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NTI Jailbar set for new life in the spotlight

NTI’s latest restored 1946 Ford Jailbar is set to continue life in the spotlight, with its new owner featuring the vehicle on public display as a feature of The Depot Deniliquin Historic Vehicle and Memorabilia Collection.

Raising funds in aid of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research, the wonderfully restored Jailbar was auctioned online during the ATA Live Industry Broadcast Event, with the winner Neville Purtill looking to add it to his family’s southern New South Wales museum.

The truck, fourth in the line of restored vehicles by NTI, marries the classic lines of the ’46 Jailbar with the running gear of the modern Isuzu N Series donor vehicle.

For industry stalwart Mr Purtill, the opportunity to acquire the Jailbar sight unseen was an opportunity too good to miss.

“It fits in really well, especially since it’s a crossover from trucks and transport to historic cars, the whole thing really appealed to me,” said Mr Purtill.

“When I started to do some research on the truck in the auction, and how NTI was supporting MND, I knew that if I were lucky enough to be the highest bidder, no matter what I paid, the money was going to a good cause.

“You see in the media, especially what Neale Daniher is doing with MND, it’s obviously a cause that deserves to be supported.”

The Depot Deniliquin is a purpose built, 3,000m2 facility which opened in February 2020, with the eclectic collection having grown from a purely transport focus, to encompass the broader motoring spectrum, with a wide range of trucks, buses, cars, memorabilia, bowsers and other garagenalia displayed.

Outside of the Purtill family’s transport background, another major influence on the collection has been their former ownership of a video shop, with many movie and television inspired pieces included in the collection.

From a DMC DeLorean, made famous in the Back to the Future series, to a replica of James Dean’s Porsche Spyder, the display also pays homage to local productions, including the FC Holden Taxi from the 1989 Kylie Minogue film, The Delinquents, and the EJ Holden sedan from the Nine Network’s drama series Love Child.

Even closer to home, the collection features a WB Holden Ute which starred in the movie Spinout, which was loosely based on the local Deni Ute Muster, which coincidentally is sponsored by the Purtills.

Another event supported by the family business is the Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo, which has unearthed many pieces which are now showcased at The Depot.

“I saw some of the memorabilia that was surfacing, and I thought to myself that this stuff can’t go home and sit in people’s draws again, they need somewhere to display that history, and honour those blokes who did the hard yards, 60, 70, 80 years ago,” said Mr Purtill.

“The guys today would have no idea how hard they had it back in the day.”

The Purtill business will be celebrating its 70th birthday in 2021, which since 1974 has seen three generations involved in the distribution of Caltex products.

This has expanded to now include supplying 11 service stations throughout the region, six being family owned, as well as bulk fuel and farm supplies, and a chain of unmanned truck stops.

A part of The Depot development is a purpose built conference facility, The Cadillac Room, with the adjacent Caltex Service Station continuing the 1950s theme in its Cruizin’ Diner and truckies lounge.

Located at 158 Hardinge Street, Deniliquin, The Depot is open seven days a week, with further information available at www.depotdeni.com.au.

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