Wallace Gordon Thurecht, known as “Wally”, was born in 1951 in Toowoomba, Queensland. Having left school, Wally commenced work at a truck business in Toowoomba which started his love of trucks. However, he did complete a boilermaker apprenticeship which would prove to be useful in his future endeavours. In December 1971, he married Janine and they moved to Gladstone, Queensland, where he worked at various construction sites.
In 1976 Wally commenced work as a firefighter with the Gladstone Fire Brigade which continued his love of trucks as he drove the station’s fire engine.
Wally and Janine made the decision to start their own business and in 1981, “Mini Excavations”, was established with Wally buying a second hand J Series Bedford truck and a new bobcat. Business continued to grow and although the Bedford was a faithful truck, Wally decided to upgrade to a 1975 Dodge D3F cab-over. He kept this truck for over 25 years.
In 1988 Mini Excavations expanded into sales of quarry materials and larger earthmoving projects. The business is in its 40th year of operation today and has a fleet of 13 trucks, consisting of Mack and Nissan UD trucks.
Wally decided, in 2014, to restore a 1951 Albion Reiver PF107L. This was a challenge as many of the parts were missing and some needed to be sourced from Glasgow, Scotland. The restoration was a mammoth effort but greatly rewarding. It took four years, taking it from a rusty shell to a beautifully restored truck with traditional colours, new timber body and refurbished trims.
Wally’s next project was to find his former trucks. The Bedford and the Dodge trucks were both located and brought back to Gladstone. Wally then started restoring the 1975 Dodge, which meant pulling it apart and rebuilding the truck. Wally’s passion for trucks has continued throughout his life and he loves talking about his trucks and showing photos of them. He looks forward to his next restoration and reliving the memories of his time behind the wheel. Inducted in 2021