If anyone knows anything about semi trucks, then they know that the following are as cool and capable as they come. These 50 semi trucks are a combination of rare, unique, classic, and downright awesome to look at on the street. A couple on this list are worth a fortune, too. Check them all out. In this collection, we’ve found semi trucks from all around the world with some familiar and maybe unfamiliar brands, including Kenworth, Peterbilt, and International Harvester. Some of these trucks are vintage or modernized with fresh paint and styling. These semi trucks have stood the test of time and are worth everyone’s attention. We see the reason people still drive these on the road today. Don’t miss out.
International Harvester was an American Company comprised of several other companies. In other words, a merger. IN 1902, J.P. Morgan merged Deering Harvester Company with McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and a few other smaller agricultural businesses. The result was International Harvester.
IH was known for agricultural machinery, trucks, construction equipment and other household/commercial products. Trucks were the crown jewel of IH branding. Yet the brand was more recognized for agricultural equipment. Even so, trucks like the one pictured were constant highway fixtures from the early 1960s to mid 80s.
Peterbilt 351L logger
The Peterbilt 351L logger was a popular truck for the company. People can often find pictures online in old archive vaults. The truck was known for being one thing, being a consistent workhorse. People could buy one of these in the mid 1950s brand new for about $16,000.
People weren’t considered to be a real trucker unless they could shift the “Brownie” gears with their hands and ride with their knees. The Peterbilt 351L inundated the logging industry as a durable semi. Now they are really popular in the modeling community. Different color variations, custom transmissions, peerless trailers, the only limit is people’s imagination.
Corbitt Kramer Bros. Freight Lines
Kramer Brothers trucking company began in 1922. The trucking line, was based out of Detroit, Michigan. This is not surprising considering the number of automobile manufacturers spawned in the same area. In 1959 they consolidated to become Kramer consolidated freight lines.
Their service area spend 10 states via interstate traffic. In addition, they had 19 terminals and hold all sorts of commodities. However, by brokering connecting line agreements, they were able to expand and serve other points all across the nation. What began as a humble family trucking company would eventually boast a combination of 466 trucks and tractors with about 700 company branded trailers.
Dodge and International Harvester both had models with similar designs to the White 3000 pictured here. Dodge fully committed to the concept with a cab that almost looked as if it were sliding off the frame. The White 3000 featured a more rounded design with subtle cab forward design.
After World War I, White Motor Company began making trucks. After the second World War they made a strategic decision to only produce large trucks . To do this, they acquired several smaller production companies. It paid off. By 1967 they were able to open a division on the West Coats. The White motor company was in business for 80 years, closing in 1980. Yet, mention the White 3000 to an old trucker and they still get misty eyed.
1955 Peterbilt 281
People are trying to figure out why this truck looks familiar. We were too. We found out why. This is the exact Peterbilt semi truck from an older Steven Spielberg movie titled “Duel.” The movie was released November 11th, 1971 and there is a really neat story about the driver.
A scene in the movie features the truck driving off a cliff. A mechanism was built to shoot the scene driver less, but it failed. The driver had something else to do the next day so he hopped in the truck, drove it to the cliff and jumped out at the last second. As for choosing a Peterbilt? Spielberg liked it because the front resembled a face.
This is no ordinary Kenworth. big rig. For starters, it’s a bit older, most likely a mid 90s model. In fact, it looks to be a W900L model, which was one of their most popular trucks ever. It featured a few upgrades over the w900B, including several to keep up with emissions standards. however, notice the V-Max on the side?
That means this is a fleet truck owned by V-Max, an office furniture transportation company based out of Zeeland, Michigan. They have 33 trucks (mostly Kenworth), and have decked out more than a few upon acquisition. Expect awesome custom leather seats and an exterior paint job to match. V-Max takes care of their fleet.
245 Kenworth W900L (2004)
Everyone pick your jaws off the floor. Someone was lucky enough to spy this Kenworth semi truck at the 2014 Tredegar Park Car Rally (Vintage), in Newport. And for those people who need a clue as to what is so amazing about this photo, look at the sleeper cab.
