Sep 19, 2022 0min read

Whether it’s pulling the family farm together, a fixer-upper for an apprentice, or passed down lovingly through the generations, the Heritage Isuzu’s featured in the recent months of 2022’s Truck of the Year competition have all had a story to tell. The Heritage Category honours the passion of Isuzu owners while celebrating the dual milestone of 25 years of the Isuzu Truck of the Year competition, and 50 years of Isuzu operating here in Australia. Since Isuzu Trucks hit Australian shores under General Motors Holden (GMH) in 1972 and were initially marketed as ‘Bedford by Isuzu’, Aussie businesses and families have been welcoming Isuzu's into their lives for the past 50 years with increasing confidence due to the unmatched Isuzu reliability. The Heritage entrants over the past few months have highlighted the staying power and reliability of Isuzu as well as the passion and customer loyalty of Australian Isuzu owners. The owners of Heritage Isuzu's have made their Isuzu truck part of the family. Without further ado the Heritage prize goes to Rowan Leen Demolitions with their 1985 Isuzu JCR Tipper, who takes home $300 worth of Isuzu Trucks merchandise and the chance to be named as King of their respective model series! CONGRATULATIONS TO ROWAN LEEN DEMOLITIONS WITH THEIR 1985 ISUZU JCR TIPPER


Rowan Leen knows his Isuzu history and has an epic story to tell when it comes to the JCR passed down through his family for no less than three generations. “My family at Bernie Leen and Sons Demolition bought this truck brand new in 1985, this Isuzu JCR was a game changer from the old J Series Bedford trucks they were used to in the business. “Since then, the truck has served over 37 years of hard demolition work, hauling concrete and demolition materials all over Victoria. “We still use the truck regularly to continue what she knows best! “Still running on its original motor, the old girl doesn’t miss a beat and has never let us down to this date.” Read on to explore all the Heritage entries for Isuzu Trucks Heritage category of Truck of the Year competition.


This Isuzu workhorse owned by Henry Davidson of Modra Ag in South Australia is 36 years young and tough as nails. “It has always done the job proudly and effectively on the farm,” says Henry. “A few modifications have taken place over the decades to bring it up to farm standards. “We use it for spreading all types of fertilisers and sands each and every season and it has never let us down!”


“The 1994 F Series Isuzu Fire tanker at the Rowsley Fire Brigade is not just a truck, it's also a big part of our crew and family,” says Joe Hammersley from the Rowsley Fire Brigade. This truck was custom built for firefighting and holds 2,000 litres of water along with all the equipment needed by the Rowsley Fire Brigade. Fighting fire for just under 30 years, the tanker has been used in some of the biggest fires in Victoria, such as the Black Saturday Fires and has attended over 1,000 incidents.


Chris Szyjko the owner of LSK Towing knows the importance of a reliable truck to get the tough jobs done. This 1988 NP5 400 is still gunning its engines after hauling and towing for 34 years!


You don’t always need a small business to make use of a beloved Isuzu truck. Did you know you can enjoy an Isuzu truck in recreation and play? “This truck has been so reliable and is very comfortable for its age,” states David Weber on his 1982 SBR 422. “We travel quite extensively to heritage shows and rallies and it's still going strong.”


“My truck is used in film and television production across Victoria and has worked on hundreds of television commercials, movies and TV shows. “I've owned my truck for 22 years,” says Andrew Jerram of Southern Aurora Films. With the bright red wrap and personalised ‘FILM’ plates, it's no wonder this NPR 300 has been in the ‘biz so long.


We’re not surprised Simon Davies is laughing over the fact that his bulletproof 1993 NPR 400 is running after all these years and pulling off the toughest of jobs for S. L. Davies Contracting. “It’s a bit slow and steady these days, but she just keeps trucking...like its owner!” Simon jokes.


This battle-hardened 2007 FVY has been nothing but reliable and hard working for Ben Reidy of Reidy Recovery and Vehicle Salvage. The perfect platform for all manner of towing and freight movement, the Reidy’s Recovery Isuzu has been hard-at-tow now for almost 15 years. “It's about to tick over to one million kilometres!” Ben proudly states.


Andrew Sibley, owner of Bobcat Tipper Service knows that old trucks still work hard. This 2003 Isuzu NPR 200 has done the kilometres and gone the miles right throughout New South Wales. The unit is still going strong after all these years taking loads from the bobcat towed behind.


Tim of End of the Road Wrecking and Car Removal pilots a 2002 NPR 300. Even after 20 years the NPR is still a workhorse punching above its weight. Sporting the jovial ‘4 SCRAP’ license plate, Tim stated, “I don’t want to upgrade it because I love it, it’s been so reliable for me. “It’s the first truck for my business and I don’t think I will ever get rid of it.” We love to see the Isuzu love, Tim!


Based in Cambooya Queensland but servicing the Southern Downs, the Darling Downs, further up through Southeast Queensland as well as over the border into New South Wales Diamondvale keeps things trucking with their 1990's FVR 900. “Our Isuzu helps keep our business going” Scott Edwards said. “It travels all through Southeast Queensland and Northern New South Wales.”


