Rusty Kay

Sadly, the passing of our mate and hugely respected work colleague in October 2010 has had an enormous impact on all of us here at Eagle.

A recent 1 year anniversary of his death has inspired us to get motivated and resume work on the jailbar - we intend to have this running for Americarna 2012.

Keep watching for new developments as they progress............




In 1944, the NZ Army purchased this Jailbar brand new but only kept it for about 18 months before it was snapped up by an Auckland Chemist early in 1946. The purpose of his purchase was to use the truck to clear a holiday home site near Rotorua so a very early version of a tipper hoist was made and fitted. This still exists in its original form today.

After the site was cleared and the truck had fulfilled its obligations it was passed down to the son, also a Chemist, living in Inglewood, Taranaki. By now, it was showing its age and sat around, mainly unused until 1969 when Bob Kay, a well known garage proprietor in Inglewood, bought the Jailbar. After many years of faithful service at the garage and several coats of paint, including the current SHELL colours, the truck was given to the Taranaki Aviation and Transport Museum to display where it's been admired for over 20 years.

The sad passing of Bob Kay  prompted Mrs Kay and son, Rusty (a long standing Team Eagle employee) to dust off the cobwebs, uplift the truck (still in running condition) and deliver it to the Eagle Automotive workshop for a major restoration.

This rebuild will be overseen by Eagle Automotive's Director, Willie Roach, with help from staff members, done completely in-house and will be fully documented on this website.

October 2006

February 2009 Update
October 2008 Update
August 2008 Update
July 2007 Update

Jailbar News - Update - February 2009

All panel work on the cab is completed, we have put in electric wiper and seatbelt mounts as well. Doors are done and now the cab can be mounted onto the chassis with new mounts.

At this stage we have mocked up the chassis, brakes, brake lines, steering, park brake etc. and the tyres have been fitted onto the rims - we now have a rolling chassis.

The cab was mounted and door gaps set up with rebuilt hinges and new pins. Steering column fitted and jackshaft to the new box done. Front and rear shocks mounted as well as the exhaust. The front sheet metal is now tidy and fitted - although there is a bit of work still to do here, as I think Rusty has run over a few marker posts in his early days!!

With the front on we can now work on the running boards and will mount the rear guards.




RH Door

Completed Cab

Front panel work

Running boards



Jailbar News - Update - October 2008

Panel work on the cab is going well and the floor is now completed.

The rear panel was in bad shape with rust and dents, so a new one was made that was fitted, metal finished and leaded. The roof was dented all over, so that was metal finished as well.

Work on the tray has been started as well; this is a flat deck with a hoist - which is an interesting contraption. An old 6 volt starter runs a series of sprockets and chains to gear it down to run a hydraulic pump and feed the ram. Some engineer must have been very proud of it back in the day!

Wheels and tyres sorted - we are looking at a mock-up soon to see how we are going.


Finished cab floor

Wheeling shape into the back panel
(even the missus has to help!!!)

Swaging the top edge of the back panel

Back panel, finished and ready to be fitted

Welding the back panel in


Finished welding and ready for metal
finishing and leading

Lead filling the back corners

Finished back panel (1)

Finished back panel (2)

Roof metal finished



Jailbar News - Update - August 2008

Well we are finally doing it!

The cab has been sandblasted and the hard work has started - as always stripping and blasting reveals more than you want to know about.

The floor needs plenty of work and we have started here ...... on inspection it was decided to rebuild what we had and keep the body stock with exception of the front doors. These will be modernized to be able to suit better water drainage (knowing how these old girls seem to leak a bit), because the truck will be used regularly and will be subject to winter weather.

Work has started on the chassis as well, and we seem to have sorted out what we are doing -

Falcon rear diff and brakes
Standard front axle with falcon brakes
GM power steering box and Holden vacuum booster under the floor
Leaf springs have been rebuilt and new pins and bushes fitted

Henry Ford said you can have any colour car as long as it's black - and around here at Eagle Automotive, Willie agrees - so that's it ....... Black she will be with Eagle Automotive logos on the doors, powdercoated solid wheels and chrome hub caps and beauty rings - cool!!!!!!!!!!!






Brake Booster Mounting

Steering Box Mounting

Rear diff

Jailbar Cab

Jailbar RF Cab

Jailbar RF Cab

RH Floor - Cab

RH Floor - Cab

Cab floor underside


Jailbar News - Update - July 2007

Some progress has been made with the engine out, the body off and ready to be bead blasted. The chassis has already been sandblasted ready to be fitted with the new purchases - new bushes and springs, an XF Ford Falcon diff, brakes, brake booster and steering box.

Rusty's biggest aim is to have a rolling chassis sorted soon so that he can concentrate on getting the cab underway