People won’t find tiny houses that big. This sleeper cab is more like an apartment. A truck like this could have and inside with a sink, cabinets and a nice drop down tables for eating. Think of it as the best of RV traveling meets breaker 1-9. And hey, it certainly beats paying rent on an extended stay deals. No bed bugs either!
Talk about custom semi trucks. This one from Reliable Transport is a showstopper. It makes sense too. Reliable is the nation’s leading enclosed automobile transportation carrier. They load and haul cars throughout the 48 adjoined states and all over Canada.
Each load carries $5million dollars worth of insurance and features GPS satellite tracking. So if anyone is the owner, they never have to wonder where their vehicle is. Of course, everyone else will not have a problem spotting it either. It’s hard to miss a massive shovel nosed orange semi with an equally impressive custom trailer. Looking at them now, it’s hard to believe they were a one rig outfit 50 years ago.
These trucks are part of history. Not US history, but Australian history for sure. Names like Bill Goodshell, Bentley Greenwood, Jack Nicholls, Ewen Coulter and Jack King may not be familiar to us, but they are to Australians. These were the truckers responsible for driving the road train through the Australian outback to get supplies to those on the western side.
They had to cut through brush, cross creeks and dig out spots to deliver supplies. Mostly, they supported the livestock trade. Looking at the picture, people can tell there is no clear road. That’s exactly how it was. So the tractor trailers were retrofitted with solid steel grills to keep the front from damage in case a rogue wild animal crossed their path getting stranded was not an option. These semi trucks made Australian outback history.
Ransom E Olds, founder of Olds Motor Company (think Oldsmobile) in 1897 left the company just a few years later, In 1905 he decided to make trucks under a new name, REO (a play on his name) Motor Car Company. Early model REO vehicles were mostly automobiles. World War II would allow them to produce semi trucks, however, it was short lived.
The company was in the red and needed help. Production changed hands a couple of times before ultimately being sold to Diamond T Trucks (1967). The new company, Diamond-Reo Trucking went bankrupt in 1975. Currently Volvo owns the brand name. Still, these old trucks moved soldiers and supplies during the war effort, and were later used for domestic shipping post-war. Old truckers often report REOs needed to be towed in order to start. Yet, they were considered reliable nonetheless.
1949 Freightliner 800
Freightliner broke the mold with their 1949 “bubble nose” semi. The nickname is due to the design scheme. The hood mostly covers the radiator and front portion of the engine. The cab-over-engine design was made popular by Freightliner. It was a purposeful move.
The design was lightweight and made it possible for the payload to be shifted toward the front. Thus, more weight rested on the front axles, thus increasing the payload weight allowed by current load limits. It was a 4 speed main, 3 speed auxiliary with an engine capable of cranking out 262 horsepower. And to think, people thought 1949 was all flappers and art deco.
Mack RS 700 L
The era was the early 1960s and the company was Mack trucking. The RS 700 was one of Mack’s most popular designs with a production run of 40 years. In 2002, Mack discontinued the RD model. Up until that point, the only renovation involved the year 1973. During that time, Mack pushed the rear wall of the cab back to yield more space for the driver. In addition, the dashboard was reinvented for a new look and feel.
Those familiar with Mack trucks will understand the complexity of the R series. Different letters in conjunction with the R stood for different designations like steel frame, aluminum frame, heavy duty, setback front axle, as well as different chassis maintenance configurations. Yet even today they’re still fun to look at. The wide front grill looks almost cartoonish. The split front window only adds to the caricature.
Swedish company Einride announced their T-log autonomous, all-electric logging truck in 2018. The company says the vehicle has a 300kWh battery, which can go 120 miles on a single charge. The truck uses the same tech as their T-pod truck but is only level 4 autonomous.
That means it will need some human supervision and involvement. The T-log system is run by NVidia’s Drive platform, including cameras, radars, sensors, and routing software to avoid on-road obstacles. The ultimate goal is to significantly cut the cost down on transport, which Einride claims 60% comes from the cabin. If someone is a trucker, they may want to be wary of this development.
BJ and the Bear Rig
The semi truck probably looks very familiar to everyone. From 1978 to 1981 it was a household name. That’s right, everyone is looking at the original Kennworth from the popular BJ and the bear television series. More than 30 years later, this semi still turns heads. Incidentally, the owner of this vehicle did a full restoration on it. During the process he found an inscription which read “BJ and the Bear by WS”.
