45 Years, One Owner: 1970 Kenworth W925

When we think of high mileage vehicles, the magic number of 100K usually stands out in most people’s minds as the point at which a vehicle becomes “old.” Whether that’s right or wrong is not what I’m debating, but rather looking at how mileage readings for a tractor trailer cab reveal much different tolerances between private and commercial vehicles. Check out this 1970 Kenworth here on craigslist with “just” 215,000 miles. 

Of course, that’s not entirely surprising considering how far truck drivers roam and how many days per year they are on the road. This particular Kenworth, with its low mileage of just over 200K, must be a spring chicken by comparison to other trucks. The interior looks quite presentable, as does the carpet. Not bad for a truck that’s been in active duty since Day 1, and fortunately for its body panels, never left Colorado.

Since it is now listed on the Boise craigslist, I’m curious as to whether the owner can honestly say it’s been a Colorado truck all of its life. Regardless, the Cummins engine has been rebuilt and should provide years of reliable service. The inclusion of power steering on the build sheet should is a serious bonus, as I can’t imagine steering one of these things without power assist. Then again, those were the days when men were men, and didn’t need silly things like boosted steering!

Overall, this Kenworth does look very clean inside and out. The interior isn’t in tatters, and I imagine this bodystyle incorporates a sleeper cab off the back. Though the paint is tired, I think it helps preserve its history as a working rig, albeit one that thankfully wasn’t abused. With long-term ownership and a dry body, whomever used this for hauling goods long distances clearly loved their red workhorse. The asking price is $15,950 – is that a fair number?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Jeff, you’ve made an old trucker smile.( on an otherwise crappy day) I want to study this a bit more, I cut my teeth on a truck like this. In the meantime, enjoy this short clip,( it’s one of the reasons I became a trucker, I had to recite this song to get my chauffeurs license) while I compose myself ( aka, prepare story) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAhFtSc70BA

    Like 1
  2. Howard A Member

    Ok, ( takes deep breath), the year was 1976, I had bounced around piddly jobs after HS, but when SATB came out, I knew right away what I wanted to do for a living. Again, in a bar in Milw. ( The Tracks, where I met my ex-wife) the young woman bartender said her boyfriend had a truck, and I could go with him, if I wanted. Well, he had a truck almost like this ( same color as Snowman’s) and no foolin’, this guy was a Snowman wannabe, if there ever was one. He was a total “outlaw”, meaning, break every rule that would bend. He signed on with a guy in Iowa, hauling packaged pork to Florida. We were running on a 30 day temp. tag, didn’t have authority ( in those days, you could only haul certain things, and “outlaw’s” hauled anything) to go around the block, but we were truckin’ ( bypassed all the scales)( I know, young stupid, although, I bypassed scales my whole life) This truck, like his, has the torsion-bar ( we called it “torture -bar”) rear suspension and it rode rough. His did not have power steering, and unless you are moving, you can’t turn the steering wheel, but it is a better “feel” of the road. I’m a light sleeper, and had a hard time sleeping when we switched driving, and 3 weeks, and that was it, and the next 34.9 years, I was a local driver.
    On to this rig, which, I’ve submitted these to Scotty, and he wasn’t sure BF’s would go for it, so thanks again, Jeff. Kenworth, or “K-Whopper”, like Peterbilt, was top of the line.( Diamond Reo came close) They were geared for the owner operator that spent a lot of time in one. I find it extremely difficult to believe this truck has “only” 200g’s, and not just because of the looks. I’d venture to guess, this truck has no less than a MILLION 200g’s ( or 2 or even 3 million) I, as a local driver, put on 70-80K miles a year, so a 100 OTR miles, is totally plausible ( I met a guy once with a truck like this, he got it with 10 miles on it, and it had 1,300,000 miles, and he was the only driver ever on it, so it can be done. The motor is a 400 hp Big Cam Cummins, and more than likely, not the original engine. (Big Cam’s didn’t hit the scene until 1976) I had 3 trucks and most of the trucks I drove had Cummins motors. Not the most powerful, but, I feel, the best motors made. We used to call these sleepers, the “coffin”, and new trucks with “condo” sleepers are much more user friendly.
    Now, what to do with this? Price is good, if the body holds out, they are usually always rebuildable, but would it be worth it? Fuel mileage is a big concern, and these get about 5.5-6 mpg and new trucks get 8 or more now. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember, in a year, these will use tens of thousands of gallons of fuel, so it adds up. The W900 ( and it’s variants, 925, etc) is the one truck that’s still produced today, and as far as I’m concerned, the best trucks made. Thanks again for listening, the experiences I’ve had trucking could fill a book,,,hmm, that gives me an idea. I’d love to hear anybody else’s stories on K-Whoppers, in the meantime, I’m going back to Jerry Reed.

