I have my family to blame for my truck and Peterbilt obsession.
Way back in 1970 I was given an AMT California Hauler #T500
. At the time I was building model cars, as every 9 year was. This California Hauler changed everything.
Soon I was drawing Peterbilts, and looking for them on the highway.
The 1st time my Dad took me to the Peterbilt of Wisconsin dealership in Waukesha, Wisconsin I was hooked!
Weekend trips to Milwaukee would guarentee me a chance to see the new Peterbilts! I even had a couple of models on display there. I can only imagine what those looked like!
The folks at Peterbilt of Wisconsin treated me like royalty. Thanks to Chuck Jorgenson and his receptionist/clerk Joyce Horn. They arranged for me to have a tour of the Peterbilt Motors Headquarters in Newark, California!
When I was 13, my folks bid me farewell, and sent me to California for the summer. I travelled via Greyhoud bus (something you wouldn't do today, have a 13-yr old travel alone cross-country!). In California, my grandparents took me all over, I was amazed at the west-coast looking trucks. Quite different from the trucks I was used to in the midwest.
We travelled to the San Fransico Bay Area in a Winnebago Brave motorhome. Me spotting Peterbilts at every turn.
In mid July of 1975, we arrived in Newark!
I am sure I was bouncing off the walls as we pulled in.
Several hours later, the tour was done. I was completely impressed! I saw more Peterbilts in a day than I had seen in a year! I took many photographs, many having been lost over the years. I have managed to hang on to quite a few, and thanks to computers and the internet, I can share them with you.
One of the more interesting photos was of an odd-looking cabover. I took one photo, and was asked (instructed?) to not
take any more pics. The Wide Front 352
Really caught me attention.
In the early 1970's I entered AMT's first Model Truck Contest, sponsored by Car Model magazine, And Owner/Operator Magazine.
Here's my entry, a Pirkle Peterbilt 352
I actually Won! Well.. 48th out of lord-knows-how many in the junior class. My prize was a year subscription to Owner/Operator if I remember. Looking at the model now, I'm surprised it was even considered!
I recall sending page after page of spec's of the truck.. copied right from the brochure!
The Peterbilt behind the "winner" was my attempt at Peterbilt's Turbine Powered truck of the time. I used the turbine engine from the AMT GMC Astro kit.
Over the years I have not forgotten my love of trucks, and Peterbilts. After highschool I did put the obsession on hold.
For some reason in early 1999 I happened to check Ebay.com to see if any of the old model kits were still available.
To my surprise, they were! And how! I bought one, then another, then found An ORIGINAL California Hauler T500-500. A kit I only saw once before when I was in California. The kit was only issued in 1969, then replaced with the more familiar T500 with the brown sleepercab 359.
The buying has been non-stop for the last few years now!
I've discovered that there are many others with the same obsession for not only trucks, but Peterbilt trucks as well.
Check out some of my Peterbilt photo pages listed here. I hope you enjoy them!
This is the sole remaining truck from collection from the 1970's. Hand painted, several modifications.
This truck survived all the years and all the moves. Luckily it was spared "The Horrors" of being given to the neighborhood kids for toys!
THIS is exactly what happened to my fleet! My folks thought "he's over that phase." Out they went! UGH! I am still awaiting the day I buy an old build-up off ebay and recognize it as one of my own!
I imagine that these are in a land fill someplace around Madison, Wisconsin.