It was uncovered underneath a lot of rust at the location of the fifth wheel weld. Today, BJ is a faithful hauler. The owner, Paul Craig, routinely drives thousands of miles each week to locations like Miami, FL, Boise, ID, San Antonio, TX and Raleigh, NC. He says fans routinely approach him, shaking his hand and thanking him for his history saving restoration.
1978 White Western Star
Portland, Oregon based Western Star trucks were a Pacific Coast Highway fixture. However, most of them rotted away sitting in fields or barns for years after their hay day. As such, it’s very rare to find one in such pristine condition as this 1978.
There’s a lot of work to do in restoration besides rebuilding or servicing the V12 transmission. Front seals and water pumps need attention, radiators, wheel seals, breaks, drive caps, they all need attention. In short, if someone owns a 70s model Western Star semi they are essentially a collector/enthusiast. Many people take late 60s models and use them as parts vehicles for their early to late 70s models. This one looks like it just rolled off the production line. We love the split front windshield.
This custom semi looks incredible. The low chrome bumper oozes class and screams “Boss!” the hood ornament is spectacular too. See this modified Kenworth rolling down the street and people know it means business. And if people happen to miss the hood ornament they won’t miss the custom smoke stacks.
We wonder if they will fit under low bridges or power lines in tricky metro areas. They look grand, that’s for sure. Obviously, this belongs to an owner operator who takes pride in their vehicle. We love the custom paint job and sun shield eyebrow overhang above the window.
This truck is known as the THOR24. It is a customized Peterbilt tractor truck constructed at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, over several years funded by land developer/stuntman Mike Harrah for seven million dollars. It has twin V12 Detroit Diesels Engines along with 12 blowers.
The combination helps the vehicle achieve up to 3,400 horsepower. The truck is 44-feet long and weighs 32,000 pounds. In 2019, the Riyadh Auction and Salon in Saudi Arabia sold the THOR24 for $12 million in addition to a $13,200,000 fee.
1950s White Truck
Look at this grand old White Semi truck with sleeper. Wait, it has a sleeper cab? yeah, kind of smaller than what we are used to seeing. Maybe truck drivers weren’t as big back then as they are today. A skinny driver could slide right into that tiny sleeper compartment.
Or perhaps it was designed with a New Yorker in mind. This old Safeway Truck sleeper cab could easily qualify as a studio apartment. The owner could probably rent it for $1,200 per month easy! And by judging from the front bumper, there could be a nice regional customer base. This vintage White big rig is sporting several colorful state plates!
1951 Corbit 600 Tall Boy Cabin
Think Corbitt trucking and Henderson, North Carolina comes to mind. These workhorse semi’s were made in the deep South from 1899 to 1954. Formerly in the tobacco business, Richard Corbitt saw the winds of change. As such he decided to pursue buggy manufacturing in 1899. At that time there were 4 Builders in Henderson. In less than 10 years Corbitt owned all of them.
His first real automobile was produced in 1905, known as a “motor buggy.” Yet, in 1910 he decided to focus exclusively on trucks and trailers. In the early 1950s he innovated once again. His tractor-trailers featured a tall cabover design. These vehicles, like the one in the picture, were all powered with an eight cylinder English Gardener diesel engine. Many believe they are still the tallest truck ever used for highway driving. Also, they are excellent early examples of tilt cabin design.
1957 GMC 860 Cannonball COE Semi Tractor
The GMC cannonball semi truck is named after stuntman Erwin Baker. GMC used him in their early marketing campaigns to promote the durability of their vehicles. For instance, in 1927 Erwin drove a two ton GMC tanker full of water from one end of the country to the other.
It was a 3,700 mile road trip beginning in New York City and ending in San Francisco. During the trip he averaged about 27 mph over the five day, 17 hour excursion. So when GMC decided to produce a semi truck representative of the type of durability and performance people thought of, they chose the name “Cannonball.” It was Erwin Baker’s nickname.
