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Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

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Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:48 pm

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Some years ago,possiblly mid to late 1970s a company was formed by the name Dennmac,I think.It was owned by Allan Denning and Athol McKinnon.The coach they came up with would eventually become the Domino and Austral Tourmaster.
It looked like the headlights had covers over them similar to the 1960s Mercury Cougar and the Australian LTD of 74 ish.
I'm trying to get some idea of the story here.Can anyone provide information here? I know that there was an advert in Truck & Bus magazine at the time.If anyone has old Truck & Bus magazines from the 1970s onwards and can find any reference to this company please reply.I remember seeing it years ago.They had a silouhette of the coach on the advert.You couldnt mistake that.

If anyone has photos,etc you are welcome to add them here.

I have posted other topics related to Alan Denning/Domino,Austra/Austral Denning,etc and how a book should be written covering their histories.You can see those posts here:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=76508

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=73857

Thanks.
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Re: Denmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:01 pm

Denning McKinnon was established in the mid 1970s, when a number of staff left Denning. Alan Denning, Athol Mckinnon (hence Denning McKinnon) as well as Eddie Wechner (a talented engineer) were key people in the new business. The product produced was "Dennmak". I often see this misreported as Denmak : definetly has double "N" as i have a number of the sticker inserts for use the passenger seats. A few chassis were manufactured, then production of full coaches commenced. Unfortunately for this fledgling business the second part of 1975 was plagued with industrial unrest in the power industry in SE Qld, so they were unable to work and were forced to sell the business to Domino equipment, hence the Domino Denning was named. The first complete vehicle was a mid mount 2 axle GM 6.71 powered spring suspended coach for Australian Pacific, the 2nd vehicle was the rear engined GM 6v53 powered air suspended coach for Chalmers : this was essentially the first coach of the Tourmaster configuration. It was a beautiful coach to drive, only loosing out on longer hills because of the 6v53 motor. It was so stable on the road compared to (say) the Hino where the airbags were mounted further inboard. Dennings were only produced with spring suspension at the time, the Dennmak air ride was far superior to that. It took Denning a few years to catch up with their Denair air suspension.
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Re: Denmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:59 am

VIKing wrote:Denning McKinnon was established in the mid 1970s, when a number of staff left Denning. Alan Denning, Athol Mckinnon (hence Denning McKinnon) as well as Eddie Wechner (a talented engineer) were key people in the new business. The product produced was "Dennmak". I often see this misreported as Denmak : definetly has double "N" as i have a number of the sticker inserts for use the passenger seats. A few chassis were manufactured, then production of full coaches commenced. Unfortunately for this fledgling business the second part of 1975 was plagued with industrial unrest in the power industry in SE Qld, so they were unable to work and were forced to sell the business to Domino equipment, hence the Domino Denning was named. The first complete vehicle was a mid mount 2 axle GM 6.71 powered spring suspended coach for Australian Pacific, the 2nd vehicle was the rear engined GM 6v53 powered air suspended coach for Chalmers : this was essentially the first coach of the Tourmaster configuration. It was a beautiful coach to drive, only loosing out on longer hills because of the 6v53 motor. It was so stable on the road compared to (say) the Hino where the airbags were mounted further inboard. Dennings were only produced with spring suspension at the time, the Dennmak air ride was far superior to that. It took Denning a few years to catch up with their Denair air suspension.


Thanks for the reply.They created a legend with these coaches.They were very stable compared to the Denairs.Great information here.

I'd like to see anything showing the Domino Denning side of the company.

I
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby dominodc122 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:00 pm

...Can we have some images of them please?...
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Hornibrook » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:25 pm

Few corrections, the bus was called DENMAK - note spelling.

Also the business was formed during February 1975 with Alan Denning and Athol McKinnon as named partners.

Also there were no electrical failures at all during the 1970s - you're thinking of the 1980s under Sir Joh. The reason Denning McKinnon & Co sold out to the Domino group was because of cash flow problems during late 1975.

The other partners were Eddie Wechner and Jim Harwood - who all collectively resigned from Denning on February 5th 1975.

