About Wheels List
2015 pride & class Peterbilt and 2014 Loadking b-train.
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Right after World War I, the US Department of War organized a cross-country trip involving Mack trucks.
A young unknown offer named Dwight D. Eisenhower was part of that convoy.
As probably few recall these days, President Eisenhower as the 34th occupant of that office is generally known as the creator and promoter of our present-day Interstate Highway system.
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes Mack trucks this way:
“A prominent fixture in the U.S. truck industry, Mack Trucks, Inc. is one of North America’s largest producers of heavy-duty trucks and major product components. In 2000 Mack became a wholly owned subsidiary of AB Volvo.”
The runaway history part of the trucking company’s story came from Jack Mack. The youngest of five brothers, he was said to be 14 years old when he ran away from his Pennsylvania home in 1878. He joined the Teamsters and worked as a mechanic.
Later, his brothers joined him in a small wagon-building firm in Brooklyn, NY.
According to company history:
After eight years of testing, brothers Jack and Augustus Mack produced “Old Number One,” a chain-driven vehicle that features a Mack-built four-cylinder engine, a cone-type clutch, and a three-speed transmission.
Their first vehicle came out in 1900. It became a truck 30 years later.
Mack and other historical accounts tell us the young company pioneered the design of custom-built, heavy-duty trucks. This ran against the prevailing wisdom of the time.
Automakers at that time considered trucks a poor relation, and did them only when times were slow.
But founder Jack Mack, however, anticipating that the days of the horse and wagon were numbered, decided to make trucks with a capacity of one to seven tons. He introduced the “seat-over-engine” truck.
He also is given credit for making a seven-ton, five-cubic-yard dump truck for the construction of the New York City Subway.
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By 1911, the Mack Brothers Company called itself the “Leading Gasoline Truck in America.” The company had 825 employees, producing about 600 units a year.
Good times and bad ebbed and flowed over the course of the next decades. But Mack is generally given credit for continuing innovations.
Just one example was when a new chief engineer, Edward R. Hewitt, designed a medium-duty AB Mack truck. It became a mainstay of the market from 1930s.
Eventually, Mack became famous for building not just heavy-duty trucks. But also small delivery trucks, buses, fire trucks and others.
t one time, Mack offered the most comprehensive product line of any truck manufacturer (during World War II and in the post-war years).
John “Jack” Mack, founder of the company, did not live to see all of this.
Ironically, he was killed when his car collided with a trolley in Pennsylvania on March 14, 1922.
By 1986 Mack announced that it was finally moving its main production plant from Allentown, PA.
The Allentown plant, built in 1926, was so old that trucks were still spray-painted by hand. Parts had to be moved by forklifts (since there was no robotic technology).
In recent years, Mack stopped doing group tours at its Mack Trucks Historical Museum in an out-of-the-way location behind the Allentown Airport. But individuals are still welcome as visitors to see company history (though since the Volvo Group took over, Mack’s headquarters moved to Greensboro, NC).
Vehicles on display include the oldest Mack product, a bright red, 40-horsepower, 28-passenger sightseeing bus.
Mack today may be even better known for its more modern slogan: “Born Ready” found on most of the various products it sells.
But the Bulldog remains associated with the company. And visitors to the museum today still find miniature bulldog ornaments located behind the security guard’s desk.
By David Wilkening
Gallery of Mack trucks:
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The dream of some RV owners is to freely travel US highways, Route 66 style. Others are better described as “homebodies” who are more likely to park their vehicle in one place for most of the year.
The 2016 Forest River Berkshire XLT 32A is a good traveler, but may appeal even more to the stay-at-homes. They will appreciate it once they stand up.
That’s due to the seven foot high ceilings.
Not a big deal with a normal home, but here occupants that measure less than the tallest professional basketball players can stand under the soft-touch vinyl padded ceilings.
The luxury (and luxury priced) XLT has clearly been designed as a luxury product.
And there’s also a long list here of “residential” touches for occupant’s comfort.
Just to cite a few examples:
—Four side outs for living space. An outdoor entertainment center.
—The kitchen has large 23 cub. ft. refrigerator, overhead microwave, and a double basin sink.
—The living area has large Hide-A-Bed sofa and 49” LED TV.
— The rear bedroom has a 32” LED TV mounted above a chest of drawers.
—A Hi-Fi sound bar with Bluetooth.
—A 72″ x 80″ Serta king bed with bedspread and decorative pillows
—A towel bar, toilet paper holder and towel ring
—A Carbon monoxide detector. Smoke alarm and surface mounted fire extinguisher.
—Native hardwood cherry cabinetry and raised-panel doors with home-style moldings throughout the interior.
—An electric fireplace.
Other notable comfort touches are common. Such as a 30-inch wide, well-lit entryway on the coach’s steps, and an optional electric underfloor heating system.
For those who don’t want to just park it but move on, the XLT offers “excellent” marks for ride comfort by various evaluators.
Some evaluators suggest those who want to move around a lot might add the optional Freightliner UltraSteer feature, which they say improves handling.
The almost 43-foot-long XLT has a six-speed transmission and a lowered rear frame allowing for flat floors throughout the coach.
Options include a 150-gallon fuel tank with lockable fuel-fill compartments. The driving range with a full tank of gas is said to be more than 1,000 miles with fuel tank.
Forest River was founded by Pete Liegl in 1996 in Elkhart, Indiana. A more familiar name came up when investor Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway bought it in 2005 (hence the Berkshire name).
Forest River seemingly has an RV for every use. They range from huge Class A and Class C motorhomes to travel trailers and expandable tent campers.
By all accounts, famous investor Buffet let owner Liegl run the company his own way. The result was growth to several manufacturing facilities in the Midwest and West Coast, into more than $4 billion in sales.