Kenworth T 900
This famous semi big rig is owned by Malcolm and Tammy Blanch. It’s a Kenworth T 900 and has had a few custom upgrades. For instance, Klos custom trucks noted on August 30, 2008 they did a few custom mods for the Blanch tractor trailer. For instance, the front visor and bumper were re-fabricated and chromed out. In addition, a pair of vortex air cans were smacked on the side to add a bit of flair.
This is why people absolutely love this Truck. It’s a beast, looks great in blue and silver, and has some pretty impressive chrome smokestacks. Definitely, one for the cool class, with many more rambling miles to go for sure. And with numerous sightings at Truck meets and show across the country, the Blanches shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Welderup’s ’96 Peterbilt 379
Check out this monster. Steve Darnell and his team, who people may know from Discovery’s Sin City Motors, took a premium 1996 Peterbilt 379 and transformed it into the vehicle everyone see before them. Darnell’s company Welderup used airbrushing to achieve the look. They started with tractor green, a color derived from John Deere, as the base. On top of that, they added yellow to give it this toxic look.
The team even painted the 13-liter turbocharged Caterpillar engine. Welderup added custom bumper, smokestacks, grille, hood cutouts, and much more in addition to the color. If someone looks inside the truck, they will be greeted with a Frankenstein duster shifter and cowhide interior. People can see why they nicknamed this truck “Swam A..”, we will let everyone figure out the rest.
Aussies LOVE the Kenworth T608. Seen here is one being used as part of a road train. When something needs to get through the outback, road train drivers make it happen. To do so they are familiar with words like Cummins ISX Diesel, Eaton 18 speed transmission, Meritor RT46-160 Differentials (with or without X – Locks) and PTO Hydraulics.
In addition, ball race turntables, FUPS bull bars and a Viesa Bunk cooler. These 97 ton B-Double Prime Movers, get the job done every day and make it look easy. Drivers in the states may drool over the grill guard. We love the paint scheme on this one. Pure sunshine bliss.
McColl’s transport is a family-run business celebrating more than 60 years of business serving the Australian Victoria area. Today, they are the largest independent trucking line associated with dairy, food, industrial and consumer goods. This Kenworth K104 is one of their hallmark branded vehicles.
And it looks awesome too. The sleeper cab and over horn skylight make it all the more majestic. This is one of the Kenworth cab-over signature designs used by McColl’s. These big rigs are durable, maintenance friendly and consistent performers. It’s just what everyone needs when hauling product across or through the Australian outback. The sunset in the back makes the whole scene appear iconic.
These old Hendrickson cabover trucks from the 1960s look very similar to the Matchbox Cooper Jarret truck popular among kids during that time (people could get them in Cheerios cereal boxes as one of the toy prizes). However, the real 60s models Hendrixson semi trucks were monsters. They were powered by a 12 valve-71 Cummins Diesel engine. Perhaps the most notable thing about these Hendrickson road tractors are the fact that these engines came standard.
It’s common for people to restore old big rigs and drop one of these Cummins in after the fact. Many hot rod tractor-trailers use them as well for performance. yet, they came as a standard option for some manufacturers. FOr instance, they were popular with the Kenworth 900 series and any CEO truck in addition to the Hendrickson semi everyone sees here.
Custom paint jobs are part of being a trucker. Take this 2018 Peterbilt semi for instance. The stripes echo the lines of the hood. It’s a way to present the vehicle as being in motion without actually moving. As for the interior, it’s definitely nice, since it’s a Peterbilt. However, the newer 579 model features the ultimate in interior design. It’s a harmony of maximized space and comfort design to enhance driver experience.
Impressive sleeper cabin features include large upper and lower bunk mattresses, best in class headroom for both bunks and best storage space in class. There’s even room for a 1.1 ft.³ microwave and 32 inch flat screen television. In addition, it’s fuel-efficient and burns clean too. yet it doesn’t lack power. The Cummins Westport ISX 12 G engine cranks out between 320 to 400 hp with upwards of 1,450 foot-pounds of torque. It’s one big modern day eco-conscious beast.
