Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.
Anthony (Tony) Evans started work in the motor trade in 1955 at his uncle’s garage: Jim Moss, Riverview Garage, in Warrandyte, Victoria. Tony already had a solid mechanical background having grown up on a farm around motors, machinery, trucks and tractors all his life.
In 1957 Tony obtained his heavy vehicle licence and immediately began driving his uncle’s buses doing school runs and charter work to and from footy games, the snow fields, community events as well as charters and tours.
The school bus run took him from Warrandyte to Diamond Creek via Panton Hill and Hurstbridge. It was coming down the long hill into Hurstbridge one day that the vacuum hose failed and there were no brakes. The children on board enjoyed the speedy ride past waiting school mates standing at a bus stop. Fortunately the road flattened out before an intersection and the bus slowed and safely pulled to a stop. The blaring horns brought out the mechanics from round the corner and a new hose was fitted. The bus still arrived at school on time.
After successfully sitting for a senior mechanics certificate Tony commenced working as a mechanic servicing heavy vehicles. He still wanted to drive. He purchased a four ton Ford Thames Trader for £220 in 1965 and used it to deliver tractors and machinery as well as for carting firewood and water. One day while carting water Tony nursed his fully laden truck up the hills surrounding Warrandyte. Without Tony realising it, a friend climbed aboard the crawling vehicle and opened the stop valve releasing the water. Tony could not believe how well the truck suddenly picked up power.
Tony’s driving career took a change of direction in 1969 when he started work with the Department of Premier and Cabinet as a ministerial chauffeur. Very long hours were spent driving interstate but - log books did not exist then and there was no top speed limit. In the early days the cars were all American V8s with cross ply tyres and drum brakes with Galaxy, Dodge, Pontiac and Buick vehicles the most popular. During his 20 years as government driver Tony chauffeured people such as Henry Bolte, Dick Hamer, John Cain, Joan Kerner and Jeff Kennett covering about 1.4 million kilometres. Tony has always said he preferred carting water and firewood to transporting politicians.
In retirement Tony works helping his sons with truck repairs and servicing.