We've been amazed at how much interest the truck has sparked around a small town like Cairns. Mike has had so many waves from other drivers while he's driving it to and from the various garages and workshops it's been to recently and there are an almost endless list of people who, on seeing it for the first time, have said " We used to have one of those on the farm!" or "Dad used to have one just like it". It turns out that Bedfords are a truly iconic vehicle.
One great thing about their iconic nature is that it would seem everyone knows a paddock nearby where one lies abandoned. People have told us of old Beddie's slowly rusting away at Rankin's timber yards (unfortunately it would appear they are doomed to stay that way), up past Mt Surprise and also in Biboohra near Mareeba. Mike was really keen to go and scout out the one in Biboohra so they went up for a quick look last weekend and to chat to the owner. The owner, it turned out, was more than helpful and offered us either parts of if we preffered to take the whole truck!
Despite being a different style and age to our vehicle we found that many of the parts for this J4 were the same or very similar to our J5. So on Sunday we returned, armed with a vast toolkit and two not so helpful helpers (Clint's mum Jan and myself). The boys proceeded to take the windscreen, doors, windows and various parts from the motor out as spares for our vehicle. We're not sure if we'll need them (hopefully we wont) but its near impossible to find original parts especially windows and windscreens so we thought we'd take advantage while we can!
We were completely amazed to find that the truck we were looking at had last been registered in 1981 and had sat in the middle of a field since. It may be an old rust bucket in terms of the body but the dash, seats, steering wheel and motor were still in relatively good shape. Made us wonder how many of the vehicles for sale nowadays would still have salvagable parts after sitting out in the open for nearly 35 years! Not too many I think...