2020 International Lonestar
Lonestar trucks are manufactured by International Trucks. They are class 8 semi tractor-trailer vehicles with a distinct recognizable design. More notable features include a Fuller 18 gear transmission and Cummins x15 diesel engine that produces an astounding 605 hp with over 2000 foot-pounds of torque. The design everyone sees here was actually a collaboration between Lonestar and Harley-Davidson. In fact, there are several design elements inspired by the motorcycle manufacturer.
For starters, the semi appears to be a chrome magnet, just like a real Harley-Davidson. Chrome details include the front chrome bumper which is flatter then usual international trucks and sits below the Harley-Davidson inspired grill. Inside, expect Harley-Davidson emblems on the leather interior and sleeper cab area. Outside, the word itself is spelled-out on chrome bands decorating each side of the hood. Yet, as nice as it looks, the first time someone has to stop for refueling, it will make them think twice about owning one. Getting a Harley might be cheaper.
Scania is a reputable Swedish tractor-trailer truck manufacturer producing everything from semis to buses. However, they are known for more than just power and efficiency. Color also happens to be their thing. Take this 1972 Scania for instance. Themed out in red, white and blue, it’s enough to make someone think the driver might be American. However, that’s probably not the case.
What is, however, is the unique cabover design. It was quite popular in the early 70s (just like American semis), and can be seen as a feature design element in newer production models too (look at their 2006 models for instance). Scania was ultimately sold to from an auto manufacturer Volkswagen. As such, it remains to be seen just exactly what new designs and vehicles will look like. Knowing Volkswagen, they will be boxy, colorful and efficient.
Volvo Tanker Truck
Volvo tanker trucks are known for their dependability, fuel efficiency and power. However, Volvo tanker trucks owned by Gulf Oil Company are nothing short of epic. Here is a restored classic themed out with Gulf’s iconic blue and orange color scheme. The orange and blue are a bit updated (not as harsh as the original scheme) , but still hint at nostalgia. In the 40s and 50s, residents were very familiar with these trucks.
Today these trucks refuel gas stations. Back then, they pulled double duty. They were responsible for both filling gas station tanks and making sure consumers got heating oil for their homes in the winter. In fact, if someone lives up north this is still quite a common experience, though most of the heating oil is now purchased through co-ops rather then major American corporations. To give perspective, Gulf was considered to be one of the largest American corporation by 1975. In fact, there were number 10 on the Forbes 500 list.
The semi might be famous for a few reasons other than the truck. But first, we have to talk about the truck. It’s a ProStar International equipped with Navistar GPS. It’s owned by Groeb Farms, one of the nation’s top honey suppliers. These trucks are as recognizable as the Gulf tanker truck we just profiled. However, they are famous now for other reasons. In 2013, Groeb Farms was involved in a large food scandal.
It seems that they were cited for fraud in regards to their honey. Rather than grow it stateside, they were importing it, packing it into these nice semis and shipping it all over the US. Once they were caught (read sued) restitution was made and they had to restructure. As for the trucks? Well, they are still operational and can often be seen cruising up and down the highways of our great Interstate Transportation System.
1970 Volvo G88
So maybe everyone thinks they are looking at a ghost. And perhaps they quite possibly are. This is a vintage 1970 Volvo G88. It was a derivative of the already popular F 88 which was the main design component of the 1964 Titan Tiptop truck. However, the rest of the vehicle saw a complete redesign with the F 88. This meant a new engine, brand-new eight speed transmission, stronger suspension and of course beefier chassis.
So what was the difference with the G 88? Well, the front axle was lifted a bit. Almost a solid foot to yield greater axle spread. And, this was not a thoughtless engineering act. It was quite necessary to allow for greater load limits. The G 88 allowed 52.5 tons to laden the vehicle during transit.
Boeing Gas Turbine Powered Kenworth
During the 50s and 60s, Boeing produced a small turbine gas engine. It was a major effort by the company to expand their product base beyond aircraft (postwar). As such, engine development started in 1943 and produced early models capable of churning out 160 hp. After that, the focus was a two shaft turbine engine which underwent production in 1947. The final gas turbine engine used for the trucking industry produced 175 hp.
