03 WINKLESS Max
Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2003.
In 1941, 13 year old Max Winkless left school to work at Happy Land, a penny arcade in Pitt Street, Sydney. Soon he joined Sydney Flour as an offsider to the various drivers.
The fleet was mainly Leylands, some still with solid tyres on the drive. He also did a stint with AG Campbells before joining Antill Ranger. Over a pay discussion Max was soon offered a share in the business making him an owner-operator in 1948. Max soon became the director and general manager of Antill Ranger.
The company grew to become one of the largest interstate carriers in Australia pioneering regular scheduled runs between Australia's capitals. Antill Ranger was the NSW importer of Mack trucks, the Rootes Group franchise for Humber and Hillman cars and Commer Knocker trucks. It meant they had Commer for the lower range and Mack at the top of the truck market. In 1960 Mayne Nickless took over Antill Ranger and Max became the NSW manager responsible for the combined Antill/Mayne line-haul. They set up Swedish Motors in 1966 to import four especially designed prototypes (F86 4x2) into Australia. Volvo Truck had introduced a winner into Australia. In 1968 the F88 4x2 was introduced. Max had to decide between the two marques he'd cut his teeth on - Mack and Volvo. He chose Volvo and the rest, as they say, is history.
Max became the general manager of Volvo Australia Pty Ltd. Volvo launched an investment program including a new factory to assemble trucks and buses, at Wacol, near Brisbane. In 1972, AB Volvo bought out the Australian shareholders and Max was appointed managing director of Volvo Australia Pty Ltd. He stayed till 1977. He also bought a Volvo truck dealership in Perth and the Winkless family moved. In 1984 Max agreed to introduce the Bova Coach into Australia. In seven years from starting with just seven coaches, BUS Australia grew into a national carrier with over 100 units. Max has given much to the industry over the past sixty years. He has the passion, vision and the wisdom to which many of us can only hope to aspire.