If you know anything about semi’s, then you 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. There’s a couple that are worth a fortune, too. Check them all out and let us know what you think.
Vintage International Harvester
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.
The Peterbilt 351L logger was a popular truck for the company. You can often find pictures online in old archive vaults. They truck was known for being one thing… being a consistent workhorse! You could buy one of these in the mid 1950s brand new for about $16,000.
You weren’t considered to be a real trucker unless you could shift the “Brownie” gears with your hands and rive with your 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 your imagination.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Have you picked your jaw up off the floor yet? Someone was lucky enough to spy this Kenworth semi truck at the 2014 Tredegar Park Car Rally (Vintage), in Newport. And for those of you who need a clue as to what is so amazing about this photo, look at the sleeper cab.
You 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!
Each load carries $5million dollars worth of insurance and features GPS satellite tracking. So if you are the owner, you never have to wonder where your 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.
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 you 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.
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.
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, you thought 1949 was all flappers and art deco.
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 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 you a trucker, you may want to be wary of this development.
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 you own a 70s model Western Star semi you 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.
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.
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, their could be a nice regional customer base. This vintage White big rig is sporting several colorful state plates!
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.
Check out this monster. Steve Darnell and his team, who you may know from Discovery’s Sin City Motors, took a premium 1996 Peterbilt 379 and transformed it into the vehicle you see before you. 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 you look inside the truck, you will be greeted with a Frankenstein duster shifter and cowhide interior. You can see why they nicknamed this truck “Swam A..”, we will let you figure out the rest.
We don’t if this truck is for sale, but here are the top 10 prices for classic semi trucks and trailers.
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.
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!
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 you have to stop for refueling will make you think twice about owning one. Getting a Harley might be cheaper!
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!
The solution is the big rig you see 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 you feel). 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. You might see more of these on the highway as enthusiasts are purchasing older models to restore.
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.
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!
You 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!
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 you much tighter control since the turning radius is smaller. Try doing this with a conventional semi and you will get stuck like Chuck.
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.
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.
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.
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 you needed muscle too. This beast had no power steering. Most drivers said you learned to get this one moving first, then you try to steer it. With a paint job like this, we would be willing to give it a whirl.
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 develoepd a Superliner. Specualtion 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 you see one.
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 you drive the Marmon, grab some gauze and gloves. It will make life a lot easier.
We have to admit, the 3 handles over the tiny windows do draw your eye 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 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 you feel as if you might be seeing the same semi at times when you see a Ford, Freightliner or Sterling. If it’s an L series, chances are it’s the same truck!
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, you 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.
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.
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!
In fact, he soars a total of 101.9 feet before landing. And, it looks to us like you 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.