2 Million Miles … and counting!

Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ

1942 ex-Fire Tender, Edithburgh, York Peninsula, South Australia
1942 ex-Fire Tender, Edithburgh, York Peninsula, South Australia

Anything RED will catch my eye.

An interesting history will hold my attention.

But it takes more than hue and back story to boggle my mind!

And this ordinary looking 1942 truck sitting inside an old shed behind a Yorke Peninsula country town museum with magpies roosting on its rusting railing delivered that boggle in spades.

Magpies at rest
Magpies at rest

Because this ex-army, transport and fire-tender vehicle has travelled 2 MILLION miles!

That’s ROAD miles. And many of those miles are DIRT miles – and the equivalent of crossing Australia from east to west about 800 times!

Even Pilchard and I haven’t covered that distance on ANY sort of road in 21+ years of Australian road tripping!

In manufacturing a vehicle capable of such distances, has the International Truck Company (and the Gardner LW4 Diesel Engine and David Brown 5 Speed Gearbox) succeeded where other, more notable vehicle manufacturers have failed?

Because although I’m not a petrol-head, I don’t recall the 2,000,000 mile service ever coming up on any of the vehicles I’ve owned …

2,000,000 Million Miles later in the Edithburgh Historic Museum ... Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
2,000,000 Million Miles later in the Edithburgh Historic Museum … Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

But also because I’m not a petrol-head, I’m prepared to concede that it’s just possible I’m the only person in the known universe who thinks that a 2,000,000 miles on the road is newsworthy!

SO … put me out of my misery! Can YOU top this record? Tell me in the comments below!!

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  1. @FruitCake – Haha, yes I suspect you are right. But I’m thinking the body (chassis????) is what’s done the distance. I’ve read about TK – I think the old-timers had to be so mechanically minded they could turn a box of rusty nails into an engine if they had to!!!!

  2. @Kath – Ha! You’re the only other person (apart from family members) I know who’s been there!! Weird, huh?!
    @SFlaGuy – NO! See Jane/Lance’s comment above – your car is destined for the scrap heap WAY before you get anywhere near that magic figure!!
    @TMWH – Hahaha! I can’t think of too many situations that WOULDN’T be improved by an infusion of bakery food!!!
    @Rohrerbot – Although magpies swoop us during nesting season, they’re one of the joys of Aussie life! Travelling that far would be incredibly difficult without a fine selection of bakeries to stop at along the way …
    @Indrani – Yes, we’re the lucky ones!!
    @Iris – HHHMMMmmm… I’m thinking your friendly magpie was waiting to be fed!!! But they DO look very formal with their black & white feathering!!
    @River – Too true!! I’m hoping I wasn’t misled by the sign in the museum claiming that mileage …

  3. @eileeninmd – They don’t make them like they used to!! HHHMMMmmm… when I was younger, I swore I’d never say that!!!
    @Jane & Lance – Virtual travel doesn’t count!!! Car manufacturers will one day return to quality workmanship – but it’s a shame it will probably take the downfall of civilisation through resource destruction to do it!
    @Hilda – What a relief!! I was afraid my ignorance about all things mechanical was a problem!
    @Andrew – I suspect there may not be too much of the original vehicle mechanics left … but what would I know?? The Australian magpie’s call is one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve heard anywhere! Maybe we should market a relaxation download based on it? I’ll split you 50/50!
    @Saucy Kod – I’d be interested to find out how far a 1950’s motorbike would have travelled! Hope your weekend is going great!!
    @AWTY – You’re right – it’s just a bit dusty and needs a freshen up! Oh, and probably a new engine!! It’s actually about to be restored!!

  4. 2 million miles? Sounds a bit like the story of the 120 year old axe, which has only had one new axehead and four new handles.
    But seriously, read a biography of Tom Kruse the Birdsville mailman, and all but four sentences were about how he fixed this or that mechanical doohickey in his truck. And farmers… they spend all day every day doing nothing but fixing things and hey presto before you know it they have a bumper wheat crop.

    Looooove the shot of the maggies!

  5. 2 million miles has got to be a record! What a performance.

    @Iris Flavia, magpies look cute, but beware of them at nesting time. They will dive bomb your head, swooping very, very close and sometimes actually pecking you.

  6. Wow, no, don´t come even near, I guess…
    Oh, I so love Magpies, such cute birds! Once one went around our car twice, “inspecting” it and us, so cute! The bird stopped here and there, lay it´s head to the side, and went on again.
    Then it slowly left, walking.
    A funny fellow!
    So sad we don´t have them here!

    But at times I hear ravens, sounding like the typical Aussie-ones.

  7. Wow! TWO million miles! What an amazing feat. I would be exhausted if I had driven so far. I would need a lot of baked goods to shore up my energy!

  8. Goodmorning Red – WOW, 2 Million miles is indeed a record. I think, through research there are other vehicles that might have done that, but I think they would be rare to come across. I do have friends that have had same motorcycles since 1950 and still working and being driven. We see them every year at local Motorbike Rallies. NEAT
    I love the “Red” vehicle, the photos are just great and you, my dear have come with another “Red” post. Thanks a bunch, Eh n have a great day.

  9. Cynical as I am, I am terribly impressed by 2,000,000 miles. Tomorrow I will look at the town where this engine is based and verify the extraordinary mileage.

    While maggies do swoop people, I just love them. What would Australia be without the sound of maggies in the morning.

  10. Hello Red:
    We are sure that, in our minds, we travel at least 2 million miles daily!!!!!!

    This is indeed an impressive record and, surely, car manufacturing world wide would have ceased decades ago if built in obsolescence had not been the order of the day for more ordinary vehicles.We love the colour too!

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