    Like 1
    • Rich

      Grew up riding with my dad in a ’70 White Freightliner and these things rode like a damn lumber wagon. But damn I’d love to have an old rig like this to relive the memories.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Howard. Very well done. You have a talent for writing, and you seem to love it. You SHOULD pursue that direction; you might do very well. There’s always someone who loves to read a good story. God knows lots of those tune in right here….

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks geomechs, just a “spoke in the wheel” here. :)

    • John H

      Our auto shop instructor owned a ’69 Pete that he ran with a hired driver. That truck was a year old when my best friend and I came into that shop (with a lot of experience on old (1940s and ’50s vintage) farm trucks between us. We became the de facto mechanics on the Pete and spent a lot of hours parts running — always in one of the instructor’s cars or trucks — to dealers a couple of hours away. Good times!

      I didn’t last too many years working on ’em or driving ’em. Back surgery right out of high school will do that to ya… Closest I came to driving was the first winter after my wife and I tied the knot. Drove for Ryder out of their terminal in eastern Pennsylvania ferrying rentals from Morgan Body Works to the terminal and delivering trucks (straight trucks and day cab tractors) around the east coast. Nothing beats driving into Buffalo NY in the winter!

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Howard, this could be a record for you in the “Thumbs Up” category. Still found a half-dozen wankers to give the “Thumbs Down”, but the heck with them!

      Seriously, you should maybe write; become a Barn Finds contributor.

    • JoeBazots

      I think that this one would be a great candidate to pull a vintage hauler trailer. IDK about restoring/ restomodding this one for continued OTR use – doable, but why when more modern rigs are going to be more profitable from a performance/MPG perspective? Whatever you do, upgrade that seat to a premium air ride. Lots of the old trucks had poor padding in the seats, especially for as many hours a day a butt was going to be sitting in it.

      Could be a great truck and the price is right for a running/driving classic like this. Drove an old Pete w/ a coffin sleeper on it. Good times. If I had room, I would love an old KW or Mack road tractor project. Thanks for including this on BF.

      (Million Miler here)

    • Tony Grazziano

      My son in law operates the Kenworth body shop so I have learned alot about mileage and the Kenworth and I always look for them on the highway. I have one question for all the truckers out there. What is the best truck and motor and transmission out there in today’s world with all the EPA stuff?

  3. Stephen

    Always thought one of these would make a good rv with an extension on the back

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Stephen, you know, I thought that as well. I saw a guy in Florida ( from Wisconsin, oddly enough), that did that, put a small camper on the back of a Pete like this. My last truck, an ’85 Peterbilt day cab, I was going to do that. After careful thought, I spent most of my life rattling around in one of these, did I really want to do that while retired? Truth be known, they are a bear to drive, even without a trailer, limited access to places, like I say, terrible fuel mileage, so I nixed the project. http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Kenworth-camper.png

    • madbrit

      I built an RV out of a 1994 FLD 120 which had previously been stretched and a 24ft Grumman body installed. Runs the sprung front axle and rear air suspension. Does great pulling a large stacker trailer.

      • madbrit

        Recent pic. Motorhome is about 36ft long and trailer is 35ft. Detriot Diesel Series 60, 11.1 liter, 400hp with 1350 tq. When I bought the truck, it had a worn 9 speed Rockwell, now has a 10 speed Eaton Autoshift. Did a 15″ roof chop and built the under floor storage bays.