There was a very informative article on the life and legacy of Alan Denning in Queensland Bus Issue 1.

And before you say what would you know, all this information came from Athol McKinnon himself.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:39 pm

Hornibrook wrote:Few corrections, the bus was called DENMAK - note spelling.

Also the business was formed during February 1975 with Alan Denning and Athol McKinnon as named partners.

Also there were no electrical failures at all during the 1970s - you're thinking of the 1980s under Sir Joh. The reason Denning McKinnon & Co sold out to the Domino group was because of cash flow problems during late 1975.

The other partners were Eddie Wechner and Jim Harwood - who all collectively resigned from Denning on February 5th 1975.

There was a very informative article on the life and legacy of Alan Denning in Queensland Bus Issue 1.

And before you say what would you know, all this information came from Athol McKinnon himself.


I remember Jim Harwood.He worked at Volgren Qld.I spoke to him in 1986 about the Volgren Twin Deck.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:04 pm

It may well be very correct that the business ran out of money, however if you look at history in Queensland power rationing commenced on 30/07/1975 in SE Qld following industrial disputes, it was later lifted, but reimposed from 28/08/1975. If you can't work, you can't sell any product and you run out of money. I was involved with the company waiting for delivery of one of the first full coaches on the production line and the delay in construction was advised due to the inability to work due to the power rationing, then advice that the business was sold as they did not have the capacity to complete the vehicle.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Hornibrook » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:19 pm

VIKing wrote:It may well be very correct that the business ran out of money, however if you look at history in Queensland power rationing commenced on 30/07/1975 in SE Qld following industrial disputes, it was later lifted, but reimposed from 28/08/1975. If you can't work, you can't sell any product and you run out of money. I was involved with the company waiting for delivery of one of the first full coaches on the production line and the delay in construction was advised due to the inability to work due to the power rationing, then advice that the business was sold as they did not have the capacity to complete the vehicle.

I did query Athol on exactly this point - whether it was power related - but his exact words to me was that it had nothing to do with it.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:50 pm

I can assure you that they told at least one of their customers with a coach in build at the time that they were unable to continue as they could not continue to pay for the staff and rent etc without being able to work for weeks (no power) - hence the sale of the business. It almost lost the sale of that vehicle as the finish standards of domino hedges were not regarded highly by the industry at that time. Indeed Alnor in thier early days as a mobile van redid quite a amount of the interior trim under warranty due to its premature failure on that vehicle. Custom Coaches then rebuilt quite an amount of the bodywork within 18 months.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:39 am

dennmak.jpg
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When the second coach was delivered in October 1975 it carried external cast aluminium badges "Domino Denning". One was fitted on the front and a second just behind the front door at eye height when standing on the ground. Supplied with the coach were spare stickers for the recess on the aisle side of the passenger seats. I have a number of these and I believe these prove that the product name was Dennmak not Denmak as suggested in an ealier post.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:17 pm

VIKing wrote:
dennmak.jpg


When the second coach was delivered in October 1975 it carried external cast aluminium badges "Domino Denning". One was fitted on the front and a second just behind the front door at eye height when standing on the ground. Supplied with the coach were spare stickers for the recess on the aisle side of the passenger seats. I have a number of these and I believe these prove that the product name was Dennmak not Denmak as suggested in an ealier post.



Thats history right there.They'd be rare.Maybe with a bus swap meet you might find some treasures.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Hornibrook » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:55 pm

VIKing wrote:
dennmak.jpg


When the second coach was delivered in October 1975 it carried external cast aluminium badges "Domino Denning". One was fitted on the front and a second just behind the front door at eye height when standing on the ground. Supplied with the coach were spare stickers for the recess on the aisle side of the passenger seats. I have a number of these and I believe these prove that the product name was Dennmak not Denmak as suggested in an ealier post.

