NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame 2017

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Images supplied

Mobil Delvac One NZ Transport Hall of Fame has honoured a selected number of heroes of the road transport industry at a black-tie gala event held in Invercargill

On their return to New Zealand, they wasted no time in setting up the inaugural event in Invercargill in 2012, at what was at the time known as the Bill Richardson Truck Museum.


In order to accommodate some 450 invited guests and dignitaries at the inaugural event, one of the museum’s large display areas known as Harold’s Shed* was cleared of most of the trucks on display and an upstairs loft was quickly converted into the Hall of Fame display area.

In 2015, the venue was moved to the newly-commissioned Bill Richardson Transport World art deco-styled building, which has now become home to the prestigious gala dinner.

The Mobil Delvac One NZ Transport Hall of Fame event (now in its sixth year) serves a twofold purpose: it not only honours individuals who have contributed to the success of road transport in New Zealand but also provides funding to Pro Active Drive Trust—a charity that provides free-of-charge driver training to 15- to 24-year-olds.


Scott’s strapline: "it helps to keep the kids off the front bumpers of our trucks" has become a maxim to assist attendees to part with their cash at the charity auction, which this year, offered a number of thrill-seeking adventures such as rides in rally cars and travel to exotic locations throughout New Zealand.

Four individuals were inducted into Mobil Delvac One NZ Transport Hall of Fame in 2017, with one of the honours being bestowed posthumously.

This year’s inductees are:

  • Dave Carden
  • Fleming McDowall
  • Kerry Arnold
  • Mike Uhlenberg
  • Matt Purvis

Brief profile on Dave Carden

Dave -Carden -portrait

An early fascination with mechanics led Dave Carden into a fitter turner apprenticeship with A&G price Ltd and then an apprenticeship into precision welding at Putaruru Engineering.

At the age of 28, Dave founded his own company—Southside Motor Engineering— and instead of acquiring machinery, he made his own.

It wasn’t long before he became famous for his ingenuity and engineering ability, which helped him become the Workshop Manager in 1967 for Jack Tidd Ross Todd Ltd, today known as TRT.

After Jack Tidd passed away in 1975, Dave and his wife Jenny purchased his shares. In 1987, Norm Todd sold his shares to the Cardens, making them the owners.

In the late 1990s, they renamed the company, moved to Australia, and built a new mechanical service facility in Hamilton.

Dave has since stepped back from his role as Managing Director but has remained on as a Director on the Board. Outside business, Dave has volunteered for the local Lions Club and was a member of the Board for St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton.

He is presently involved in designing and constructing a radio communications mast to improve safety on Mount Maungatautari, a wildlife sanctuary located near their hometown in the Waikato.

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