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Rare Hymac 690 model could be up for grabs

Digger Blogger | 17:27, Mon January 07 2013

Whilst I was away on my Christmas holiday, I received a random text from a guy who just called himself Wayne, telling me that he had discovered an old Hymac 690 hydraulic excavator that might be saved from the gas axe if someone was willing to rescue it.

Wayne apparently lives in Surrey and takes a keen interest in classic cars and also in old machinery. He had heard on the grapevine about an old disused limeworks pit in the Petersfield area, where there is a lot of old machinery lying and rusting away, which includes an old Hymac 690 excavator. As it happens, I had read about this machine from my days on the Classic Machinery Network forum, when fellow member Graham Rush posted two photos of the machine, which he has kindly allowed me to reproduce within this post.

Wayne and some other friends went down to the quarry for a look, and after a brief discussion with the site agent, they were allowed access to look at the rusting relics. The agent told them that eventually all the items of plant will be cut up for scrap metal, this made Wayne think that it would be a great shame to see the old Hymac succumb to the gas axe like so many before her, and he asked me if I knew of anyone who would be prepared to save this machine from our British earthmoving heritage.

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These were quite rare machines and according to my friend and Hymac aficionado Jeremy Rowland, there were only ever 64 of the 19.6 ton machines ever built, with production running from 1972-1976. We both feel it would be great if this machine could be preserved for future generations to see at vintage rallys and the like. Wayne said it could be a long shot but if anyone is interested in saving the “old girl”, he would be very keen to help in its recovery. This grainy image taken from old Hymac literature shows how the machine would have looked when new.

If anyone follows this up I would love to hear about it and indeed cover any future restoration project here on the Digger Blog.

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