Who is this?  Well, regular readers will know of Tachoblog Tribe member Vic H from New Zealand who regularly contributes to View From The Cab and here he is sitting in one, but what is it..?

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What you may not know is that recently it was Vic’s 70th birthday and that his wife Val setup a trip to the UK for them as part of the celebrations.  In fact, in Vic’s words, she told him that he ‘had better organise a few weeks off and surely someone else could drive my International around New Zealand for a few weeks’.

Anyway, Vic mentioned his holiday on Biglorryblog and immediately received invitations to stay for a few nights with various of the Biglorryblog Anaorak Army.  And from here, we’ll let Vic take up the story…

‘While we were staying with one of them, Richard Stanier, he asked if we would be interested in seeing a couple of his lorries which were stored a short distance away; this was a chance too good to miss so we drove out to a huge shed which was miles from nowhere and stuffed full of Guy buses and trucks plus this Guy coach…

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…which was parked outside. As well as Rich’s immaculate Big J…

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…and an Otter…

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…and a Wolf…

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…belonging to other people which were equally immaculate, there were a large number of other Guys, trucks and buses, under restoration.

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After a good deal of shuffling other vehicles around we managed to get the Big J outside…

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…and as it is taxed and MoT’d and completely roadworthy we were able to take it for a drive and got it up to its maximum speed of 56mph with no problem at all. It has a Gardner 6LXB (180) engine and a Fuller Roadranger 9-speed overdrive gearbox and was no noisier or rougher riding than the International 9400i that I normally drive for a living. It was the first time that I had actually seen a Big J as they were never imported into NZ as far as I know, and also the first time I had driven anything with a Gardner engine since I drove 5LW-powered buses many years ago, so thanks, Rich, for the chance.’

And here’s a shot of the pair of them.

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Vic, thank you for sending Tachoblog these pictures, we hope you had a great time and wish you a belated Happy Birthday too.