Old wheels keep on turning

Ron and Marilyn Galletly with their classic 1939 Dodge TC pickup.
Photos Bernard Egan

During his working life Ron Galletly needed vehicles which were workhorses.

Commercial vehicles.

And because of that he is keen that the important part commercial vehicles play in our lives should be recognised and enjoyed.

Bernard Egan

He is a keen supporter of the Commercial section of the Vintage Car Club and has organised several runs for this type of vehicle.

His next run will take place on Saturday November 25, starting at 9 am sharp with a cuppa and biscuits at the Vintage Car Club premises on Maronan Road.

Ron’s wife Marilyn shares his interest and they say their run will showcase four interesting Mid Canterbury places close to town, three of which have a commercial focus.

Lunch, for which there is a small charge ($10 pp), will be served along the way.

The run won’t be too long, but if the Galletly’s previous runs are anything to go by it will be fun.

Ron says anyone is welcome to join them on the day and the group would like to see any commercial vehicle – for example truck, van, taxi, hearse, taking part.

Ron and Marilyn themselves will be travelling in their beautifully restored 1939 Dodge TC pickup.

In his younger days Ron owned a pickup and always hoped he could get another one.

The opportunity came along when he had the chance to buy the Dodge from a family in Sheffield.

As well as being a pickup truck it had a couple of features which appeal to Ron – long running boards and mudguards.

The Dodge had been fitted with a larger motor, but much to Ron’s delight the original block was found under a pile of firewood, from which he retrieved it.

Ultimately the original motor was rebuilt and put back where it belongs. It’s a 218 cubic inch 6-cylinder power plant, which runs smoothly.

Then one day it looked like the Dodge would fail its warrant of fitness, because of a loose door.

Ron and Marilyn now laugh, as they say that door lead to a full restoration.

A restoration to original specifications which happened over two years and resulted in their truck being recognised with the Concours Award at the 2007 South Island Easter Rally.

Certainly a case of one door opens …

Parts for the restoration were easily obtained from the States, where some examples of this model of Dodge were built.

Others, including Ron and Marilyn’s truck, were manufactured in Canada.

There are subtle differences between the American and Canadian models.

The Galletlys use the Dodge quite often because it is so comfortable, easily keeps up with modern traffic and is so easy to steer.

“No power steering required,” says Ron.

Ron and Marilyn are looking forward to driving the Dodge on the Commercial Run.

– By Bernard Egan