Home » Business » The making of a Legend – Errol Cosgrove’s last Legend 950 #75

The making of a Legend – Errol Cosgrove’s last Legend 950 #75

Errol Cosgrove, owner of SRV Transport, helped create Kenworth’s greatest Limited-Edition truck ever.
The T950 Legend is a tribute of the popular T950 decommissioned in 2007. Errol was rewarded with the option to buy the last one off the line, number 75. Customised by Klos Custom Trucks, it has been even more special.

There is no doubt the T950 Legend has been one of Kenworth Australia’s greatest achievements in the form of a collector’s edition.
It may even reach the dizzying heights of the 1988 Bicentennial Mack’s or even the later 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Titans and Super-Liners that have accrued in value over time.

In general, the stories we hear of W models or Gold Nuggets are usually restorations of ones that are in disrepair and found online or on farms rusted out, abused or plainly just neglected.
To me this is an indication their resurrection has been somewhat an afterthought of a keen collector with a love of these models as opposed to the Macks that have been respected and cherished all their lives.
Well, times have changed and the T950 Legend signals a start of something very special for the brand.
When you sell out of 75 trucks in 48 hours, you know you are onto a winner. Creating a phenomenon like the T950 Legend took some time and expert advice from the likes of Kenworth’s best minds including brothers and Kenworth stalwarts Steve and Brad May along with Melbourne salesman Ronny Ludbrook, another set of brothers Justin and Turk Klos and an operator, Errol Cosgrove, who has spent a lifetime offering Service, Reliability and Value for Money (SRV), it’s all in the name of his company SRV Transport. Errol and his wife, Mel, operate SRV Interstate Transport out of Yalata, south of Brisbane with a fleet of 80 trucks. They cart mostly blue chip general freight with 12 singles, the rest doubles with seven pneumatic tankers thrown in the mix to cart for Boral and Cement Australia.

Errol’s affiliation with the Kenworth brand is extremely strong now running a full Kenworth fleet powered exclusively by Cummins engines. Cummins is his other passion.

He asked for the last Legend off the line, number 75.

While his good mates, the Klos boys, asked for the first, the prototype number one.

A just reward for their services helping to create a successful Limited-Edition range after the flops of the past.
Errol owns one of the last of the iconic 2007, T950s. Kenworth stopped production of the units in 2007. Errol’s 950 was the second truck that the Klos boys ever customised.
That was 14 years-ago and he and the boys have been good friends ever since.
SRV Transport has always run great looking gear and part of the reason why Errol’s son in-law owns Chrome Shop Australia. He works in the business as a salesman and concentrates on doing up the fleet trucks in-house.
The fleet trucks are just that though, fleet trucks and this T950 Legend and a few other trucks coming through are special.

Pictures do tell a thousand words, especially when taken by the legendary Robbie Rose but when I can steal Justin Klos away from his passion of decorating trucks, he can tell 1000 words as well.

Justin says Errol’s Legend T950 is truly unique. It has an Aero 1 sleeper, a massive wheelbase and a spectacular paint scheme.

He says by the time it came back to the workshop there were a couple of paint issues that needed to be rectified.

Once that was done it was time to persuade Errol to put some gold stripes on, he says he was reluctant at first.

“He was like, I don’t know about that. Before he knew it, there were gold stripes on it,” Justin explains.

“From the front of the stripe we repainted black, he didn’t pick it at the start, when I showed him he was impressed.”

“That’s my part of the business, the decorative part, I enjoy it when it looks right,” he tells ACT.

“The paint was like an old pair of Levi jeans. It was based on a ‘78 model Kenworth paint scheme in America,” he says.

“The cream colour comes from Harley Davidson colours,” he explains.
“He likes bikes, so I tried to tie in that into the colour he picked.

“The colour almost looks two tone, but it is actually brown and black, he designed all that by himself,” Justin says about Errol.

