75 Years of Peterbilt

It seems like it was just the other day in 1939 when Peterbilt trucks began to roll out of a factory in Oakland, California. Actually, no, it doesn’t but you get the point. The American trucking industry reaches another milestone this year with Peterbilt celebrating 75 years of building those red oval rigs so many of us love. In honor of this momentous occasion there will be a limited edition, individually numbered Model 579 made available with styling points direct from the original 1939 Peterbilt. Below you will find a few of the unique options to this limited edition truck.

• Exclusive 75th anniversary emblems on the sleeper exterior
• Highly polished hood crown surrounding a grille with a new oval design reminiscent of Peterbilt’s heritage
• Chrome-finished, three-piece steel bumper
• Bright sunvisor, side air intake bezels and rearview mirror housing
• Optional two-tone paint design with exclusive Diamond Red color evocative of the original Peterbilt model
• Exclusive bright rocker panels that complement the anniversary paint design
• Anniversary logoed mud flaps affixed with stainless-steel hangers
• Exclusive Platinum Titanium interior that creates an integrated design theme through the cab and sleeper with a dark dash top, door pads and sleeper cabinets with blackwood trim and complimentary colored carpet
• Anniversary dash emblem which includes the unique production number of the truck
• Multi-function steering wheel leather wrapped with custom stitching
• Exclusive black leather Evolution LX seats embroidered with the anniversary logo on the headrest
• Interior bright accents such as anniversary logoed shifter plate with polished shift lever and blackwood knob (manual transmissions only); gauge bezels; chrome interior door handle; and chrome billet throttle, clutch and brake pedals

Ooooh boy, collectors item for sure. If your pockets don’t happen to be deep enough keep an eye out for one special 579 as it travels the country as sort of a mobile museum. Hauling a trailer full of company memorabilia and exhibits it will make stops at various dealers and industry trade shows. I have yet to find dates or locations but will keep you posted.

Below is a photo supplied by Peterbilt that includes the original 1939 model, a 389 and the new 579. Looking at the photo it struck me that I have seen the ’39 model before. Turns out the truck is real and still exists and that I most likely saw it at the 2003 ATHS national meet in Syracuse, NY. Chances are high that I have photos of it! I’ll dig through my archives later and update this post if I find it. Nope, don’t have one but I did find someone else who bothered to take a picture at the same show. Click here.


Congratulations to Peterbilt! Here is hoping for another 75 years.

Source: Peterbilt Trucks

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One Response to 75 Years of Peterbilt

  1. Joe Kelly says:

    Nice recap Eric. Yes, that ’39 Pete is real and resides in the Denton, TX factory along with the very truck built at that plant in 1980, a 359 day cab.

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