The Australian Road Transport Industry and Kenworth are saddened by the death of Edwin (Ed) Cameron, on Saturday 16 July, aged 93 years.
A pioneer in the transport industry, Ed Cameron was instrumental in the introduction of Kenworth into Australia in the 1960s.
After serving in the army in World War II, Ed worked for the family transport business, D & E Cameron Transport with his brothers Les and Don, transporting fruit locally from growers in Melbourne to the markets. The business expanded with a regular service to the Sydney wholesale markets transporting fresh fruit and vegetables and other perishables, back loading with general freight to Melbourne. Convinced there had to be an alternative to the under-powered trucks available in Australia, and hearing about custom-built Kenworths to suit specialised trucking needs in the US, Ed’s interest was sparked.
With a combination of foresight and tenacity he was relentless in his pursuit of suitable product for the Australian market and became convinced American-built Kenworths, designed for Australian road conditions would fit the bill. Following numerous phone calls and visits to the US (far more difficult in the 1950s than it is today), and changes to Australia’s import rules, his hard work paid off and in October 1962, seven fully-assembled S-models were craned off the ship in Sydney. Kenworth had officially arrived in Australia.
Over the subsequent years Ed worked to improve infrastructure to market and import Kenworths and set up Australian Kenworth Truck Sales Pty Ltd, as well as continuing to run his own business.
Ed imported and sold more than 100 prime movers before Pacific Car, PACCAR’s predecessor, acquired his business in the late 1960s and established Kenworth’s Australian plant at Bayswater in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, where Kenworth continues to manufacture today. He invested considerable energy promoting Kenworth and gaining acceptance for the product among local transport operators, and was integral to the decision for Kenworths to be manufactured in Australia, remaining as a director until the early 1970s.
From everyone at PACCAR and Kenworth, we extend our condolences to Ed’s family.
Vale Ed Cameron