Alternative Name(s): Truck International AR Series 160
Harry Johns was a boxing and wrestling entrepreneur who toured the agricultural shows of Australia's eastern states between the 1930s and 1960s. This vehicle reflects his lengthy involvement in the business. The cabin and chassis from the International AR 160 Series were purchased new by Johns around 1954; the rear body section was grafted from his previous truck.

The vehicle blends social and technological significance on a national scale. Travelling boxing troupes can be traced to the late 1800s, but it was not until road transport improved that troupes became a regular feature of country shows. Instead of relying on rail and local transport, Johns' troupe could travel direct from show to show, his truck a travelling advertisement carrying several tons of set-up equipment. It was donated to the Museum by Harry Johns Jnr and Francesca Rose in 1996 and has been conserved to represent the condition in which it was last used in 1969.


The truck is is a highly evocative relic of a past way of life. It is immediately indicative of a now almost vanished feature of life and leisure for large numbers of rural and city Australians - the sideshow alley of agricultural shows It also has strong associations with the recent Koori past in that many of the boxers who travelled with the Harry Johns troupe were Aboriginal fighters.

More Information