Despite what the badge reads, and let's remember mistakes happen, Athol confirmed that spelling to be DENMAK - one n and this is also the way it has been spelt by many industry folk during the era.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:33 pm

Truck and Bus Transportation, which was the industry journal through the 1970s published each month a list of Bus deliveries, this inforamtion was supplied to Truck an bus by the various industry suppliers. On Page 106 in Truck and Bus December 1975 the inforamtion shows Chalmers Coaches were delivered a Dennmak in October 1975.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby VIKing » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:21 pm

Following from the discussion on this topic, I contacted Athol Mckinnon who I knew from the time Keith Chalmers purchased the Dennmak and a number of Tourmasters.

Below is a direct copy of part of Athol's reply to me, I think this clarifys the ownership of Denning McKinnon and the product name -

The company ‘Denning McKinnon’ & Co Pty Ltd’ was formed in Feb. 1975 and the shareholders were Alan Denning, Athol McKinnon and Eddie Wechner. To answer your question the vehicles were named ‘DENNMAK’ for short. We built a few Chassis, mainly for Custom Coaches and they were known as ‘DENNMAKS’.  Prior to Domino buying 51% of our shares in Sept. 1975 we built a few mid-engine GM 671’s for Australian Pacific Coaches and AAT Coaches plus  the very first air-suspended GM 6V-53 rear engine coach for Keith Chalmers as you know, this was the pioneer vehicle which ultimately became the Austral ‘Tourmaster’ one of the very best tour coaches ever built in my opinion.

 

For your interest I have attached an old Dennmak price list dated 1st May 1975 which I found in my collections along with my business card at the time, check out the prices back then, $50,000- for a coach versus $300,000- , thought this may be a bit of interest to you.

 

Anyway, trust I have cleared up the name for you once and for all and thanks again for your email.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:29 pm

VIKing wrote:Following from the discussion on this topic, I contacted Athol Mckinnon who I knew from the time Keith Chalmers purchased the Dennmak and a number of Tourmasters.

Below is a direct copy of part of Athol's reply to me, I think this clarifys the ownership of Denning McKinnon and the product name -

The company ‘Denning McKinnon’ & Co Pty Ltd’ was formed in Feb. 1975 and the shareholders were Alan Denning, Athol McKinnon and Eddie Wechner. To answer your question the vehicles were named ‘DENNMAK’ for short. We built a few Chassis, mainly for Custom Coaches and they were known as ‘DENNMAKS’.  Prior to Domino buying 51% of our shares in Sept. 1975 we built a few mid-engine GM 671’s for Australian Pacific Coaches and AAT Coaches plus  the very first air-suspended GM 6V-53 rear engine coach for Keith Chalmers as you know, this was the pioneer vehicle which ultimately became the Austral ‘Tourmaster’ one of the very best tour coaches ever built in my opinion.

Hi VIKing.Thanks for the information.Its always great when the indepth history makes it here.Thank you for the help here.
I would love to see photos of those coaches.Its interesting that Allan Denning designed both the Tourmaster and the Denning mono,etc.He created the real Australian coach in the process.To me, he is one of the ultimate Australians who did so much for Australian bus and coach industry.

 

For your interest I have attached an old Dennmak price list dated 1st May 1975 which I found in my collections along with my business card at the time, check out the prices back then, $50,000- for a coach versus $300,000- , thought this may be a bit of interest to you.

 

Anyway, trust I have cleared up the name for you once and for all and thanks again for your email.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Hornibrook » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:30 am

VIKing wrote:Following from the discussion on this topic, I contacted Athol Mckinnon who I knew from the time Keith Chalmers purchased the Dennmak and a number of Tourmasters.

Below is a direct copy of part of Athol's reply to me, I think this clarifys the ownership of Denning McKinnon and the product name -

The company ‘Denning McKinnon’ & Co Pty Ltd’ was formed in Feb. 1975 and the shareholders were Alan Denning, Athol McKinnon and Eddie Wechner. To answer your question the vehicles were named ‘DENNMAK’ for short. We built a few Chassis, mainly for Custom Coaches and they were known as ‘DENNMAKS’.  Prior to Domino buying 51% of our shares in Sept. 1975 we built a few mid-engine GM 671’s for Australian Pacific Coaches and AAT Coaches plus  the very first air-suspended GM 6V-53 rear engine coach for Keith Chalmers as you know, this was the pioneer vehicle which ultimately became the Austral ‘Tourmaster’ one of the very best tour coaches ever built in my opinion.

