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Bill Richardson Transport World, NZ


The Most Unique Pickup Truck Museum That You Should Visit

Bill Richardson Truck Museum is the world's biggest private Pickup Museum of its kind

There's something for everybody at Bill Richardson Transport World with more than 300 antique cars, plenty of family fun, and the ever-popular Invercargill café ‘The Grille’ to explore.

The ambition of one man began everything. What originated in a modest back shed has been converted into a truly magnificent legacy of the family. Entrepreneur Bill Richardson invested decades of commitment into the renovation of antique trucks. His family has now infused their own passions into his collection to create a world-class destination that has been the leading tourist attraction for Invercargill. Bill Richardson Transport World is a petrol head’s paradise with a range featuring Henry Ford letter vehicles, 1930s V8s, Volkswagen Kombis, and antique trucks of all makes and models, including a show stopping 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker.

You can predict the unpredictable here with interactive children's zones, a theater, wearable arts and the best truck accessories.

In the following paragraphs you will find the awesome trucks available to see at the museum, along with some great truck car accessories that look great on pickup trucks.

The History of Truck Collections at The Museum

From the moment his foot hit the running boards of Snowy Kidd's 1949 Ford, Bill Richardson's passion for trucks began. At the time, Bill was just six years old, but the moment changed his life.

This same year, Bill Richardson started collecting truck brochures. He started to pursue his real passion after leaving school to work for his father's construction business: trucks. In his early twenties, he became manager of his first firm, Southern Transport, and his business interests developed from there into what is now known as HWR, the largest private transport company in New Zealand.

It's an underestimation to say trucks were a major part of the life of Bill Richardson: trucks were his job and his hobby. He still wanted to get his hands on the 1933 International D1 from his grandparents, and he bought his very first antique truck to restore it in 1967.


The series of antique trucks by Bill has its beginnings in American classics from the 1930s and 1940s, but has evolved well beyond that ever since. The Transport World of Bill Richardson is host to antique and veteran vehicles from the 1930s to the present day.


The museum is home to practically every truck brand and model you might think of. The museum boasts all of them, from Mack’s to REO vans, the famous Deer Hunter of Ryal Bush Transport (possibly the best-known ERF vehicle in all of New Zealand), the very own Ford F150s of Bill Richardson and even a Stewart 1 Ton 1914 (the only known survivor of its make left in the world). Along with the trucks there are auto and truck accessories in the museum that are bound to fulfil a pickup truck fans dreams.


And, just in case you were curious, Bill Richardson did end up purchasing the tractor from his grandparents. To this day, you'll find it sitting here in the museum.

The Most Interesting Truck Exhibits

The heritage of American classic trucks runs throughout the museum.

The godfather of the modern trucks may be deemed to be Henry Ford, but it was also Ford and his red, white, and blue team who introduced the truck to the masses: the pioneer of the motor industry introduced the Model TT in 1917 and the story of the civilian pickup truck began.

The world of all classic truck-related items will not be complete without including some of the largest and most innovative brands ever seen, from Ford to Dodge, Chevy to International and Mack, not to mention anything in between, all of which can be found at the museum. 

1st Generation Hilux (1968―1972)

In March 1968, the Hilux debuted as a new bonnet-type truck that combined the Briska and the Light Stout and succeeded. In order to make the current Hilux 'tougher' based on a much wider understanding of the term, the design from then to the present 8th generation Hilux was focused on 'redefining toughness.' The pickup boasted ride comfort that, thanks to improved fuel efficiency, made long, tough drives less grueling, a quiet cabin that facilitated connectivity in all conditions, and improved cruising range. It could also be counted on to provide the model's expected robustness, efficiency, responsiveness and stability.

Nowdays, Due to the popularity of the truck, there are many accessories that are available for customers to be able to modify their trucks. These include rear lights, tonneau covers, running boards, mud flaps, bed accessories and some great LEDs for truck parts like wheel well lights. 

Dodge Pick Up Trucks

The classic Dodge Pickup Truck was considered to be a perfect towing and hauling truck. It looked and worked well, had lots of power and storage in the cab.

In the years that followed, the lineup was revamped, much to the liking of truck fans all over the world.

The third and current generations have been a big redesign for the Dodge, with all the new suspension, chassis, powertrain, interior features, and sheet metal. These changes and the brand becoming one of the top ones in the world meant that there were many new accessories offered by manufacturers to customize the pickup trucks. Items that illuminate the style of the trucks such as liners, front hood gas lifts, brake lights and wheel well lights are commonly seen today on the trucks of customers.