  4. George

    No way is that mileage claim believable. Unless it sat for 43 of those years. I drove a 88 Freightliner fuel tanker with the 400 big cam Cummins in it for a local outfit delivering only in the eastern central Florida area and it had over 600k on it back in 2000 when I started with them.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi George, I agree. It’s the team operations that really rack up the miles. I drove a ’99 Freightliner condo, in 2005 a friend bought used that had 837,000 miles and had never been rebuilt( new Detroit). It was a team truck and that’s over 150K miles /year. Somebody did some trucking.

    • Ken w

      I saw an 1989 freight liner cab over with daul stacks n Georgia fell in love with it , it’s on Uribe under kevin Young , 16 sec video he gets it in 94th gear in 16 sec . watch this beast

  5. jcs

    215,000 “original” miles on a 1970 Kenworth and it already has a rebuilt Cummins in it??? This is either one very abused Kenworth/Cummins or Howard and George are 100% correct about it being 1,215,000 rather than 215,000, and I’m betting on Howard and George. Although it appears to be in good condition (interior & exterior – except for the “patina”) for a 47 year old commercial vehicle, $16,000 appears to be a tad on the steep side.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi jcs, old iron like this is getting hard to find. There’s a trend to buy older pre-emission trucks, as, I believe there’s a loop hole for older trucks, that don’t have to comply with emission regulations. Some states may not even let you register an old truck, ( Cal.?) Modern emission controls on newer trucks are troublesome and expensive to fix, so many are turning to these as an alternative. If I was looking for an old horse like this, it would be mine by now.

      • Eric Hare

        I have to agree with you on the DPF. They break/throw engine codes on a somewhat regular basis, they are expensive to fix, they kill power, they hurt fuel mileage, and they are not designed to work in cold weather. I know this because I am sitting at Walwork truck center in Fargo ND waiting to get mine fixed as I type this.

      • scooter8

        they are called gliders. usually powered by reman detroits. loophole closing quickly!

      • Joe

        That would explain why I’m seeing quite a few 70s era cabovers going up and down the highways here in western NY. Havent seen them for many years until just recently.

    • Dave Wright

      There is a broad definition on what a rebuild is. A bad driver can pull a liner in 100 miles…..and cause a tear down.

  6. CowboyChris

    You can tell a bunch of truckers around here cuz every coment turns into a story

    • Howard A Member

      Hi CC, you know,,,that reminds me of a story,,,,,,

      • moosie Craig

        Old truckers never die,,,,,,,,,,,, they get a new Peterbuilt.

        Like 1
  7. Leroy

    I’m another guy that can’t believe the mileage. I have a 2007 Toyota that has 225000 miles and I don’t drive it for a living.

    • Rob

      I have a 2012 Expedition I just clicked over 100,000 last night.

  8. Rustytech Member

    This was the very truck i.e. Make & model I started my trucking career in. The one I drove was a Cat eng. but otherwise looked very much like this one. This mileage claim is very hard to believe unless it was owned by a farmer who only used it to follow a harvester around the fields. I averaged about 120k a year driving single. I routinely see 5 year trucks for sale pushing the one million mark. As I recall these older trucks only had 6 digit odometers so at 1 million they went to Zero. No matter what the mileage though, this rig has held up well.

  9. Joe

    16k? Dreaming. Some things are better left in the past. I couldn’t imagine driving a beast like this now a days.

    Nowadays were cupcake truckers

  10. Martin Sparkes

    I would average 10,000 miles a month, but I didn’t really make money unless I could get 12,000 miles in. This truck could easily be at 2.2 million. And they did mostly hold up quite well but they be ame very uncomfortable to drive as the cab mounts pounded out, the doors got loose, the wiper linkages wore out etc. You would probably drive that one with ear protection on.

    Oh, and my big cam three would get around 5 mpg. The bottom end was good for maybe 300,000 miles and the top end double that if you were lucky.

    And you have never seen a leaker like a big cam cummins. No corrosion on the underside thats for sure.

    Edit: its a 335, so that is most likely a small cam which would mat h the year better.

    That one is better left just where it is.

  11. Coventrycat

    Must have built 5 AMT kits of these as a kid. Love em, Peterbilts too.

  12. Allan

    My wife’s uncle recently retired from trucking. He went out to the factory in Washington in 1972 and bought a brand new KW and proceeded to put over 3 million miles on it over the next 40+ years. Every 500K miles, he would have the engine (a Cat) rebuilt. Every million, it got a new engine. It was his livelihood and he treated it as such. That rig was in as good of a condition (or even better) the day he sold it, as the day he bought it.