The first one was tested on a Kenworth tractor-trailer in 1950. Afterward, other manufacturers, like Freightliner, followed suit with design schemes to include the engine as an option. By the early 1960s, these tiny gas turbines could crank out 500 hp. Eventually, they were phased out in favor of more profitable products, like the 747 jetliner. One 747 sale dwarfed the annual profits of the entire gas engine turbine division.
So it seems like the popular cabover design of the 60s and 70s is steamrolling a comeback. When Consolidated Freightways first began building trucks, they wanted a vehicle that was friendly to mechanics and could easily be repaired should it break down on the side of the road.
The solution is the big rig everyone sees in this photo. Freightliners cabover design allowed for quick access, except in instances where in frame work was required (try doing that in the snow and see how everyone feels). Yet, this design all but disappeared by the end of the 70s due to lax highway regulations. As a result, trucking companies stopped purchasing them in favor of more conventional long nose models. However, cabover design is catching fever again. Everyone might see more of these on the highway as enthusiasts are purchasing older models to restore.
1988 Mac Superliner
Sometimes the best stories come from graveyards. Such is the case with this 1988 Mac Superliner semi truck. It sold at auction last year. The starting bid was $100. However, add another $500 to it and people arrive at the vehicle’s sale price.
That’s right; somebody ponied up $600 and scored this vintage Superliner RW 713! Maybe it had something to do with the 599,998 miles showing on the odometer. However, keep in mind those are all highway miles. See what we did there? At any rate, the E 6–350 diesel engine still holds 350 horses under the hood. This tandem axle 232 inch wheelbase will look beautiful after restoration. They just have to figure out how to get it home first.
Peterbilt Needle Nose classic semi’s are iconic. Quite popular in the late 60s, today they are the classics truckers love to restore. Just look at the picture above to see what we mean. But what was the difference between these another king of the road Semis of their day? The steering. It seems that Needle Nose semi’s featured centerpoint steering which put the kingpins out a bit.
In fact, they virtually center on the tire tread rather than mount beside them. Still equipped with a compression release, they were designed to make steering easier. However, the only problem was the service life. Seems like they were known for being short! At any rate, classic truck enthusiasts love them. And who can blame them? Just look at that picture.
1946 Dodge WK–66
This photo is pretty remarkable for one reason. It might take someone a minute to spot it so let’s start with the description. This is a 1946 Dodge WK–66. It’s a huge 3 ton tractor trailer that delivered product all over the United States. However, look closely at the brake lines between the truck and trailer. Those are vacuum lines, not air brakes.
In order to fully appreciate the situation one would have to drive a truck equipped with vacuum brakes. Then they would never complain about air brakes again. Seems like this old Pepsi truck semi had a trick or two up its sleeve after all. Plus, it’s pure eye candy and we like that too.
Kenworth W Series
Here’s another beautiful example of the Kenworth W series tractor-trailer. Check out the sleeper cab and notice once again we are essentially met with a studio apartment on wheels. The long nose hood over engine feature makes engine access easy. And the hood ornament? Well, who doesn’t love a winged seraph on top of their vehicle.
Someone can never go wrong with that. And while the W series looks similar to the K model, the road forks there. Differences include length, available engine choices and side window design. W series Kenworths all featured a pancake underfloor Harlescott 190 hp engine. This was drastically different then the K-series International Red Diamond RD 450 engine. Today, endless customization options make each truck as unique as the driver, down to custom paint jobs, smokestacks and grill features. As for this one, we give it two thumbs up.
Probably the most striking thing about this Oshkosh M1070 commercial heavy military holler is its pristine condition. Remember, these vehicles were designed to be thrashed around. If they weren’t full of mud or engine problems then they weren’t being used properly. However, this one is virtually perfect right down to her tie straps mounted on the tire blocks. It looks like they were never used.
Furthermore, all trailer corners are intact, original to the vehicle and not mangled or bent like other M 1000 models. And of course, we have to talk about the most impressive feature. As the tractor-trailer turns, the four axles at the rear turn as well. This gives someone much tighter control since the turning radius is smaller. Try doing this with a conventional semi and everyone will get stuck like Chuck.
