trucks were on display and the showground was at full capacity, Wilkie says.
“On average we would see approximately 1,500 attendees through the gates each day,” she adds.
With a motto ‘Keeping Old Wheels Turning’, the HTAA was founded in 2002 when an ad was placed in The Courier Mail seeking interested parties to attend an inaugural meeting where the idea was floated to form a new club to promote the preservation of heritage trucks and associated memorabilia.
The club kicked off with 13 foundation members and membership now sits at an impressive 498 financial members.
The first HTAA show was held on July 26, 2003 at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds, before moving to Beenleigh Showgrounds in 2006, and on to Rocklea Showgrounds in 2013. Last year’s rescheduled 2022 show was held on October 15-16 at Beaudesert Showgrounds.
The HTAA also stages club runs every month plus members attend other clubs’ events, including the Yesteryear Truck & Machinery Club at Wauchope, the Kingaroy & District Vintage Machinery Club, and Toowoomba & District Old Machinery Society.
Most recently, a large group of club members attended the Allora Heritage weekend to display their vehicles and enjoyed the company of many like-minded enthusiasts!