Between 1967-1987, Peterbilt produced the well-known classic Peterbilt 359.
It was the first long hood truck built by them and it developed quite a loyal fan base and following over the years.
The 359 Peterbilt looked like a big truck was meant to look like back then. It was big, long, low and powerful.
However, these trucks certainly had their issues. Many of them had quite a rough ride....in fact, so rough that they would shake their body rivets loose after awhile and the body panels would actually start to shift around under the rivets... sometimes scraping off the paint underneath.
The 359's were often plagued with electrical issues as well. But these flaws didn't dissuade the loyal fans.
In 1977, the company introduced a new dash style in the 359, that became known as the corvette dash, because of the round hump shape, similar to that of the early Corvettes.
In July 1986, the manufacturer officially announced their intentions of producing these special classic Peterbilt 359 numbered trucks, as the last manufactured 359's.
1987 was the final year of the production for the 359 model. To add to the company truck sales, they announced the last three hundred and fifty nine trucks off the assembly line, would be numbered, and would referred to as '359 Classics'.
owned by John Pompeo, owner operator
The 'Classics' were a loaded, chromed up long-hood truck with dual exhaust, aluminum fenders and hood, dual stainless breathers, stainless visor, dual polished round headlight pots, custom mudflaps, air horns, lights, 29" 150 gallon polished tanks and wheels, loaded 63" flat top bunks, with black and gray interior, all 1987 by year.
Some of these classic custom semi trucks were built with 2 stick transmissions, making them even more rare.
A commemorative set of hood emblems were installed and a commemorative plaque was fixed on the dash stating the number of the truck in the last of the run.
Of course in later years,
many owners of '87 359's claimed to have one of the special classic numbered
trucks. Some did. Some disappointed owners, did not.
8,844 of the special 359 custom Peterbilt rigs, were built in the final year of production, but the numbered classics could still be checked on a factory list by their serial number of authenticity. To this day, there are mixed stories floating around about just how many of these trucks were released.
However, a true Classic Peterbilt supposedly will show up on Peterbilt's computerized list, as a Classic.
These trucks rivaled the long hood Kenworth W900A, for that long hood presence on the highways and were a coveted truck to own both then and now, for die-hard old school truckers.I've heard most of these classic numbered Petes are in pretty rough shape, sad to say.
Big truck sleepers return. What was once an extravagance for the big strappers in trucking, is now a practical means for a trucker to increase his profit margin and be comfortable living on the road.
A new addition to our gallery of Petes, by Michael Lee, a 1982 Peterbilt 359: a classic big rig truck!
Custom truck show and big rig event schedule for U.S. and Canada. Check out the listings for a big rig show coming up.