Commer Knocker takes a break from life of work in GVC exhibition

A range of rare and interesting ‘Bygone British Marques’ will rise to prominence in our new exhibition at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection, which will officially open this Sunday, 14 June.

Taking over from our ‘Lost American Brands’ exhibit, the new display will be launched with an impressive line-up including a 1956 Commer TS3 Prime Mover, a David Brown 2D Tool Carrier Tractor, a 1962 Sunbeam Rapier Sports, a 1946 RACV Bedford Tow Truck, a 1926 Singer Tourer, a Humber Vogue Sedan and a 1962 Daimler Dart.

The 1956 Commer TS3 Prime Mover, known as a Commer Knocker for the distinctive noise it makes when running, has been owned by John Ward of Metung for 25 years or more. He has used it throughout that time to carry his collection of old tractors to various tractor pulls. And apparently the four months it will spend in our Museum will be a bit of a holiday for the vehicle.

“It’s not a toy. It’s taken tractors to Cootamundra, Yass, Sea Lake and the Peninsula, just to name a few places. It’s been a working vehicle its whole life,” Mr Ward says.

The truck was initially used to transport crates of Weeties into the city from the factory where they were produced, then it was moved to Buchan South where it was used to cart timber. Since Mr Ward purchased the Commer Knocker, it’s had two motors in it, the latest of which has been completely rebuilt.

“The motor that’s in it now had been used to pump water but I refurbished it. This truck has had lots of things happen to it in its life, including breaking down in all sorts of places,” Mr Ward says.

“It wasn’t so well suited to its second life of carting logs because it is so long and was hard to manoeuvre on the logging tracks.”

Apart from using the Commer Knocker to transport tractors, Mr Ward drove it on the popular Crawlin’ the Hume Rally. It will be having a well-earned rest with us at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection and Model World Maffra (GVC and MWM) and will be available for your viewing pleasure for the next four months, from Sunday 14 July until the end of October.

So come and join us at the GVC and MWM for our Bygone British Marques display day launch. You’re welcome to bring your own special vehicle for display in the grounds to be in the running for a number of trophies, announced on the day.

On the day, entry to the grounds is by gold coin donation and entry to the GVC and MWM will be at a discounted rate of $10. Children under 15 are free. The Gippsland Vehicle Collection is open from 10am to 4pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and every day in school holidays. Located at 1A Sale Rd, Maffra.

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