  13. Allan

    “That rig was in as good of a condition (or even better) the day he sold it, as the day he bought it.”

    This one, not so much.

  14. ruxvette

    Aw, man, this truck is a beauty! Pump the 335 with a 400 turbo, aftercooler, pulse exhaust manifold, injectors, timing and then cosmetics…twin 6″ straights, new air cleaners, polished alums, Texas bumper!
    Too old for makin money, just right for towing a 5th wheel trailer.

    • Ed P

      There are better and cheaper to operate vehicles to pull a 5th wheeler.

  15. ruxvette

    If I am reading the door correctly is looks like Keith Howell of Wiggins, CO. It appears he is/was a farmer and the truck was probably used on/around the farm. In my opinion the mileage is believable. Engine rebuild? Probably just pistons and liners, an “in-frame” overhaul.
    Very cool but, as most folks say, a beast to drive.

    • CJay

      I was wondering if this was a farmers truck. There are some old trucks with low mileage because they were used a couple times a month locally. Maybe hauling hay between field and barn.
      My truck driving lesson given by my old man, was in a F model Mack with a twin stick, it was ” Split 3rd, 4th & 5th get the frontend thru and the a**end will follow!” I then followed him 80 miles thru central PA with a load of logs.
      My first ticket was driving a single axle IH with a 6 cyl flathead gas tractor and 32ft steel trailer.

  16. Dave Wright

    If you were looking for a classic truck to restore, this would not be the one……you would want a butterfly long hood model. You could upgrade the drivetrain, interior and steering if you like. These tilt nose fiberglass models are just old trucks. I disagree with Howard on the pecking order of great trucks. My dad had 6 of this model, they were good every day working vehicles but the class of the highway were Autocars and behind them came the Peterbuilts. I also like the Mack LT’s but they are very rare. This is a 6,000 truck these days. All trucks ( with the possible exception of Mack) are the same under the skin, an assemblage of parts made by other companies, so you can get a KW,IHC, Freightliner or Pete with all the same mechanicals down to steering gears. The old 335’s were early high HP Cummings that could be melted to the crankshaft by a poor driver. Not a bad engine but required a pyrometer and an observant driver to keep it together. The later more common 350’s had aftercoolers, piston oilers and improved cooling that helped control the problem. We still use older trucks to move hay and some other seasonal comodities around southern Idaho so there are plenty of them around still in use. The torsion bar rear suspension was a KW exclusive.

  17. M/K

    This is off topic a bit but I have to talk about something (someone )annoying. Howard A. seems knowledgeable an I personally enjoy his comments so why does somebody(pretty sure just 1) thumbs down his every comment? If I don’t like a comment i’ll reply as such f the thumbs down. Howard I believe somebody just may have a school yard crush on you my friend.

    • Dave Wright

      He got 3 on this one…….has to be more than one guy. Everyone only gets one vote.

      • M/K

        Not when I read it. Just watch though. You’ll notice, might be mistaken but I think Howard addressed it a while back, by the way Howard thank you for continuing to post comments even though you thought about stopping. I was hoping to get feed back on this so thank you Dave 😆 and thanks barn finds crew for such a cool place to view, discuss, and debate. Infinite thumbs up

    • Mike H. Mike H

      Agreed, someone seems to find their rocks with the “thumbs down on Howard” plan. Pity, as I think he adds a lot to our little community.

      • Howard A Member

        Thanks. I think of it (BF’s) as more of a club.( 24 hour club. Being a truck driver, I haven’t slept right in 30 years, so it’s nice to tune in at 3am) Everybody has their story or contribution. The thumbs thing, ugh, like I say, I pissed off someone with the mileage thing, so I don’t do that anymore, but the good far outweighs the bad, and thanks to Jesse and Josh ( and the behind the scenes folks), we at least can all agree BF’s is a lot of fun. Especially on this horrid -15 degree morning. ( “California, here I come”)
        Oh yeah, GO PACK!!!

