Meet our Boxing Day Winner

A photograph of the winning truck with the text saying "meet our Boxing day winner"

Everything about this year’s Boxing Day Classic Drive and Ride in Day at Lakeland Motor Museum was big!

The event was one of the biggest the museum has seen and the winner of the "Best of Boxing Day” Trophy was quite a size too!

The trophy went to a lovingly restored 1978 Leyland Reiver truck which has been restored over the last four years by David Birch from Lindale near Grange-over-Sands.

David Birch receives the "Best of Boxing Day Trophy" from Curator at the Lakeland Motor Museum, Chris Lowe.

Mr Birch was in the haulage industry throughout his working life and the restored truck is similar to ones he owned and ran back in the 1970s and 80s.

It was originally sold new in the UK, but he bought it around five years – over the phone – when it went on sale in Malta. He had it brought back to the UK to begin restoration.

“It was a real surprise to win the Best of Boxing Day Trophy,” says Mr Birch. “I’ve had a lot of help restoring it including from the signwriter I used back in the Seventies to paint my original Reivers. I took the doors up to him in Scotland so that he could do the work – and he did a great job.”

Interior of the winning cab

Chris Lowe, Curator at the Lakeland Motor Museum says: “This wagon stood out (and above!) the many wonderful vehicles which attended due to the excellent quality of its restoration.”

Chris adds: “It was not over-restored, just presented exactly how a proud owner would have done it in back in the 1970s. I saw many visitors spending time admiring the workmanship.”

A close up of the signwritten door

It’s thought that only 16-18 examples of these Reivers still survive. The name comes from the cross-border raiding between England and Scotland in the 13th to 17th centuries.

The truck came to Mr Birch without a rear body. He added the insulated tipping body built in Garstang by Grizedale. The outside of the body has been repanelled and it features tipping gear by Edbro (Edwards Brothers) of Bolton.

It’s a combination of a Leyland engine and chassis built in Lancashire and Glaswegian axles and gearbox. The cab was produced in Bathgate.

The winning Reiver

Tom MacHale helped with the bodywork and painted the wagon. Fred Lennon, the original signwriter Mr Birch used in the 1970s, completed the period-perfect look.

Chris Lowe says: “I’d like to thank all those who brought their vehicles along – there were around a hundred cars and 50 motorcycles at our annual event spanning a century of motoring. It was one of the biggest Boxing Day events we’ve ever had.”

Share this event on social sites