Why People Love Classic 359 Peterbilt Truck

The American truck manufacturer Peterbilt Motors Company started operations in 1939. It was into the manufacturing of commercial heavy and medium-duty trucks. In 1958, Peterbilt was taken over by PACCAR. It began to operate side by side with Kenworth Truck Company, the other division of PACCAR. The company is headquartered in Denton, Texas.

Peterbilt Truck

History of the Peterbilt 359

Peterbilt had manufactured the renowned Peterbilt 359 model truck during the twenty-year period from 1967 to 1987. This was Peterbilt’s first long-hood truck. It was long, it was big – and it contained a lot of power. Not surprisingly, it developed a loyal fan base and achieved something of a cult status.

Peterbilt 359 Classic

As with any vehicle, the 359 had its share of drawbacks. But they couldn’t dissuade the growing fan base from acquiring this truck. A new dash style was introduced in the 359 in 1977. This style was known as the corvette dash.

In 1987, the company stopped the manufacturing of the 359 models. Instead, it took a decision that was welcomed wholeheartedly by the aficionados of the 359. The company decided to manufacture three hundred and fifty-nine vehicles of the 359 variant and number them. These select vehicles would be the last manufactured 359s and would be known as “359 Classics.”

Features of the Peterbilt 359

During its heydays, the Peterbilt 359 was a truck that came loaded with a range of features that made driving, fun and the maintenance, economical. The trucks were custom made to match the varied haulage requirements of different owners. Some of the notable features were:

  • Lightweight alloys were used to build the vehicles. This kept the weight of the vehicle low and allowed for transporting heavier payloads.
  • The sturdy ladder frame made the trucks more durable and resistant to the rigors of the roads and the variable weather patterns across a huge country like the U.S.
  • The unique Peterbilt “Air-Trac” suspension system provided for a flexible spring rate capacity. This allowed for a smoother and less bumpy ride.
  • The truck came with dual exhausts, dual air horns, and dual fuel tanks.
  • The sleeper was much more spacious as compared to those available in the peer models of the time. The trucks were equipped with sleeper mounted lights.
  • The Reynolds alloy wheels that were mounted on high-mileage radial tires allowed for a much better on-road performance.

Armed with such powerful features, it’s not a surprise that this truck earned the moniker of “The King Of The Open Road.” It remained the truck of choice for thousands in its day. There were some very specific reasons why the truck was so popular. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • You could order any specifications. The Peterbilt 359 came with a huge engine compartment. It was possible to go for any possible combination of transmission and engine and order for the specifications accordingly. Thus, depending on the intended end-use – logging, produce work, or any other specific usage – customized design specifications could e obtained.

E.g. at that time, a very popular engine was the 3408 Cat engine. And for many 359 drivers, this was the obvious choice for the engine under the long hood of the 359.

  • The 359 had some signature style features. The high stacks, pronounced grills, long hood, huge breather canisters, etc. all made for cool trucking style statements of the time. This was also an important reason for the truck’s high popularity.
  • The aluminum body ensured that the trucks would be much more durable than many of its counterparts. Aluminum is corrosion-proof, and it also made for a comparatively lightweight vehicle. This, in turn, increased the haulage capacity of the truck.

Also, check the Kenworth W900 Models features and other detail.

You could also order for aluminum cabs, bunks, and frames. That would reduce the bodyweight even further.

  • The long steering angle and steering box ensured a very good turning radius.
  • These trucks had the best-in-class resale value. Almost no truck commanded a price and demand in the second-hand truck market like the 359 Peterbilt. That was a major draw for both organizational and individual buyers. And that tradition continues to this day. Several 359 trucks had customized paint jobs done on them. These particular trucks would command an even higher value.

Peterbilt did discontinue manufacturing the 359 – but only to bring out a far more improved version of it. They called it the UNIBILT cab. This UNIBILT cab metamorphosed into the Peterbilt 379 that also assumed legendary status in its own right.

Headquarter Address:

Peterbilt Motors Company
1700 Woodbrook Street
Denton, TX 76205

Customer Support:

Phone Number: +1-940-591-4000
Website: https://www.peterbilt.com/

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