      • Mike H. Mike H

        Howard, your mileage comments are usually spot-on, and you generally back up your opinions with what you see in the evidence provided. Next to Scotty’s posts, your comments (along with geomechs and Dave Wright) are what I usually look for on the site. I used to think I was an automotive genius, but hanging out on Barn Finds has humbled me to a degree, and that’s likely a good thing.

        In the words of Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” The contributions of a few add a lot to the collective knowledge here.

  18. Dave Wright

    In practical use, I have always found the Pacar trucks ( the parent company of Pete and KW) a bit claustrophobic. The cabs are very narrow, you really struggle to get between the seats to the sleeper and two big guys riding in the cab rub elbows. I had many Freightliner’s and IHC’s. The cabs were at least a foot wider. I also liked my Western Stars for the same reason. I know there are guys that like the tiny little cabs but I am not one. I found my Freightliner’s to be the most businesslike trucks of all, I had a driver kink one up on an icy road one time. I went to the dealer to buy the skin to replace the drivers corner of the cab. It was 1/4 the cost of a Pacar part and used twice the rivets to install. Off course even in those years Freightliner was owned by Mercedes and had there parts ethics. Another issue with Pacar trucks can be when they use Aluminum frames (not all of them had it) They would work harden and crack requiring replacement. Very expensive part and extensive labor required to change it out. So……Howard, Next time you get around trucks, look at the number of rivets per inch that are used on a Pacar and compare it with a lowly Freightliner……it will surprise you.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dave, I like all trucks. And you are correct, they are pretty much the same underneath. The one truck we forgot to mention was the Marmon. I drove a Marmon ( we always called them those “Mormon” trucks) for a friend. It was a nice truck, as well.( didn’t look like this, though) https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8083/8442809386_8167fa518c_b.jpg

      • Dave Wright

        Yes…….Marmons are interesting. I think they are more common in the east but remember when they tried to reintroduce them to the market in the 80’s? I spend an hour with them at the international truck show, big square design and they were heavy. They did have a big cab and seemed well built and expensive. We had some old Marmon missile haulers in the Airforce but they were very specialized vehicles.

  19. Clint

    Wow…what a surprise to find this article. I’m the second owner on this truck and the one selling it. So I thought I’d just clear a few things up. The mileage is real..not a typo. The truck has never left Colorado. The original owner bought the truck at Kenworth in Denver around September of 1969. It stayed on the farm hauling grain and farm product within the Wiggins area for the next 45 years. That’s when I stepped up and bought it. And since I’ve had it, I drive around Denver a little, and back and forth to work occasionally. So you see, betwinxt the two of us (original owner and I as the second) I KNOW the mileage to be true. Next, this truck has factory power steering! Yep, a rarity for sure! And factory jake brakes along with torsion suspension. I did put in new flooring. As many know, the floor board was literally that back then, plywood board. So, I replaced it with plywood. Installing aluminum back insulation and new carpet. The truck has an NTC335, not the big cam 400 as someone was thinking. I do have the build sheet on this truck. Well, I’ll close here. If you have questions, you can contact me at stars2stones@msn.com. Thanks for the honor of this article.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Clint, thanks for clearing that up. I tend to speculate ( sometimes too much) on the real story, and only can go by my experience, until the real story surfaces. It just looks a little rough. I mean no disrespect, but I’ve known farmers with their grain trucks that looked like brand new. For whatever reason, this isn’t the case. The market for older trucks is finicky. When I tried to sell my ’85 Pete daycab, several years ago, I couldn’t give it away. Had 100 calls, but ended up selling it to a friend for $6,500. https://assets.blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2014/03/HowardArbiture_04_1500.jpg

  20. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like what I see! I sometimes wonder how something like this can survive in such good shape. I hope that it finds a good home.

    Hard to tell if it’s a Big Cam or Small. The 335 designation tends to lean toward the small cam unit. It looks like a straight turbo without an aftercooler which would also fit the 335 designation. I don’t think ‘Columbus Vibrators’ offered aftercoolers until ’72.

    • Dave Wright

      335’s were not aftercooled. One of the reasons they would run so hot. The little newer 300’s and up were but the 290’s were not either. Off course, they could be added. I have bought a bunch of 250’s from the military and refitted them to the 350-400 HP range. The interesting thing with them was some had piston sprayers and some did not. The passages were in the blocks for them but some were just plugged off.

