CORSTORPHAN, Jim

Jim Corstorphan Diamond Reo

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

James Francis Corstorphan (Jim) was born on the 22st of May, 1934.  At 12 years of age he commenced driving a 1935 Fargo  on his father’s orchard in Vermont, Victoria. He graduated to a neighbour’s Thornycroft truck at the age of 15, carting fruit for export to Melbourne’s wharf.

He moved on to unloading semi-trailers and started carting fruit from the Goulbourn Valley to Melbourne before getting a driver’s licence. He was caught by local policemen, who had to drive him to the police station only to tell him to go home again because he was too young.

When he turned 16 a year later, he returned to the same police station and passed his driving test. He recorded his age as 18, two years more than his actual age.  His first trip interstate was in 1950. This Melbourne to Sydney trip took 36 hours of driving.  He continued carting fruit from Melbourne to the Sydney and Newcastle markets until 1972 driving a few different trucks and trailers over the years. He carried general freight, steel, tyre cord, machines, wide loads, long loads. He did whatever was required. He rebuilt and repowered trucks to suit the job on hand, and Diamond Ts  were his favourite. The most successful truck that he drove was a 630 Diamond T fitted with a V653 GM and an overdrive gearbox, pulling a spread bogie trailer, travelling the Melbourne to Newcastle route in 19 hours with loads grossing 29-30 tons. Jim  became the first owner-driver for HH Chadwick.

In 1972 Jim sold his business and  went to work for Brambles Brinks Armoured as a casual for one day’s work and ended up there for 14 years eventually becoming the workshop manager. He helped design and include safety features in the new vehicles. In 1987 he opened J Corstorphan Pty. Ltd. and started rebuilding International V8 engines supplying these all over Victoria and throughout the other states. The business grew rapidly with the demand for parts for the International range of trucks.

In 2004 the company moved  to Lilydale in Victoria to set up business where it is still operating in the hands of Jim’s son Stephen.  Jim, although officially retired, is recognised by the Australian Road Transport Industry as being an expert in his field.