OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC
1955 Commer truck
Story and specifications by Barry Guy.
Pictures by Bob Killoran and Brian Vogt.
OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC
Returning home from my regular run up north, I was travelling through Paskeville where there was a run-down oil company yard with a Commer sitting in the background, along with many other vehicles, stationary engines, and numerous bits & pieces from clearing sales all over Yorke Peninsula. I said to my brother Doug (who came on a one-off trip) – "Look over there and you'll see an old Commer exactly the same as what you had." I also said that I wouldn't mind restoring one. That was the end of the conversation.
Three weeks later, the phone rang at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning. Brother Doug on the phone, and the first thing he said "Guess what – I've just bought you a Commer truck at a clearing sale at Coonalpyn. Great! What do I tell Bev? This was an emergency now, and all I could do was to explain that I had no intention of buying any more vehicles, and blame it on Doug. After explaining that it was only $65 and had 26,000 genuine miles on the odometer, it was a bargain.
To cut a long story short, this was a nightmare. Totally rusted out, wheels seized up, the motor wouldn't turn, and it had to be out in a week. It would have been better to hire a front end loader for the day and bury it. It finally ended up in Echunga for 2 years. During this period, I changed my mind a dozen times as to whether it would be used as spares, and whether I was going to eventually restore a Commer.
The decision was made to restore a Commer, so an advert went into the Stock Journal, and before the week was gone, there must have been a dozen replies. Three days were required, and after looking at vehicles from the Murraylands, Murray Bridge, Loxton, Terowie, Morchard, Coffin Bay and various Yorke Peninsula farms, 2 trucks were purchased – one from Sandilands and the other from Murray Bridge. One late enquiry from a farmer at Yatina sounded as though it might be a good vehicle and well worth a look. Approximately 6 months later I was in the area, so I went and had a look. It was housed in a shed with a thatched roof – totally covered in hay, dust, farm material etc. – but totally original. That's the cream Commer I have now.
|Vehicle type||Commer Superpoise TB3|
|Load capacity||3-4 tons|
|Engine type||6 cylinder, overhead valve|
|Bore x Stroke||3.5" x 4.375"|
|Piston displacement||4140cc (252.6 cubic inches)|
|Compression ratio||6.48 : 1|
|Piston material||Lo-Ex aluminium alloy|
|RAC rating||29.4 horsepower|
|Brake horsepower||85 @ 3200 rpm|
|Max. torque||200 foot-pounds @ 1200 rpm|