Restored Daihatsu provides snapshot of Kennards Hire history

Kennards Hire has restored one of its vintage vehicles – a 1968 Daihatsu D200. The truck is now the biggest piece in Kennards Hire's museum collection of retired hire equipment, which also includes pressure cleaners, ground aerators and chainsaws – most of which is still in working condition.

The D200, a distant relative of Kennards' current Hino hire trucks, was added to the collection in 2005.

It was brought up to its current operational condition with a mild body and interior restoration, a mechanical check-over and the addition of Kennards' original corporate logos – as fitted to their hire trucks in the 1970s.

Daihatsu introduced its truck range to Australia in 1965 – two years before both Daihatsu and Hino became part of Toyota Motor Corporation in 1967.

The nomenclature of the Daihatsu D200 indicates a diesel engine (2270cc) and a load capacity of 2,000kg.

Kennards Executive Director, Angus Kennard, said the truck represented Kennards' first foray into the hire truck market. “Kennards started with a mixed fleet of 50 Daihatsu trucks – tippers, long wheelbase cab chassis and short wheel base models. It got us into the truck business in a big way.”

Kennards' use of Toyota Family products has continued to this day, with around 500 Hinos on their current hire truck fleet, which is made up of tippers, vans and tilt trays.

“We've had a long-term relationship with Hino and Toyota over the years,” Kennard said.

Kennards' Daihatsu fleet was made up of the remaining stock from the original Australian distributor Gossin Industries, which handed distribution of the brand to Daihatsu in 1975.

Daihatsu Australia's operations were integrated with Toyota Motor Corporation Australia in 2000 and the brand was wound-up in Australia in 2005.

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