Dave Willis with his 1988 Ultra-Liner in Urana.
Dave Willis with his 1988 Ultra-Liner in Urana.

Bulldogs to bark in Kyabram

“It’s a bit of an obsession or a disease, I don’t know the best way to put it,” said Dave Willis with a smile as he reeled off the various Mack trucks he has on his property at Mangoplah in the New South Wales Riverina.

Currently Dave’s collection numbers around 12 trucks wearing the Bulldog badge including a couple of F-Models, a Super-Liner, a 1967 Flintstone, a B-Model, and a 1988 Ultra-Liner which he had on show and was the subject of conversation at the Urana Heritage Rally late last year.

Having recently purchased the truck and in the throes of giving the Ultra Liner a general refurbishment Dave had bought the truck across to Urana as a bit of a maintenance run, “I plan to try and tidy it up over the next year or two – I got it half cleaned up and bought it over to see if we can find any air leaks and so on,” he said.

Sold new in May 1988 by Mack in Sydney, the Ultra-Liner initially went to work on grain haulage for Jim Davidge in Temora for around ten years before being sold to an operator in Wangaratta before finding its next home in Corowa.

“I bought it out of Corowa, it hasn’t run much over the last decade, it’s been parked up, but I will be looking at doing grain harvest work with it also,” he said.

The componentry is classic 1980s Mack with an Econodyne V8 rated at 400 horsepower and a 9-speed driveline with the trademark Mack camelback suspension down at the back end. Considering the truck has sat idle for some time the various bits and pieces in pretty sound order.

“It just needs a couple of weeks work and it will be right for harvest – it literally has done nothing for 10 years but it just needs some new hoses and so forth and it will come up okay – it’s got a good cab and it rides well, it’s a step up from driving a F-Model!” he said with a grin.

Macks from all over Australia will Muster in Kyabram across the weekend of March 21-22
Macks from all over Australia will Muster in Kyabram across the weekend of March 21-22

Dave shares his passion with other Mack devotees every two years as one of the organisers of the Mack Muster in Kyabram, which will once again take place in 2020 across the weekend of March 21-22 at the Kyabram Showgrounds and has become a fixture on the annual truck show calendar.

“We are generating some good momentum – in 2020 we will be celebrating 50 years of the R700-they were not a common truck, but we are hoping to get a few there along with everything else,” he said.

The weekend will feature a BBQ dinner on the Friday night followed by a Muster Dinner with guest speaker at the Kyabram Club on the Saturday night.

“The weekend works well with both the Kyabram Vintage Machinery Club rally and the White Muster (held every alternate year) and we have got some good numbers already for the Show dinner,” he said.

Whilst all things Bulldog related will be celebrated, all truck makes are welcome to be part of the event.

“It’s also an open truck show for all makes and models – the last few years we have had 30-40 trucks on display other than Macks so it’s still a good outing for everyone.”

For further information on the Mack Muster check out the Kyabram Mack Muster Facebook page or contact Dave Willis on 0428 692753.