Mater (every child’s favorite animated tow truck) would be jealous looking at this little semi truck. Don’t let the size fool everyone, this Peterbilt may be small, but he’s no fly weight. With two trumpet horns and five running lights across the top, it looks and presents fantastic. The trademark split windshield and sun/rain shield over the window are a nice touch too.
And see those smokestacks? We love them. Nothing like a vented exhaust mounted on each side to keep things interesting. And if someone get stuck? No problem. This little hybrid can rescue someone. We consider this to be a hybrid. We like to think of it as the world’s first semi truck/tow truck/pick up truck thing-a-ma-bob, or something like that.
Here’s a Peterbilt 359 tractor-trailer from across the pond. Built in 1983, it was spotted at a country fair. This wasn’t just any country fair though. It happened to be the Glowcestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza last year (2017). Say that five times really fast along with Peterbilt 359 and see how everyone fares.
Good thing there’s a roomy sleeper cab attached and epic paint job. All of that tongue twisting might wear everyone out. As for the semi, not a chance. It’s designed to keep on trucking and looks pretty epic at the fair if we do say so ourselves.
Nissan Diesel Cabover
Here’s a great example of a Nissan diesel cabover heavy duty truck. Notice both the silver exhaust stack and auxiliary exhaust for trekking through rivers, mud and other sloshy environments. Remember, this is how they get things done in the Australian Outback and this double trailer hauler is no exception. Made by Japanese manufacturer UD Trucks Corporation, these special-purpose vehicles are known for their versatility.
They are also known for something else, being a subsidiary of Volvo. At least they have been since 2007. Until then, UD stood for Unit Flow Diesel Engine, a two-stroke model developed in the mid 1950s. However, Volvo changed the meaning to “Ultimate Dependability.” Clever.
Postwar Diamond Truck
Postwar Diamond trucks are some of the most sought-after classics big rigs in existence today. Many of them have had their original engines swapped out to something with a little more power like a turbocharged 220 Cummins. In addition, the transmissions are probably switched too. Old shifts are given the boot in favor of Fuller 2 stick Ten Speed gear boxes.
Either way, finding one “in the wild” so to speak is rare. So it’s no wonder this completely restored red beauty is a head turner. Notice the sleeper cab, considered roomy back then, and the grill guard positioned expertly in front of the vents to prevent damage. Capped with a swan hood ornament she is one beautiful, roadworthy hauler.
Marmon Semi Trucks
Marmon semi trucks were around from 1963 to 1997. They were originally the Marmon-Herrington company until production ceased. A new company out of Denton. Texas bought the brand and Marmon trucks experienced a rebirth. They were dubbed the Rolls Royce of tractor trailers and for the most part lived up to the name.
However, the company lacked a national sales network and the industry was already overcrowded. In 1997 they went defunct. The last Marmon was purchased by an individual in Green bay, Wisconsin. It sits on a 250-inch wheelbase and is powered by a 470-hp Detroit Series 60 engine. The one pictured here is running the road train in Australia.
This truck is very similar to the one mentioned earlier used in the movie Duel. However, rather than drive off a cliff, this Mack B-61 is made to park and sleep. Everyone can always duel it out the next day after a full night’s rest. It is a pretty impressive specimen to if we do say so ourselves. Don’t get too excited though.
While it does have a 146.5 inch wheelbase, the ride is a bit rough. Former owners describe the driver experience as tank-like. And people needed muscle too. This beast had no power steering. Most drivers said everyone learned to get this one moving first, then they try to steer it. With a paint job like this, we would be willing to give it a whirl.
Remember when Brockway was independent then became a division of Mack trucks after they purchased them in 1956? no one knew at that point controversy would swirl every time a Brockway was spotted years later. The year was 1977 and Mack decided to close the division due to “union troubles.” that year they also came out with the Superliner and created a firestorm of controversy.
Seems like old Brockway employees remember creating the Superliner. All was speculation until a former engineer released the production photo years later proving Brockway had indeed developed a Superliner. Speculation was Mack closed them down in an effort not to be outdone. Of course we will never know. Maybe that’s the point. Either way, Brockway semis still look amazing, every time someone sees one.
Dodge Overcab Semi
This old Dodge overcab semi is very similar to the Marmon it sits next to. Everyone could call them buddies I suppose. However, the similarities end there. We are sure the drivers would point out one main difference. Yep, the transmission.
