Well-known and respected Ulladulla resident Kevin Pollock, now 83-years-old, has built houses, boats.
Kevin, because of his love of boats and fishing, even tried his hand at commercial fishing over his lifetime on the NSW South Coast.
This is the story of his adventure in a small truck during 1976, to transport a boat hull that he'd bought in Perth, travelling some 4000km to collect it, and then returning to his home town with it in tow.
The adventure begins
He pointed the Canter west, and with a mate as co-driver beside him; the two feeling as if on a Burke and Wills expedition, set off to conquer the Nullarbor Plain, colloquially known as the 'Big Paddock'.
The trip west was uneventful and Kevin got busy assembling the trailer in the boatbuilders' yard. Then with rego effected, the boat loaded and a wide-load escort hired.
"We set out on the return journey, heading east with the escort vehicle in front and the rising sun beaming through the windscreen," Kevin said.
"Leaving our WA escort at Eucla, then crossing the border into South Australia, where an escort wasn't required.
"The Nullarbor was ahead and as we travelled further east the head-wind became more relentless, the 3.8m girth of the boat's bow retarding our progress/
"I had my foot on the accelerator pedal hard to the floor, and progress was slow, even though the 4-cylinder DR5 2.7itre 59kW engine was revving at its maximum 3700rpm.
"Sometimes I had to drop down a gear, so as to push harder."
Kevin said they could smell and feel the heat transfer from the gearbox and by the time they reached Ceduna it was a little noisy.
On the positive side, the boat had been useful as their sleeping quarters.
They pressed on across SA into the top corner of Victoria, finally reaching NSW and heading along the Hay Plains.
Then at the halfway point between Hay and Darlington Point, the engine started to run on three-cylinders.
"We pulled into a large property called Gundaline Station near Carrathool, and with their help were able to contact a mechanic who diagnosed it as a burnt-out valve," Kevin said.
"The mechanic then organised it to be taken to a workshop at Griffith for repair.
"Barry and I then caught the train back from Wagga to Sydney, then on to Bomaderry and finally making our way to Ulladulla."
After the repair was completed, Kevin was back on the train to Wagga in order to collect the truck and its load.
"You wouldn't want to know as we made it into Ulladulla and were crossing the bridge over Millards Creek on the highway heading to the wharf to unload, a tyre blew on the trailer," he said.
The gearbox was also very noisy by the time Kevin reached home.
So he took the truck to Crocker Chrysler/Mitsubishi at Ulladulla, where the gearbox was removed and stripped.
The gears were black from the heat generation and the bearings rattling and according to Alan Crocker it was a miracle, the bearings hadn't completely collapsed from the heat generated during the 4000km west-east trip across the continent.
So Kevin, was the boat worth the epic journey with all the drama?
"Well I've got to say it was certainly an experience and something I did enjoy," he says with a smile.
Kevin gets his "first love"
Kevin had bought the truck new, not just for this trip, but as a replacement truck for his building business.
It was a Mitsubishi Canter, in fact, badged as a Dodge, the reason being, that during that time Chrysler Australia in Adelaide, was the importer of Mitsubishi truck product and used its truck nomenclature for Australia.
Kevin had purchased it new for $5,500.00.
As Kevin and Jim Baker sat in his house at the kitchen table to discuss the life and times of the much-loved Canter, his wife Margaret winked as she looked across at Jim, saying with a cheeky grin, "the truck was his first love, I was his second."
Kevin had gained a reputation as a master of all trades, and he could turn his hands to shaping and working wood with precision and equally fettle metal to tradesman-like accuracy, one of those talented hands-on naturals.
He had ordered a 38ft x 12ft 6in (11.6m x 3.8m) boat hull to be built in Perth WA, and needed the little diesel truck to tow it back to Ulladulla for him to complete and finetune the fit-up.
His current truck was a 1960s model Dodge 114 with a petrol engine and single rear wheels - not good enough for the task at hand.
So, he traded the 114 and took delivery of the Canter in cab/chassis guise - naturally he would build the body himself.
However, firstly he had to construct a bespoke trailer in order to transport the large boat hull from Perth.
The second-hand shop at the local refuse depot, which Kevin affectionately calls 'Green Street Spares', was where he was able to purchase, at the right price, enough steel for the job in hand, including vehicle springs and wheels.
He built a turntable using two steel flat plates reinforced with C-section channel iron and a steel 2-inch (50mm) diameter pin. Two 4x2-inch (100x50mm) RHS beams 12m long (which he would purchase in Perth, as they would be too long to transport over with the kit).
These would become the main runners from the turntable to the cradle over the tandem axles. Four Holden springs were shortened and connected to rocker arms as the pivots for the dual axle four-wheel combo, fitted with vacuum brakes.
Simple mid-seventies ingenuity of the first-order.
The trailer was then loaded onto the Canter's chassis in kit form, as Kevin was to assemble the articulated combination on arrival in Perth.