Unlike the first pickups with very simple configurations, modern Dodge pickups offer a space level of equipment, including truck tailgate locks. These are common accessories that are seen on Dodge pickup truck models ranging from 2002 to 2021. There are also wheel well covers which are great for Dodge pickup trucks as they improve the look of the car and are easy to maintain. These are definitely one of the must have auto truck accessories. 

1938 Ford V8 Barrel Front Pickup Truck

This 1938 Ford V8 pickup truck is a beauty with charm and the sort of engine that only a V8 engine can muster, with an eye-catching paint job.

From then to the current Ford generations, redesigns brought major changes to the pickup trucks exteriors. Along with some different tire styles, Ford carried out many cosmetic tweaks such as the V-6 base engines of the vehicle. There are numerous Ford accessories available for the recent models, ranging from performance chips, truck toppers, hooks; tie downs, wheel well lights, and lighting lights for the rims of cars which are indeed aesthetic and help bring out the unique look of the trucks. 

Willys Overland CJ-3A

On a farm in Christchurch, where this truck had been all its life, Bill Richardson discovered Transport World's found the iconic Willys-Overland truck. It was supplied by Willys Knight Dealers of South Island Engines. The Willy’s brand became defunct in 1963, but its legacy continued.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Willys pay tribute to the Willys Overland CJ-3A and that started a revolution in recreational vehicles. Now days there are many accessories for this renowned Jeep SUV as well as pickup truck Jeep Gladiator Side Steps, Tonneau covers, wheels and tires, nerf bars, special off-road EAG bumpers and Jeep mirrors, fender flares and tailgate assists which are commonly used in order to prevent the hinges of the truck tailgates from wear.

1922 K 2 Ton Wachusett 

This truck is one of the world's only three remaining Wachusett vehicles.

(The other two are a former fire engine, and a classic American truck that is stored at the Yaworski Range in New Jersey, a little later model.)

In the town of Fitchburg, Wachusett trucks were designed for basically a mere handful of years, from 1922 to 1930, to be precise. It is very unique to have one of their trucks, especially one from the first production year of the classic American truck manufacturer.

Before it made its home here at Bill Richardson Transport World, this 1922 K 2 Ton Wachusett changed hands a few times. It was once part of Michigan's well-known Earl Marhanka Series (the collection was full of impressive pre-1930 American trucks).

The Ton Wachusett trucks have similarities to Chevy or Ford models today. Pickup trucks like the 2016 Ford F-550 are considered to be the best heavy-duty trucks in the market, as they can be easily personalized and provide plenty of towing power. As such, they require equipment like suspension parts, wheel well toolboxes, and tailgate assists which are put in place to protect the tailgate form collisions.

1937 Ford 79 Truck

The reason why this Ford 79 truck from 1937 is part of the Bill Richardson Transport World series is a very nostalgic one. 

This tractor, sporting an eight cylinder side valve, was acquired by the Foster Brothers of Thornbury. Bill Richardson then ordered the 1937 Ford 79 truck himself, also from Thornbury's Mr Shaw.

What drew Bill Richardson to this 1937 Ford 79 truck in particular? It is an exact reproduction of the first Ford ever owned by the Richardson family, and as such, a stunning restoration has been given to the model in the classic red hue of the family firm.

The Ford pickup truck line has expanded since 1937 to include designs such as the Ford F150 trucks, built on a dedicated truck platform which was different from the earlier models. The expansion of the Ford truck into the commercial market meant that more accessories like tailgate assists and wheel well covers had to be included for the slow, consistent and smooth lowering of tailgate cables, as well as protecting and boosting the appearance of the pickup trucks. 

The Most Antique Pickup Trucks To See

The passion of Bill Richardson for antique trucks started with American models-after fulfilling his dream of purchasing the foreign truck of his grandparents, his collection expanded and grew in order to revive it. 

It gradually grew to include vans and trucks as they are more widely known around the world. There is an outstanding range of classic trucks, including Austin, Bedford, Leyland, Foden and more at the museum. 

U1981 ERF C4-350 – The Deerhunter

This very intimidating tractor, an ERF C4-350, best known as The Deerhunter, would undoubtedly be remembered by tourists of a certain vintage.

Ryal Bush Transport bought this truck-the company's maroon trucks have been frequent sights in Southland for a long time, and in later years around the country as the rural transport company began to grow in September 1981. The truck crossed the length and width of New Zealand, often for several weeks at a time away from its home depot, all the way up to its 2007 discontinuation.

This unique vehicle, probably the most identifiable and well-known ERF in New Zealand, has the distinction of being the very first truck-and-trailer unit set up around the world to explicitly transport live deer.

