Australia’s largest transport and logistics specialist insurer, National Transport Insurance (NTI) have announced details of their latest vehicle raffle in support of MND research, with tickets available now ahead of the draw at the NTI Townsville round of the Supercars Championship in July.
Named ‘Daphne,’ this 1954 Chevrolet 5700 COE was found on a farm in the USA and brought to Australia, where it was fully restored and customised for the express purpose of being raffled for the MND and Me Foundation.
“Daphne was purchased by a young Australian working on that US farm. Its original owner was supportive of the re-sell once she’d heard about how it would be restored and raffled for the MND cause,” NTI CEO Tony Clark explained.
Once in Australia, the 1954 body was separated from the original frame and placed on the chassis of a 1969 Chevrolet C20 4x2 pickup.
Modern independent suspension was fitted at the front, with the C20's trailing arm suspension at the rear retained but refurbished.
The original engine was replaced with a 6.2-litre LT1 Chevrolet Performance V8, producing 460hp (343kW) and 650lb/ft (881Nm). This high-spec, modern engine is matched to an MY22 Chevrolet Camaro six-speed automatic transmission and MY23 Ford 9-inch diff with 3.5:1 ratio.
“For many years Chevrolet Performance LS crate engines have been the logical choice for builders of special project vehicles like this one,” said Chris Payne, General Marketing Manager for GM Aust & NZ. “This project truck is a terrific example of how the latest generation LT engines can be used to provide big horsepower and incredible reliability.”
Other upgrades include four-wheel disc brakes with four-piston calipers, LED lighting, a custom, timber-lined tub and 18-inch Torque Thrust alloy wheels. The grille and bumpers have been re-chromed, while the paint is Hot Lava metallic orange; a Toyota colour.
Inside, the upgrades continue, with a custom leather bench seat, aftermarket steering wheel and column, electronic handbrake, air conditioning, power windows, Dakota Digital gauges and a Pioneer touchscreen multimedia sound system.
“While the truck might be mid-century, she’s got modern features, including the 460hp LT1 Chevrolet Performance engine,” Clark added.
Daphne was completed thanks to donations of time and product from the likes of GM Aust & NZ, AC Delco, Hughes Stepsides, PPG, Addlife Timber Australia and many others, along with the support of Matt Stone Racing on the Gold Coast, who did the build.
"It was a great project to be involved in, with a lot of work in a short amount of time, but thankfully we come from a motorsport background so that's something we're used to,” Matt Stone said.
“Partnering with the NTI crew who are very passionate about both the cause and the project meant that it was something exciting to be involved in.”
Over the past five years, NTI’s annual vehicle raffles have raised over $1.5 million for MND research.
“Our commitment to raising funds for MND research comes after NTI’s former CEO Wayne Patterson lost his battle with the disease in 2018,” Clark explained. “We established the official NTI MND Research Grant to help fund research into treatment and to ultimately find a cure.”
Tickets to win Daphne can be purchased from raffletix.com.au and cost $20.00 each, with discounts for bulk purchases. Following display at several automotive events and truck shows up and down the east coast, Daphne will head to the NTI Townsville Supercar round, where the raffle will be drawn on Sunday, 9 July, 2023.
For further details and all raffle terms and conditions, go to: raffletix.com.au.