    • Howard A Member

      Thanks guys, without seeing the other side, I wasn’t sure. Cummins was widely used through out this period. Cats were expensive and Detroits,,well, let’s not start that again, literally :)

  21. Dave W

    Sonny Pruitt (Movin’ On) would be proud…

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dave, (sorry CC, another story) Did you know, Sonny Pruit’s KW was custom made? At the time KW didn’t offer a double sleeper, and one was made for the TV series, and was such a success, they began to offer it as an option. Before that, the only way to have a bigger sleeper, was aftermarket, like Shipshewana. Movin’ on, was a cool show, but it was SATB that really got things going for me :)

      • Dave Wright

        Howard……..All KW’s are custom made…….like other manufacturers, every one is designed for a specific job……did you ever buy a new truck? It used to take hours to choose the options you wanted.

    • madbrit

      Episodes of Movin’ On are available on Youtube starting with the first one:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr1ivj5rxiE

    • Dave Wright

      I had to look up the Sonny Pruitt reference………I missed those years, was in some very intense training in the USAF at that time. Not much time for TV…….but I like Claude Akins.

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Dave, for a while, possibly while you were in the service, (thank you, no TV’s in the barracks?) , Hollywood, and the country, were enamored with an attraction to OTR truckers. They drive by Night, Movin’ On, B.J. and the Bear, Big trouble in little China, all tried to show the glamour and glitz ( and mystery) of the OTR truck driver. Movin’ On was probably the most plausible of them all. Still, my favorite real life depiction, was the TV show “Cannonball” of the late 50’s. I LOVE this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umvbqPUMoKg

  22. Jay E.

    I’ve got an International Emeryville (Runs) I was going to sell. After reading this on old trucks, I guess I can’t expect much for it.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Jay, well, don’t be so sure. The Emeryville was a very significant truck for IH. It was a big seller. They were used, and discarded. Very few remain today. While clearly, not many are going to run an Emeryville down the road ( although, I have seen them, repowered, of course) but if someone wants to pull a low boy trailer and haul their toys, like what the ’70 KW could be used for, there’s a growing market for that. I wouldn’t give that ol’ Binder away too cheap. Like this? I think UPS used Emeryville’s for years. http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/tractors/images/3/3c/International_1964_DCO-405.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100531210234

      • Dave Wright

        My second Diesel Semi was an IHC similar to the Emoryville only not a cabover. It was a conventional, fiberglass tilt nose with a 318 Detroit, a roof mounted A/C and power steering. I kept that truck for 10 years. Great old truck in the later years, we used it to pull hay trailers out of the fields to the highway tractors that took it to California. Today, it would be popular with the big truck collectors group I belong to but that does not always translate to a lot of money. This (if the photo works) old Sterling is for sale in eastern Oregon, they are very rare, few were built and very few survive. It runs and the uneque suspension system is still in tact. Lots so lookers but it is a huge commitment, so even for small money the old girl sits. They were built as super heavy wreckers for the USN during WW2.

      • Dave Wright

        This is what she would look like restored and in a museum.

  23. Justin

    This really isn’t a surprise, there’s lots of old low mileage iron out there that only gets used during harvest season…

  24. Eric 10Cars

    This is a fascinating discussion. I’m just a car guy, but as a kid I used to fantasize about being a truck driver. I’m interested in what happened to the truck brands I used to see: Reo, Diamond T, White. Internationals, Macks, and Kenworths I recall, but I don’t recall ever seeing a Peterbilt until the late 70s.

    Any of you folks want to give a bit of a history lesson? I think Reo and Diamond T merged, and maybe White and International?

    BTW, a testament to how tough these vehicles are, I remember in the early 60s seeing old open cab chain drive Macks toodling along by the docks under the West Side Highway (when it still existed) down by my Pop’s machine shop below Canal. They were built in the late 20s and early 30s and still going. Some even had those hard rubber wheels….running on the cobblestones. Talk about needing a kidney transplant!