In its first year of service alone, this truck traveled a staggering 350,000 kilometers. Before finding a place to rest here at Bill Richardson Transport World, it finally clocked an amazing 4.2 million kilometers in its career.

For powerful trucks like these, there are many modern similar versions, such as the KENWORTH T 800 Dump Trucks. For such pickups, manufacturers often offer many additional auto truck accessories, such as towing hooks, interior heating, pickup trunk covers and tailgate assists.

1952 Chevrolet Pickup

When World War II ended in 1945, American manufacturers of vehicles returned to the car and truck manufacturing market. They converted their facilities to the produce of aircraft, jeeps, weapons and the like for the war effort. In 1947, Chevrolet launched their first pickup truck series. These trucks were sold from 1947 until a change in the model year in 1955, dubbed the "Advance Design" series.

Many of the Chevrolet trucks that were made post 1950s provide cab and cargo bed options as well as the ability to drive well in off-road terrain. This means that they often require accessories such as Wheel Well Toolboxes or Wheel Well Covers to adapt to rough terrain. There are some great accessories available that would fit such trucks, such as the popularly used Wheel Well Toolbox which provides adequate storage for pickup trucks, or the Wheel Well Cover which is a great fit for Chevrolets as it keeps mud, road salt and debris out of the truck beds. 

The Variety of Pickup Trucks At The Museum

The truck museum in Invercargill is host to a veritable tapestry of iconic vehicles from all around the world.

Truck fans can find vehicles manufactured by German automobile powerhouses, including Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, as well as a range of trucks made by the Japanese company Nissan, alongside extensive vintage truck ranges from Great Britain and the United States of America. Inside the museum, several iconic Australian-made trucks can also be found.

International AR162

In the 1950s, Kiwi drivers wanted a vehicle that could keep up with the Great South's harsh weather conditions.

A robust work truck designed by the International Harvester Corporation in Australia was the International AR162. They have been seen all over Australia and New Zealand on farms and highways. For the South, they were a fantastic tractor.

At Dandenong, Victoria in 1952, International Harvester started constructing their Australian line of trucks. The 'A' marked them as Australian-built in their model name. A updated version of the R series that was constructed between 1953 and 1956 was the AR series. Australia was undergoing a post-war economic boom in the 1950s, so robust Australian-built trucks soon left the sales yard for greener pastures. Southland wanted stronger trucks than always offered by European imports, so for many truck drivers and farmers, Australian Internationals were the truck of choice.

For trucks such as these, which are mostly used in farms and grasslands, accessories such as wheel well toolboxes and wheel well covers are needed to protect the vehicles form snow, mud rain. Wheel well covers are a great example of pickup truck accessories as they help to reduce the snow, mud or debris that is on the road and hits the pickup truck.

Chevrolet Trucks And Pickups

The first Chevrolet truck was ready for order in 1918, spurring the beginning of the history of Chevy Trucks. The 1918 Chevy Model 490 competed with the first truck from Ford, the 1917 Ford Model TT. The 1918 Series 490 was marketed as a chassis only, considered a light delivery vehicle with a half-ton classification, meaning the buyer had to mount the truck cab and chassis. The 1918 Chevrolet Model T, a one-ton-rated truck, was sold alongside the light-duty truck. The 1918 Chevrolet One-Ton had a 224-cubic inch OHV 4-cylinder engine with 36 horsepower, described as Chevrolet's first purpose-built truck.

The 1918 Model T was rated as a chassis only or as an express body with a gross payload of 2,000 pounds. Up until 1922, both the Series 490 and the Model T truck were made. In 1922, the light-delivery truck and the one-ton heavy-duty truck were redesignated as the Superior Series. The name changed again in 1927 to Capitol, which lasted just one year. Chevrolet only offered the body and cowl on both of these vehicles. Chevrolet's first factory-built truck was not made until 1931.

Modern Chevrolet Pickups - The Continuers of History

Modern Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche are one of the modern successors of the American pickup truck brand. They are made to facilitate the comfort of passengers while ensuring that the pickup trucks have strong muscle and power.

Therefore, the modern Chevrolet pickup trucks are introduced with excellent powertrains, off-road and towing capability, smooth on-road drivability, and versatility for passenger/cargo-space.  The harsh conditions which the truck has to endure means that accessories such as avalanche tents and wheel well covers should be used with them. Chevy avalanche tent and Avalanche bed covers are a must use for trucks as they not only protect the truck from sand, debris and mud, but are also stylish and add a great look to the trucks. Additionally, for Chevrolet pickup trucks wheel well covers are a great heavy-duty liner that protects the truck from rust and decay.


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