The stunning wrap on Paul Kelk’s Isuzu catches the eye on and off the road. The NPR 400 is 22 years young and running better than ever, keeping Paul’s business going smoothly after all this time. “My NPR 400 has done over 102,000 km and it's the backbone of my little business.”


Kevin Luicich from Amrock Construction is over the moon about his 1998 NPR 250. “It’s been with me since I started in the carpentry business,” Kevin stated. “My NPR 250 now has clocked close to 450000 kms, and while it is older, I can’t bring myself to sell it.” A well looked after Isuzu really can go the hard yards and that’s evident from Kevin’s affection for his late 90s NPR. “I probably never will replace my NPR, I can see myself passing it on to my children.”


Brendon Reid of Reidy’s Earthmoving has been relying on his 1991 FVM 1400 for 31 years and has never looked back. “She just keeps on going and is a very reliable truck,” Brendon said confirming that Isuzu reliability which has decades strong staying power.


Purchased by Nathans grandfather in 1985 from the Castle Hill agricultural show, this Heritage Isuzu has had many an incarnation. From delivering veggies for the Sydney Flemington Markets, carting hay for the family cattle, and hauling Nathan’s excavator for his business Nathan Sultana Plumbing. “This truck is in great condition; it has never had any mechanical issues and has never been resprayed. It has always been kept inside a shed and it doesn’t have a speck of rust in it,” Nathan stated with love for his family’s Isuzu. “It has recently just clocked over 200,000 kilometres!”


“This was my first truck I brought as a young business owner; and she’s got well over 350 kilometres on the clock.” said Daniel Dovern of Dovern Bricklaying. “Welcome to the real work horse behind our bricklaying business!” This Heritage Isuzu has since inspired Daniel to purchase two more Isuzu’s making a small fleet that works hard for Dovern Bricklaying.


Simon Kennedy from Pickets ‘N’ Barbs Rural Contracting knows how to keep it short ‘n sweet. “My Isuzu is just a hardworking truck that does the job.” Above all, that’s what matters when it comes to a hardworking truck being relied upon by an Australian business.


This 1981 SBR 422 Tipper belonging to Zac Arnold of Arnold Construction knows a little something about the Isuzu reliability! “My 1981 SBR has the reliability that makes it start first time every time,” Zac said. “I have had my SBR for 41 years and while it might be slowing down after all this time, I have no doubt it will still get the job done!”


Mark Baily of Mr B Farm Transport owns a 1995 NPR 400 which has been supporting his business for an outstanding 27 years. “My Isuzu works hard every day,” stated Mark. “It never lets me down and I love the way the engine sounds.”


Sometimes a second-hand Isuzu can have new life breathed into it by a fresh owner, as Nathan Briffa of R&R Towing found out. “I bought my 1993 FSR 550 as a run-down old tow truck,” Nathan said. “Over an 11 month span I had the help of some mates working on my tow truck with me to bring it back to its former glory.”


Steven Bridge of Shakkei Landscaping has a 1992 FSR 550 LWB that’s been the backbone of the family business. “My dad owned the truck before me,” stated Steven cheerfully. “So now it’s the hardest working member of my landscaping team.”


Tom Carroll of TJC Auto Electrics sent in this immaculately restored 1982 SBR 422. With fond memories of restoring the SBR to its tip-top condition, Tom reminisced about the early years. “I bought it when I was an apprentice and restored it to cart hay around my parent's farm.”


Justin Attard of LA Construction Company owns an ultra-reliable 1981 model Isuzu truck. “My Isuzu is a work horse which never lets me down,” Justin said. “It has been a part of the family for 41 years, and we have had it since day dot. “We will never get rid of it because we love our Isuzu!”


Simon McPherson has an Isuzu SBR 422 which he uses as a recreational vehicle. Isuzu’s are a versatile truck that can be adapted to recreational uses such as towing camper vans and motor homes for die-hard road trippers or retired grey nomads. “It's not fast,” Simon admits. “My Isuzu isn't luxurious, but it will always get the job done because of that true Isuzu reliability!”


Ross Luxmore of Classic Aussie Caterers owns a 1987 NKR 57E which pulls out all the stops for his food catering business. Going strong for 35 years, Ross shared what a workhorse his NKR is. “It takes a beating every day it's on the job. I have had it since 1987 and am still using it to this day.”


With a bright red 1993 FVZ, Raff Elsiz of Raf’s Express still has the 29-year-old truck doing heavy lifting. “My Isuzu FVZ was my first truck,” Raf said. “I have now had it for 29 years, and this Isuzu is still going strong.”


Daphne Abbas of Abbas Premium Towing has a 2006 NQR 450 that has been passed on from mother to son. “Our son now drives her,” stated Daphne proudly. “He has looked after her and put in so much time and effort in making her look so good! “My son gets plenty of positive feedback on her looks. Our NQR is so special to us all and has performed beautifully since she joined the family in 2006.” The Truck of the Year competition has been running for 25 years to celebrate Isuzu ownership and show off beloved Isuzu trucks.  Click here to enter, or here to see the full terms and conditions.

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