  25. Dave Wright

    Reo, Diamond T, White, merged. At one time White and Freightliner merged but split off again when Mercedes bought Freightliner. Peterbilt and Kenworth are west coast trucks established in the 20’s, Peterbilt in Oakland Ca, and Kenworth in the Seattle area later to move to Portland. They merged into Pacar decades ago but are still marketed as separate brands. International is the largest truck manufacturer in the world and has changed from IHC to Navistar and back I think now but it is mostly corporate re alignment. Mack has been mostly an eastern brand, less popular here in the west. They are the only one that still (I think?) builds complete trucks including all the parts that go into them although you can also get them with other manufacturers components. Most of the manufacturers have been owned by various people and companies over there lifetime. Freightliner was once owned by the large trucking company IML. It was cheaper to buy the factory than the trucks. Plenty of other brands that have moved around over the decades. Western Star is made in Canada last I knew, I think Marmon is out of the truck business again, maby making military equipment? Like the Checker company that survived a long time building Military trailers. Entire books are written about this subject.

    • Eric 10Cars

      Thanks, Dave. That explains why I never saw Peterbilts years ago and saw lots of Macks. And Kenworths were probably the model I saw the least in the east, but did see them occasionally. To some extent, it’s like the beer companies. We never saw Coors and I’m sure you folks never saw Rheingold or Rolling Rock. Today, with all of the mergers and the franchising of American retail, there are few local brands of anything left.

    • John H

      Mack does indeed build everything in house. I’m not far from their factory in Macungie, PA, and a little further from the Hagerstown, MD location. My brother-in-law and his wife know quite a few people who work for Mack in Macungie and she has interviewed a couple of times for positions there. It’s a tough place to get in — lots and lots of competition for any open spot.

  26. Dave Wright

    Yep……..the same as Macks out here……there were some but not many after the 20’s when the west coast brands came into being. In the Brass era, there were lots of Macks everywhere I think. Packard stopped building trucks in 1923, REO came from RE Olds of the Oldsmobile fame. Old Henry Ford never wanted to build trucks and had to be brought into the market kicking and screaming after seeing so many people converting there cars to pickups.

  27. Richard

    add a couple million to the odometer on this. Would not be uncommon. The seats are easily replaced, the carper I see is not original, (should have been rubber matting). Spent over 10 years in a Kenworth dealership. The engine should have not needed rebuilt until perhaps 3/4 million miles, unless was not maintained, so a rebuild at less than 500,000? not likely. But no matter, unit is worth about 5K. No longer will most carriers sign you on with a vehicle over 5 years old

  28. Ruxvette

    Dave, to jog your memory, Freightliner was founded by Consolidated Freigtways (corn flakes). They built trucks for their own fleet, then expanded to outside sales. They were all cabovers (to start) and the early models didn’t tilt.

  29. Anthony

    My Brother had a loooong nose old Kenworth with a powerful Cat engine in it. He and my Brother-n-law were in the business for over thirty years. I remember them busting their butts in the cold winters doing major mechanical repairs on their trucks – my Brother-n-law had an 80’s Kenworth with a Cummins. Too bad they hated the business – but it put food on the table for their families. I do not think my Brother’s kids who are in their 30’s and 40’s now – realize how hard he worked. Knowing he did not have much time to live – he sold the truck to a guy who flew in to NYC from Texas for $1500. At of all the trucks my Brother had – this Kenworth was his favorite.
    Rest in Peace cause God only knows you definitely deserve it…

    • Howard A Member

      Wow, Anthony, there you have it, right there. I took my kids with me on occasion, just so they could see what went on in the world, and what I did for a living. My son didn’t care for it, but my daughter loved it.

      • Anthony

        What I never understood was when people complain about the truckers on the highways – yet – this is how they get clothes on their backs and goods delivered to their supermarkets – and still give them a hard time.
        = It was a very hard business back then and this is when an owner/operator does all their own major engine overhauls…Imagine now? Where the wages are very low and they need to bring their trucks to a mechanic and rules and regulations and tickets are very expensive…Rough business where you take two steps foward and one step back on a consistent basis…

  30. Rustytech Member

    I just knew this was a farm truck! There was just something about it that screamed FARM use. I like it, it brings back many memories of my younger days behind the wheel. I also remember fondly the old Macks and even drove a long nose Autocar for awhile. However I would not want to go back to driving one of those today. Newer trucks are so much easier on the old body. As long as you stay with a pre-particulate filter.

