One of JCB’s longest-standing customers has unwrapped a unique present as the manufacturer prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
A vintage digger that had stood in a barn for years has been restored to its former glory.
Humber family plant hire firm Eric Carnaby & Son has been a customer since 1959, with more than 150 JCB machines bought in the six decades that have passed.
Now JCB has said thank you to the firm for its loyalty by restoring the family’s cherished 1964 JCB 1 backhoe loader.
The project was kept a closely guarded secret until George Bamford – grandson of JCB founder Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE – sprung the restoration surprise during a visit to the company’s base at South Killingholme, near Immingham.
Now six months on from the collection, and the backhoe has been handed back after a team at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire, spent hundreds of hours lovingly restoring it.
Eric Carnaby & Son director, Roland Carnaby Junior, said: “My family and I are over the moon with the restoration. Our JCB 1 is precious to us and we’ve been meaning to restore it for some time, but you know how it is – a business to run, and all that!”
Founded by Eric Carnaby in 1946, the plant hire and road haulage firm is now run by father-and-son team Roland Carnaby Senior and Roland Carnaby Junior.
The company’s first JCB purchase was a JCB 4 backhoe in 1959 and it was the JCB backhoe loader which formed the backbone of the fleet for many years to come – with up to 12 in operation during the Seventies and Eighties.
The two family businesses have been strongly intertwined throughout the 61-year period, with 95 per cent of the Eric Carnaby & Son fleet now made up of JCB equipment.
The company’s most recent purchase was the latest X Series excavator.
George Bamford said: “It has been amazing to see an old machine brought back to life by the JCB team. It looks just as it would have done on the day it came off the production line in 1964.”
JCB marks its 75th birthday on October 23.