LATHAM, Ian

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

Ian Latham was born to a farming family in 1938 but as he grew older his passion turned to machinery, especially trucks. When, at the age of 17, he was offered a job helping his uncle in the furniture removing business he jumped at the chance. From that day forward he was hooked on the trucking life.

Another relative owned Arthur’s Dairy and Ian also delivered milk to Phillip Island and Wonthaggi. Later he was then given a bigger truck to deliver milk to Yawl in South Australia and to return with cheese.

Ian’s next big step was to buy his own truck, a Ford F600, and commence moving freight to Sydney and Adelaide. Fleetways was looking for drivers on their car carriers at the time so Ian jumped at the chance to work for a big company. Fleetways Transport was a major car transporter of the day operating haulage contracts for GMH at Dandenong and haulage of CKD Bedford Crates from the Melbourne wharf to Dandenong. They also had contracts for Chrysler, Ford and BMC/Austin. With all small regional centres and country towns having car dealerships in those days it was not unusual for Ian to have six cars on his carrier of different makes all bound for different towns. He did this from 1963 to 1967.

A move to McCoullough Bros car transporters of Wagga Wagga in 1968 saw Ian become part of their team transporting cars. McCoullough Bros introduced the first eight car carrier to Australia. It was a twin steer single drive Bedford with a two dog trailer and Ian had the honour of driving it. His time with this company lasted 12 years during which time he became caught up in the famous Razorback blockade for two weeks. This blockade was a rebellion against road tax.

After his 12 years moving cars he decided to use his own truck which he had spent a lot of time restoring. He registered it in November 1981. He then hauled for various companies: Gray Bros, Greenways Refrigerated Freight, Cootes Transport, Debco, Gunn Freight and Dysons Timber.

In 1989 Ian started his own hay carting business in Gippsland. He was part of the voluntary convoy to Queensland and twice took hay to the drought stricken areas of that state. This convoy was organized by Timboon Lions Club in Victoria.

In June 2005, after 48 years of service in the transport industry, Ian retired. He is now a life member of the TWU, a member of the Truck Restorers Club and is also a dedicated member of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

In 2012 Ian Latham is enjoying his retirement restoring old trucks and tractors and is a well known and respected member of the commercial vehicle restoration fraternity. He is the proud owner of a 1951 Austin fire truck, a 1948 cab-over Morris Commercial and a six ton Kew Fargo. He still drives, on red plates, his original work truck and is enjoying participating in historic vehicles events around the country.