  31. Peter K

    I had a 1987 KW T600 that had been turned into a motor garage. I bought it with 700k on it and then put another 900k on it before I sold it. It ran flawlessly for the 8 years that I had it touring the country to cycling events. It had the sprung front axle and an 8 bag 267″ wheelbase. Rode like a dream. I’ll bet that this older
    K-Whoppers odometer quit at 215k 40 years ago and the owner just kept driving it. I would believe 2-3M miles would be more appropriate.

  32. Peter K

    Forgot to post the pic

  33. Neal

    When I was nine or ten in the late 70’s I spent a lot of time at International Harvester dealerships in eastern Penna. while my parents shopped for a Scout. It was a big diversion and a big decision, so lots of time with new trucks. What’s not to love about that?
    I fell in love with the Transtar cabovers and Eagle tractors. I used to pour over the brochures I brought home. The eagle name was revived some time later, but those early models are ingrained in my mind. Loved it when a salesman would let me sit up in a cab and dream.

    I also always loved the Autocars, some of which were built right near my house outside of Philly. Way before my time, in the 50’s/60’s, my grandfather used to run a bar across the street from one Autocar factory. Busy times at the tap right after every shift around the clock. Always loved the ruggedness of the Autocars I’d see around town, but they seemed much more rare as distance haulers than as dump trucks and cement mixers.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Neal, the Transtar cabover was a good truck, not great, but good. Schneider used them for years. A friend,( the same guy that had the KW) bought a used one, had a million miles, but still “hauled the mail”. The one I drove, was a rough riding ol’ gal, shook the cab ( and the driver) to pieces, and terrible blind spot on the right side. But you could get around pretty good, with their short turning radius. I’ve seen some nice Transtar Eagles. Being “out east”, you must have seen a lot of Brockway trucks, which were kind of a Mack on steroids, if that’s possible. We didn’t see many in the MIdwest.

      • Neal

        Yes Brockways. And Whites, before they apparently turned into freightliners.

      • Dave Wright

        Brockway was another eastern truck that made trucks for the Military. Don’t know a lot about them but they did have wide cabs like the Autocar.

  34. Truman L

    you sure this a barn find, are just hidden from the tax man and forgot about??.

    Thanks for the look.

  35. Howard A Member

    Thanks to all who responded to this thread. Truckers rarely get any recognition, not that they want any, it’s a solitary job, but a tip of the hat to all my trucking buddies still out there. Without them, this country would come to a screeching halt, and if the gubment keeps throwing stupid regulations at them, on an already strapped for drivers situation, we are going to see some big problems in the near future. And don’t give me that “self-driving” truck crap. They may be useful in certain situations ( going across the desert) but we will need drivers for years to come. I remember tension in the 70’s with truckers, almost shutting down the country, and songs like this popped up. Look at all the cabovers, times have changed, ol’ C.W. This is when I 1st started trucking.( there’s a blooper in this @.44 sec. C.W. calls a Freightliner a Pete, with a reefer on, clearly a Freightliner) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVh179oXFao

    • Howard A Member

      Sorry, @ 2:09, you see a couple drivers hanging out, arm around the guy, that’s how it was. I had some great friends, some are gone now, and we’d look out for each other, and run together There were no cell phones, we’d go out of our way, to help each other. CB radio was king, but more of a tool. A working CB radio was almost more important than good tires. You NEVER left the yard without one. I don’t remember the army, but there were some tense times when this KW was new.

  36. rufus

    Paccar trucks are assembled with huck bolts….not rivets. huge difference. (think airplane construction)

  37. moosie Craig

    Marmon = church truck,,,,,,,,,,,,,,(Mormon)

  38. Clint

    Just a note to throw in that I have a 1991 Kenworth T-600 that has 3,160,000 miles on it and still runs short hauls. I know the mileage is correct since I bought it with 229,000 miles. We’ve recorded the odometer flipping 3 times. 3406 CAT has been in-framed 4 times; 2 13 speed Fuller trans, both rears rebuilt.

    Old girl rattles and leaks, but if it’s plugged in it will start every time.

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