Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.
Bob Begelhole’s mechanical interest showed as a toddler, and his work ethic developed as he grew up. At the age of seventeen, he built mechanical aids onto a 1930 Chev to be used in contract fencing. This truck was stolen and never recovered.
Taking to the road, his first truck was an Austin, replaced by a new TK Bedford tipper to which he fitted a large axle. He worked this truck in Adelaide for five years after his marriage. On returning to Lake Bolac, Victoria, this truck became a single drive prime-mover to haul a two deck stock trailer.
This is where the modifications really began; with GM engines, gear boxes and diffs. He did likewise with a Commer Knocker with two and a half decks. These trucks were neat and powerful and Bob won the respect of customers for efficiency and reliability and punctuality.
Moving to a larger unit of three decks, Bob purchased an old Seattle Kenworth (one of four SARs imported to Australia initially). He repowered and refurbished it and used it for livestock and interstate work, eventually purchasing a freezer van to contract with Kraft. This truck, being a very early one, had some rare features. Being a one-truck owner-driver, the old Kenworth has been twice replaced with brand new Kenworths with 892 Detroit engines. One could say Bob is a self-taught engineer who now carries a wealth of knowledge. Bob carried out maintenance work and some conversions for others when Kerryn, his son, helped with the driving.
In retirement, he restored a Transtar Inter making it a long tray truck. Others still seek his advice with their mechanical problems. He now attends rallies and field days, travelling the length and breadth of Australia with a caravan, as well as visiting family.