“You see Errol should have been a sign writer, he always wanted to be a sign writer. He is a very artistic guy. Me and him clashed multiple times on colouring the truck. He has his ideas on colours and have my idea of colours,” Justin says frankly.

He says though, Errol was very comfortable with what he was going to do.

“I am not saying he let me pick the colours, but he just went with what I wanted to do, and I got away with it,” Justin admits.

“It was a case of two guys that are such good friends, battling it out trying to get colours right and at the end he was like, mate that looks awesome.”

The back mural is of the iconic legend Marilyn Monroe and the artwork was done by KDS Designs in Geelong.

The Cummins logo also features on the truck.

Justin says Errol is very loyal to certain brands.

“I guess it is a good thing for people to understand that he is not a guy that would represent anyone, but if it is a good thing, he will pass it through.”
He says five of the Legend 950s that have come through the shop have been converted with the more traditional square looking Aero 1 roof.

“We pushed so hard in the design project for the Legends to have the Aero 1 roofs as a standard feature,” he says.

He adds there were two main reasons the company opted for the Aero 2 instead.

Firstly, the mould for the Aero 1 sleeper had been damaged in a fire and secondly time was running out and the Aero 2 was already a production sleeper.

“Putting the Aero 1 sleeper on was the best thing we could have ever done because it makes that truck almost priceless,” Justin says

“Tommy McQueen’s trucks is the only other truck we ever did with that using a 60-inch sleeper.”

He says once the sleeper was complete it went to Rae-Line to get trimmed.

“Rae-Line do all the OEM trimming, although the sleeper has been modified, it still has the factory Legend trim interior, which is spot on,” Justin says.

The idea was to follow the traditional style of the original 950 model. Vortox air cleaners were put on as well as the smooth back guards, the tanks were wrapped, stainless steel trims, tanks trims, the grille mesh was customised with grille bars added and the mid-drop visor was put on.

Up the front is the Bar Up bumper, which really offsets the truck. A Custom Air air-conditioning unit was also added.

Justin says one of the coolest things is this truck will look the way it does now in this magazine when we are both old. This will be kept safely, loved and adored by Errol.
It’s easy to see that Errol’s passion for the industry is alive and well. It really is in is blood.

He is a third-generation truckie and proudly tells ACT about his grandfather that used to do the mail run out in Roma during the great depression. His father Bob was one of 11 children and would often wag school and go out on runs. With a large family, he could escape for a few days without being noticed. He says his dad was a hard worker and drove trucks interstate all his life.

Errol seems to have caught the family bug and started his working life in an all too familiar pattern, cleaning trucks in a yard when he was just 10 and sneaking out driving trucks around the wharf by the age of 14.

“I grew up around trucks, dad drove trucks all his life, until he passed away in 2009,” he tells ACT.

“Errol started delivering soft drinks in Sydney, at an early age of 16 and purchased his first truck at 18, it was a small truck, a Mitsubishi 8 tonne, FM 215 that served him well.

He upgraded his licence and bought his first Kenworth and trailer but decided to sell these and become a relief driver for Cement Australia. He says they were all owner drivers at the time and drove great gear.

“At that time, when you talk about custom trucks, I was driving Gold Nuggets, Super-Liners and all the good gear, because the owner drivers used to get paid great money back then,” he reminisces on the good old days.

In 1992 he moved to Queensland and started working in a management role.

“I was the nightshift supervisor for Linfox, and then I went to work for Orica running its transport fleet,” he says.

Experience in management gave him a great foundation to start running his own trucks again. In 1997, he started SRV Transport and underpinning the company is a strong focus on safety.

“We just went ahead and concentrated on safety. We have been a member of NatRoad for 10 years and we’ve been in Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) for at least 10 years,” he explains.

Now that the business is well and truly established, Errol says he is planning to do some travelling. The Legend’s job will be pulling a purpose-built trailer built as a motorhome. Now that’s a life for a Legend!

This story is in Australian Custom Trucks Issue 12

Story by Chris Smith
Pictures by Robbie Rose