Daphne raising funds and awareness for MND

Matt Stone, CEO of Matt Stone Racing, Jane Milne, CEO of the MND and Me Foundation, Don Geer, Special Projects at NTI and Dr John Lee, MND Research at the University of Queensland and 2023 NTI MND Research Grant Recipient.

One of the stand-out vehicles on show at the Diesel, Dirt and Turf Expo over the weekend was a 1954 Chevrolet pickup truck, which was first spotted on a farm in the US and later brought to Australia.

The Chevrolet, named ‘Daphne’, is the latest vehicle (6th in total) to be restored and raffled to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease research and Me Foundation by Australia’s largest transport and logistics specialist insurer, NTI.

Over the past 5 years, NTI has raised more than $1.5 million for MND research and CEO Tony Clark said he was thrilled to announce the organisation’s latest vehicle.

“Daphne is a ‘hot lava orange’ pickup truck, built with a 1954 Chevrolet Cab Over Engine body, on a 1969 Chevrolet C-20 Pickup chassis,” said Tony.

“Whilst the truck might be mid-century, she’s got modern features, including a 460hp LT1 Chevrolet Performance engine.

“Daphne was found on a farm in the USA and purchased by a young Australian working there. 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.

“Our commitment to raising funds for MND research comes after NTI’s former CEO Wayne Patterson lost his battle with the disease in 2018. We established the official NTI MND Research Grant to help fund research into treatment and to ultimately find a cure.”

Daphne – a 1954 Chevrolet Pickup Truck.

NTI’s 2023 truck restoration has been made possible by generous donations and General

Manager Marketing for GM Aust and NZ Chris Payne said they were excited to be teaming up with NTI and Matt Stone Racing on a vehicle for a fantastic cause.

“For many years Chevrolet Performance LS crate engines have been the logical choice for builders of special project vehicles like this one. This project truck is a terrific example of how the latest generation LT engines can now be used to provide big horsepower and incredible reliability, and really make it a special prize to help bring attention to MND research,” he said.

Matt Stone of Matt Stone Racing said it was an added bonus that such a fun project was for a good cause.

“Our biggest contributing factor has been the time and the effort that’s gone into getting the work done and getting the truck built, juggling that with our busy racing schedule,” Matt said.

“It’s 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. “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.”

The truck was displayed at the National Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo at Sydney Dragway, then will be displayed at MotorEx (Melbourne, 6-7 May), the 2023 Brisbane
Truck Show (18-21 May) and Cooly ‘Rocks On’ Festival (Gold Coast, 7-11 June).

The raffle will be drawn at the NTI Supercars Round in Townsville in July. Tickets and terms and conditions can be found at www.raffletix.com.au/ntimndresearchraffle2023