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Truck Restorations for MND Research

Why restore vintage trucks?

When our former CEO, Wayne Patterson, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), we decided to help raise funds to find a cure.

Restoring and modifying trucks was a fitting way to do this; not only are trucks a crucial part of our business – and something that Wayne loved – but it also gave us an opportunity to involve our national partner network.

So far, we’ve raised more than $2 million to help fight this terrible disease; every day in Australia, two people are diagnosed with MND, and two people die from it.

But we believe that, with continued medical research, breakthroughs are possible. This is why we’ve established the NTI MND Research Grant, and continue to support MND and Me Foundation.

"Bonnie" 2024

Bonnie is a matte black 1946 Ford Jailbar Dual Cab 4x4; a truly one of a kind, amazing vehicle. 

She proved to be one of the toughest and most technically challenging builds we’ve ever taken on; granted she’s given NTI, our Premium Repairers - Royans, and our associated service providers the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and craftsmanship at our helm.

The raffle for Bonnie will be drawn at the 2024 NTI Townsville 500 Supercars round in July. 

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Raffle drawn on July 7, 2024.

"Daphne" 2023

This year we contributed our sixth truck at the 2023 NTI Townsville 500 Supercars round in July. 

This year’s restoration vehicle was found on a farm in the USA and purchased by a young Australian working there. Its original owner was supportive of the re-sell once she’d heard about how it would be restored and raffle for the MND cause.

Daphne is a 1954 Chevrolet Cab Over Engine (COE) with a 2022 Chevrolet Camaro LT1 6.2-Litre Fuel Injected V8. Daphne’s newly restored hot lava orange bodywork and running gear make her quite the looker, and her unique engine makes her quite the performer. She’s a beauty, and a beast.

Congratulations to Peter Rodney from the Gold Coast, Qld, for being the lucky winner! Peter has worked in the transport and logistics industry for over 30 years, and was beyond excited to receive the call. 

"Eddy" 2022

Eddy is an ‘Expedition Truck’ and the fifth vehicle we raffled for MND research. Our previous four vehicles had been vintage restorations, but for 2022, our CEO Tony Clark decided we should offer a vehicle that reflected our post-COVID lockdown sense of freedom.

Eddy comprises two pieces: a truck and a detachable 3.5 metre luxury slide-on camper. The Isuzu 4x4 truck can be used as a working vehicle during the week, and a getaway vehicle for holidays.

Even with pandemic-affected supply chains, we finished the project in under six months, which is a tribute to our teams’ and partners’ commitment. The raffle was drawn at the July 2022 NTI Supercars round in Townsville.

The Fuller family from NSW were delighted winners, and said the timing was perfect. The couple had a 300km trip planned the following week to visit the grandkids after four years, making Eddy a great upgrade from the pop-up camper trailer they were going to take.

"Jolene" 2021

An electric blue 1946 Ford Jailbar, Jolene was our fourth restoration job to raise money for medical research, and we all agree her beauty is beyond compare (even if she doesn’t have ‘flaming locks of auburn hair’). 

Jolene’s restoration took around 1500 hours, with COVID-19 restrictions adding another layer of complexity. We used a mix of old and new technologies to make her a daily driver. 

Once we finished the restoration, MND Research Fellow Dr Shyuan Ngo test-drove Jolene around the UQ campus, chatting with NTI’s Don Geer about fundraising for MND research. The winner, Elizabeth Fritsch from NSW, was announced at the Brisbane Truck Show in May 2021. 

"Sandy" 2020

Sandy, a black 1946 Ford Jailbar, was our third restoration, but this time we raised funds for medical research through an auction, not a raffle. 

Sandy marries the 1946 Jailbar’s class lines with a modern Isuzu NPR donor vehicle’s running gear. It’s a great blend, combining the old with the new to create a vehicle with classic looks and modern performance. 

The winning bidder, Neville Purtil from NSW, was announced at the ATA Live industry broadcast event in March 2020. You can now see this restoration at Neville’s purpose-built 3000m2 facility, The Depot Deniliquin Historic Vehicle and Memorabilia Collection.

"Roxanne" 2019

Roxanne, a nouveau red 1946 Ford Jailbar, was our second vehicle restoration. More than 50 suppliers, partners and industry affiliates helped us to combine a Jailbar and an Isuzu NLR donor, combining retro looks with modern running and conveniences. 

We raffled Roxanne off at the Brisbane Truck Show in May 2019, raising money for MND research via NTI’s official Research Grant and MND Australia

The winner, Michelle Wilkie from Qld, was delighted with her prize – and why wouldn’t she be? Roxanne is an old beauty with young bones, a delight to behold and safe, comfortable and modern to drive. 

"Green Diamond" 2017

Green Diamond, a green 1946 International Model K5 Rigid Truck, was NTI’s first vehicle restoration to raise money for medical research. With help from our partner and supplier network, we took this old workhorse (named after its engine type) into the garage and turned out a thoroughbred.

The raffle for Green Diamond was drawn in September 2017 in Brisbane’s King George Square, hosted by radio station Triple M. The campaign gained national attention and raised valuable money for MND research. 

You can watch the process in our five-part web series called NTI Truck Restoration: A Green Diamond in the Rough, highlighting our partners, our team, and the love and care they all put into the project.

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