They began lining up at dawn, Peterbilt after Peterbilt, stretching for blocks in both directions on South Airport Way as they waited entrance to the San Joaquin Fairgrounds in Stockton, Calif. Carefully arranged, they stretched up to four wide from one end of the fairgrounds to the other, 351 in all. It was the largest collection of Peterbilt trucks ever assembled, and likely the largest collection of a single brand of vehicle ever gathered in one place.
And Peterbilt customers, enthusiasts and employees past and present came in the thousands to see them and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the industry’s premier truck manufacturer, Peterbilt Motors Company.
“It was impressive beyond words. The turnout exceeded even my high expectations. With the exception of two or three, every model of Peterbilt ever manufactured was represented here – from the first chassis in 1939 to the latest Model 579,” said Rick McClerkin, who created and organized the event for his love of Peterbilt trucks.
McClerkin, a former employee of Coast Counties Peterbilt in San Jose, Calif., and owner of Roadway Antique Trucks, said the event also helped raise more than $42,000 for charities. Among the fundraising activities was a raffle for a Peterbilt Model 359 that raised more than $8,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and an auction for donated truck accessories that raised approximately $22,000 for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
In addition to the display of trucks, a peoples-choice truck beauty contest and a Peterbilt history presentation by Cam Lavin, more than 120 current and retired Peterbilt employees and their families caught up and reminisced during a special luncheon.
“As our 75th anniversary celebrations are coming to a close, there is no better tribute than the outpouring of loyalty and love for the Peterbilt brand that was on display during the Stockton show,” said Darrin Siver, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President. “We thank everyone who was in attendance and every truck owner who proudly brought their Peterbilt to this historic event.”
Also on display was the Peterbilt anniversary tour trailer that has visited more than 100 Peterbilt dealerships throughout North America this year, attracting tens of thousands of visitors. The trailer is a custom-built, double-expandable 53-foot trailer with Peterbilt memorabilia, interactive displays, a history wall display, a PACCAR MX-13 Engine and cab and sleeper cutaways of Peterbilt’s new Models 579 and 567.
The peoples’ choice truck beauty contest at the show gave awards in four categories: Antique Cabover Bobtail, Antique Conventional Bobtail (1990 and older), Contemporary Bobtail (1991 and newer) and Combo (truck and trailer). The winners are:
Antique Cabover Bobtail
First Place – Wayne Newhouse, 1955 Peterbilt Model 350
Second Place – Donald Bourgeois, 1971 Peterbilt Model 282
Third Place – George Van Dyke, Peterbilt Model 352
Antique Conventional Bobtail
First Place – Juan Gonzalez, 1957 Model 351
Second Place – Jessie Maggini, 1962 Peterbilt Model 351
Third Place – Fremont Fire Department Local 1689, 1939 S100 Fire Truck
First Place – Guy Schrno, 1998 Peterbilt Model 379
Second Place – Forrestt Noble, 2013 Peterbilt Model 389
Third Place – Michael Dusi, 2013 Peterbilt Model 389
First Place – Ray Rodriguez, 2015 Peterbilt Model 389
Second Place – Chris Hasty, 2008 Peterbilt Model 389
Third Place – Jerry Mies, 2013 Peterbilt Model 389