The Marmon transmission was hard on the hands. Previous owners report having to shift the 4×4 air transmission so much their fingers would bleed. Yet, both are equipped with sleeper cabs. So get a good night’s rest and tackle the road in the morning. And if someone drives the Marmon, grab some gauze and gloves. It will make life a lot easier.
This 1976 International 4070B
This 1976 International 4070B a thing of beauty. Well, it sold online for $18,000. The owner said it was rare as well because of the double bunk bed feature. We have to admit, the 3 handles over the tiny windows do draw peoples eyes to the fact that there are double bunks in the sleeper cab.
Yet, because of lax regulations, the trucking world did not need them any longer. So most of the trucks were cannibalized during the mid 1980s for their engines and other parts. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to restore one and take it for a spin.
Ford CL9000 Cabover
The Ford CL9000 Cabover was King of the Hill during its time. the trucks were made in the Kentucky plant. In fact, they got the nickname “Louisville Line” as a result. Furthermore, in 1996 some of the semis were given a Louisvulle badge at the production plant to further solidify the nickname and brand.
Ford would discontinue the L series in 1998 and Freightliner would take over the brand under its subsidiary, Sterlogn Trucks. This would continue until 2009 when Sterling would shutter its doors. This is why people feel as if they might be seeing the same semi at times when they see a Ford, Freightliner or Sterling. If it’s an L series, chances are it’s the same truck.
1975 Cabover Marmon
For the Miller family, trucks are way to bring them together. They own this 1975 cabover Marmon. Also pictured in the photo is the step deck trailer it pulls. That’s a 1976 Fruehauf. The patriarch of this Woodstock, Virginia family fell in love with trunks as a youngster while pumping gas at one of his first jobs. His collection began with a 1948 pickup used for work around their family’s dairy farm.
It was a total frame up restoration complete with a wooden bed that Doug built from an oak tree on his family property. In fact, everyone can see the old farm pick up on the step deck trailer in the photo. As for the 1975 Marmon cabover, it actually belongs to his son who continues the family truck collecting tradition adding his skills as a heavy duty mechanic to the mix. Together, father and son have managed to create one impressive truck collection.
Iveco Powerstar 7800 Roadtrain
Iveco Powerstar semi trucks are unique to Australia. This cabover 7800 is built from 65% locally sourced components. All of the trucks designed by Iveco are designed specifically for the unique operating driving conditions endemic to Australia. Another interesting fact. Each truck can be equipped with either an American or European driveline.
It’s the ultimate combination of durability, strength and proven qualities of American trucks with the drivability and sophistication of European models. In other words, Iveco says the driver experience yields the best of both worlds. Primary uses are Tipper and dog, long and medium halls, prime movers, B-double trailer hauls and refrigerated transport. Seems like the Aussies know what they are doing when it comes to semi trucks.
This semi truck is equipped with one heckuva sleeper cab. We have seen several large sleepers in this post and this one is no exception. However, that’s not the most interesting thing about this big rig. And no, it’s not the paint job either, though we like that too. The hint lies in the hood scoop. See the duck graphic with the word “duck” lining the side? Good, now look at the hood ornament.
Those are manufactured by Death Proof Ducks and truckers love them! The backstory is they were produced in the early 70s for hot rods and became famous after Sam Peckinpah purchased a few for his movie “Convoy.” The mold was rediscovered in 2004 (on a shelf in a storage facility of all places). Quentin Tarantino saw it and requested a duck hood ornament for his movie “Death Proof.” The rest is history and truckers can’t seem to get enough of Death Proof Duck!
Ford LTL Diesel Truck
It’s not every day people see a Ford semi perform any sort of stunt. Usually they just haul product. However, when stunt driver Ash Nichols is behind the wheel anything can happen. Here we see his Ford LTL in mid flight. In total, he sailed more than 100 feet through the air.
In fact, he soars a total of 101.9 feet before landing. And, it looks to us like someone could fit a semi underneath him as well. hat huge air! The ground clearance is almost as impressive as the distance! Either way, we feel the need to say don’t try this at home, even though we can’t promise we won’t.