 

For your interest I have attached an old Dennmak price list dated 1st May 1975 which I found in my collections along with my business card at the time, check out the prices back then, $50,000- for a coach versus $300,000- , thought this may be a bit of interest to you.

 

Anyway, trust I have cleared up the name for you once and for all and thanks again for your email.

Must've been two n's then which is a good pickup.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby boronia » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:45 am

Hornibrook wrote:
VIKing wrote:
dennmak.jpg


When the second coach was delivered in October 1975 it carried external cast aluminium badges "Domino Denning". One was fitted on the front and a second just behind the front door at eye height when standing on the ground. Supplied with the coach were spare stickers for the recess on the aisle side of the passenger seats. I have a number of these and I believe these prove that the product name was Dennmak not Denmak as suggested in an ealier post.

Despite what the badge reads, and let's remember mistakes happen, Athol confirmed that spelling to be DENMAK - one n and this is also the way it has been spelt by many industry folk during the era.

So he also got the spelling wrong in his brochure (first post)?
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Hornibrook » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:56 am

boronia wrote:So he also got the spelling wrong in his brochure (first post)?

That brochure was certainly not there before, it's been inserted after my comments were made....

Although I was only going off the information I was told from Athol & other respected industry folk!
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:17 am

Hornibrook wrote:
boronia wrote:So he also got the spelling wrong in his brochure (first post)?

That brochure was certainly not there before, it's been inserted after my comments were made....

Although I was only going off the information I was told from Athol & other respected industry folk!


The advert at the top is from a full page Truck & Bus advert I found.The other advert was shown in the advert section of Truck & Bus that year.Yes,it was added later.I thought it was appropriate to put it in that post as its the closest to the start of the company's history.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Domino671 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:50 pm

Hi all,
I know this thread is about two years old, however I thought I have some specific information that may assist with completion re whether the Denmak name is spelt with "one or two 'n' s".

I believe BOTH are sort of correct. The first spelling was actually "Denmak".

I own, what I believe based upon information contained in this post (and that I have found elsewhere), the FIRST of the "Domino Denning" coaches. The build date is "75-9-003", it has a mid mount inline 671 Detroit with spring suspension. The original plate clearly states that it is a "Denmak Coach".

My thoughts are that the company was either initially going to go with the spelling as Denmak and then changed their mind to Dennmak OR it was an error with the print on the plate. Therefore spelling with one or two 'n's are BOTH correct (whether accidental or intentional).

Just my 2 cents worth to hopefully productively add to this topic.

I have uploaded an image of the plate to support my theory.

Regards.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Denv12 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:59 pm

Hi Domino671. Thank you for helping out. Its always good when we can get information to clear things up.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby bjg154 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:58 pm

Domino671 wrote:I own, what I believe based upon information contained in this post (and that I have found elsewhere), the FIRST of the "Domino Denning" coaches.

Hi Domino 671
Any photos of the entire coach?
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Re: Denmak:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Domino671 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:08 pm

bjg154 wrote:
Domino671 wrote:I own, what I believe based upon information contained in this post (and that I have found elsewhere), the FIRST of the "Domino Denning" coaches.

Hi Domino 671
Any photos of the entire coach?


Hi bjg154
I am new to posting in forums so hope it work. I will post a couple of images soon. My image sizes are too big so I will need to reduce :(
Regards.
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Domino671 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:42 pm

Bus was converted into a motorhome in WA about 10-15 years ago. I only took ownership early this year. Both internal and external require much work however I am slowly restoring. Currently working on fixing roof, panels. Hopefully will look 'good as new' in a couple of years with new paint etc ... 8)
Has a fully rebuilt original Detroit 671 engine which sounds great with the twin pipes :D
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Re: Dennmack:Denning and McKinnon company.

Postby Domino671 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:45 pm

Rear view with twin pipes
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