O'HARE, Terry

Terry O’Hare migrated from the UK in 1950 as a 'Ten Bob Tourist' settling in Melbourne. A cabinet maker by trade he worked his way around Australia until being drafted into the army. When Terry was discharged he established Re-Car Body Works in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine.

In the late 50’s, as larger and more diverse line haul trucks became available, Terry recognised the need for a vehicle repairer that could specialise in damage repair of trucks. He saw that damaged trucks were taking months to repair so after traveling overseas and looking at methods being used in other countries Terry determined that a truck should be repaired along the same lines as it was originally manufactured using assembly line methods. Re-car would disassemble the truck on arrival and send the components to different parts of the workshop so that each of these components was being repaired at the same time. The truck would then be reassembled and delivered to the client. Using this method Re-Car could repair most trucks, regardless of the damage, in 4 weeks.

This method of repair was embraced by the Industry and Re-Car grew to become the largest Truck Repairer in the southern hemisphere. They operated two plants in Melbourne and Brisbane and employed 200 Tradespersons. Other companies soon followed Terry’s lead and the modern truck repair industry was the result.

Terry’s companies were also involved in special purpose vehicle manufacturing which saw them designing and building a wide range of commercial vehicles to meet specific industry needs.

Probably the most well known of these was the world's first jet truck 'Waltzing Matilda', which was built in only six weeks to challenge the American drag truck Super Boss. Matilda, as she was known, went on to capture the World Truck Speed Record (over a Flying Mile) at 176.2 miles per hour. Matilda achieved speeds in excess of 220 miles per over during the record runs.

Terry was regarded by his peers as a pioneer in the transport repair, manufacturing and service industry and was noted for his willingness to give back to that industry over a career that spanned more than 25 years.

Terry, now 85, went on to be involved in property development and the marine industry where he continued to apply his innovative thinking.