Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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38 HDT • JULY 2014 www.truckinginfo.com I f you're celebrating a 75th anni- versary, it would be nice to have something from Year One so folks can see what you're smiling about. Peterbilt Motors now does, thanks to a vehicle restorer's interest in "old diesel trucks." The truck is a 1939 Model 260, serial number M106 (sales order no. 5010), the 10th of 15 built in that model year by the then-new company. And it's the only complete '39 Peterbilt left, according to John Meyers, the engineering lab manager at the company's headquarters and plant in Denton, Texas. The single- rear-axle tractor was built for Kentner Truck Lines of San Francisco and shipped on Oct. 13, 1939. By the mid-1990s the old Pete was long retired. "It was in a desert out in Arizona, in really, really sad shape," says Bob Dean, a car and truck restorer with a shop in Louisiana. "I found it in Hemmings [Motor News, a monthly "bible" for car and truck col- lectors that carries thousands of ads in every issue]." Dean belongs to the American Truck Historical Society and knew the significance and rarity of the '39 Pete, so he sent his guys out to pick it up and bring it back to Baton Rouge. The Pete still had its original 125-horsepower Cummins 6-HB Tom Berg • Senior Editor The story behind Peterbilt's anniversary truck This 1939 Model 260 tractor, serial number 5010, was a rusty hulk sitting in an Arizona desert when restorer Bob Dean found it in the mid '90s. It was built for Kentner Truck Lines in San Francisco and ended up working in a quarry. Now, as classy as a modern Pete, it's the only '39 remaining of the original 15 complete trucks built by the then-new company. The 1939 Model 260 tractor took far longer to restore than to build.

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