A POST-VINTAGE Ford tray truck has a new lease of life, thanks to a Gippsland nursery.

The 1942 Ford Jailbar tray truck, named for its decorative front grille, is used virtually every day for deliveries and general freight work for the Blerick Tree Farm nursery at Neerim South.

Business owner Ron Geritz said the bright yellow Jailbar was always a big drawcard for the nursery.

"It's not just the colour of the truck - it's that a lot of people have a connection to it," Ron said.

"I am always hearing comments along the lines of 'I remember we had one of those on the farm', so it rekindles a lot of memories."

Like many vehicles of its age, the Jailbar has a colourful history.

Ron said it was originally built by the US Army before being put to use in Australia.

"I understand the Jailbar was used by the Aussie Army on the docks in Melbourne, then sold off as surplus after the second world war to a farmer in Avoca," Ron said.

"It was used on the farm until 1974, when it was retired to a shed.

"Then, it was bought and restored in 2000 and I found it two years ago."

Ron said most of the truck had been restored to as close to its original condition as possible.

"The tray is slightly different now and it's been converted to run on gas as well as petrol," Ron said.

"The motor is a side-valve V8 and the transmission is modern, which allows the truck to pull a trailer along at 100km/h with no worries.

"But you have to plan your braking fairly well."

Blerick Tree Farm specialises in the supply of advanced and semi-advanced ornamental and fruit trees.

Ron said the nursery sold about 10,000 trees a year direct to the public and through various wholesale outlets.

"The truck gets a good workout and it really gets to strut its stuff at events such as the recent Farm World field days," he said.

"With the flat bed tray, we can get two standard pallets on it, which is a real bonus when its comes to freight."Michelle Geritz, from Blerick Tree Farm at Neerim South, with her 1942 Ford tray truck.