Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition Invercargill 1933 International D1 Bill Richardson

Bill's words on the value of old vehicles

  • 9 May 2017

Bill Richardson Transport World began 50 years ago with southern businessman Bill Richardson. In his autobiography Wheels & Deals he wrote: ‘It was perhaps inevitable that I would take up truck collecting as a hobby.’ From 1967 until his death in 2005 he collected hundreds of trucks, tractors, petrol pumps and transport paraphernalia. He owned many transport, concrete and other businesses but trucks were his real passion.

Bill Richardson in front of one of his Southern Transport trucksBill Richardson

Bill's words on the value of old vehicles

‘Over the years designs and technologies have changed; those changes reflect better knowledge of what makes machinery more efficient and powerful. But that doesn’t render machinery whose time has passed any less valuable in my view. They’ve done what they were designed to do and, if a business has chosen wisely, done well. Those pieces of machinery also reflect history and memories.’

The first trucks he collected evoked those memories for him.

Bill's first trucks and their meaning 

Although there are hundreds of trucks and other vehicles in the collection today, we thought it would be interesting to explore the memories the collection conjured for Bill.

1. 1933 International D1

‘In 1967 I had an urge to try to find an old International truck my grandfather had owned.' Bill found his grandfather’s truck two blocks from his house and paid just £5. The D1 was witness to a large part of Bill’s grandfather’s life. It was part of the business when R. Richardson Ltd moved from small town Wyndham to the big city of Invercargill.

1933 International D1 in 1967 Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition Invercargill1933 International D1 outside the Richardson businesses in 1967 after Bill bought it

2. 1933 International D1

Bill’s wife Shona spotted this one on the side of the road in Christchurch getting new spark plugs fitted. It was originally meant for spares to restore Bill’s grandfather’s truck, but it was in such great condition, Bill drove it home to Invercargill with his 17-month-old son Harold in the passenger seat! He gave it a lick of paint and kept his grandfather’s truck (which was only one engine number before this truck) in original condition.

1933 International D1 Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition Invercargill1933 International D1, Bill's second vintage truck and the second one of this model 

3. 1938 International DS216T

Nine years later Bill found his grandfather’s 1938 International DS216T on the side of the road around Invercargill – but it was being turned into a trailer! He pulled over and asked the guy what he needed to do to stop that happening. The guy said all he needed was something else to make a trailer. Bill gave him something and the truck was his. It was the first truck he and his team restored. 

1938 International DS216T Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition Invercargill

1938 International DS216T on display at Bill Richardson Transport World

4. 1939 Diamond T 404

By now it had caught on that Bill had a bit of collection. This vehicle was offered to him by George Wallis after he saw the DS216T at International Harvester’s 1977 transport conference. Bill was interested because his grandfather had a Diamond T, so he and 11 year old Harold drove across Haast Pass and bought it.

1939 Diamond T 404 Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition Invercargill1939 Diamond T 404 on display at Bill Richardson Transport World

MEANING TODAY

All of these trucks had real meaning to Bill. Visitors through today inevitably find a vehicle that evokes memories from them. Bill was right when he wrote ‘those pieces of machinery also reflect history and memories.’

Visit all of these vehicles and more at Bill Richardson Transport World, Invercargill. 

Diamond T International Bill Richardson Transport World Classic Vehicles Vintage Trucks The Ignition InvercargillBill's first trucks shortly after he collected them. 

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