The 43A is among their more recent products.
At this writing, one offered a retail price at $364,677 but the selling price was $236,963.
It all may make you conclude: Smart man, that Warren Buffet.
By David Wilkening
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He owned a lumber company that was having trouble with shipping its trees, and was an unlikely person to found a truck company that has become as much a US icon as cowboy hats and boots.
It all began in the early part of the 20th century when Alfred “Al” Peterman had trouble transporting his trees from the forest to users in Washington state.
His solution was to adapt surplus US Army trucks to ship his lumber.
After creating his first Peterbilt trucks in 1939, Peterman who died just a few years later, might never have dreamed his company would also become a movie star that played a part in the US Moon landing program.
In modern-day America, trucks have gone beyond being simply a means of transporting things from one location to another. So-called “Peters” have become icons and symbols. And Peterbilt may be America’s best known.
Many of his trucks with their long, squared-off hoods have become classics, such as the 1951 Peterbilt 350. It was among the company’s best sellers (actually, the next year’s model 351 had the longest run in company history).
His truck company has become known for many things such as their durability and being strangers to heavy repairs, as well as holding up prices as the model years aged.
Over the years, “Peters” pioneered various innovations, including the “Dromedary” setup which has a cargo section between the cab and the trailer.
The truck first became famous among movie-goers with the release of Steven Spielberg’s 1971 thriller “Duel.” The film featured mild-mannered businessman Dennis Weaver pitted against a revenge-minded driver of a modified Peterbilt 281.
Later movie fame also came during the “Transformers” franchise when “Optimus Prime” changed into a Peterbilt Model 379, also among the company’s best sellers.
But even NASA has not run away from Peters.
NASA used a fleet of Peters to haul around rocket technology.
Robb Mariana, who hosted the “American Truckers” series said of it:
“As important as space exploration is to NASA, they could not get to their destination, nor return, without the groundwork that these great trucks have done throughout the years.”
Peterbilt is now housed mainly in Denton, Texas, where the first ever completely restored model built in 1939 is on display. There were only 15 made that year.
The only known Peterbilt that is older than this truck is owned by the Fremont (Calif.) Fire Department. But it was not manufactured as a complete truck, according to Peterbilt.
Since its restoration, the truck was displayed at the Mid-America Trucking Show. Attendees took pictures with the vehicle. They also had the photos uploaded to Peterbilt’s Facebook page.
You don’t find a lot of them for sale. And prices vary greatly. But one 350 model was advertised recently at a price of $10,000.
It featured Commins Power, 5X3 trans, tandem axle, and new 11 X 24.5 radial tires on new aluminum wheels. And it was said to be in “excellent original condition…runs and drives.”
That price may be misleading and some models may go for far more. But those who want to have one around at less cost can buy glossy photos of 1950s “Peters” and truck brochures that are more in the $10-20 range over the Internet.
By David Wilkening
Gallery of Peterbilts:
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We’ve been noticing Kingsley, which are always an eye-catching unit, and they’ve been building them for years now, but they still have the same appeal! This one recently came up for sale, so to give an idea of what the market is for them these days, we’re sharing it:
This one is a year 2000 Kingsley Coach RV unit, a 36′ 2-slide twin screw, which recently went up with an asking price of under $90k. As all Kingsley units, it’s a one-of-a-kind.
From the seller: “Awesome!!! One of a kind!!! Custom unit!!! Built on 1995 freightliner chassis with cat motor and automatic transmission. The truck has 672k miles, but rv itself – just about 80k miles. Onan diesel generator, new batteries, propane water heating system, 2 new air conditioners, 100 gallon of fresh water, weather pro patio awning, backup camera…
“This beautiful coach has a great open floor plan with 3 separate sleeping areas that can sleep up to 6 people, including large sofa, dinette and queen bed in the bedroom. Leather seating areas, tile floor, corian counter tops, walk through bathroom, fully equipped kitchen with huge fridge, convection microwave, gas stove, oven, wine and beverage cooler, ton of cabinets, 2 tvs, sat system… plus much more!!!
“We can change the step configuration and add a second sleeping sofa to this coach for $2000. Nationwide delivery. For more info on this truck, you can email info@racingrvs.Com in Ohio.
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Are you wanting a fun reliable car with an impressive pedigree for under 30k? A vehicle by Fiat that recently returned to our shores, fun top down cruiser or even daily commuter. All of this is available in the 2017 Fiat Spider 124 that borrows from the Mazda Miata parts bin.
In it’s prior life in the U.S. market it was the classic two-seater roadster from 1966-1978, by the same name. However it did live on beyond that with a name change to Spider 2000. The vehicle is assembled in Japan, by Mazda, however does have the classic Italian design by Pininfarina. It is five inches longer and roughly 100 pounds heavier than the Mazda counterpart. The power plant is a 1.4 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, manufactured in Italy and shipped complete to Japan for installation.
This engine produces 160 horsepower at 5500 rpm and choose the Abarth version for four more horses.
A six-speed stick is standard, which functions as great as found in the Miata. For those not wanting to shift a six-speed automatic transmission can be had for $1350 option. Fiat states a zero-to- 60-mph time of 6.8 seconds.
The Fiat features an acoustic windshield, greater padding in top, and sound deadening material under the carpet and along the firewall with the intention of lowering noise levels once the top is raised.
This in part represents the weight gain over the Mazda and yes is louder than riding in a family sedan, if you had to compare. If you want louder exhaust notes, you may opt for the Record Monza Dual Mode Performance exhaust; dealer installed.
This little Fiat is available in three trim levels; Classica, Lusso and Abarth. Fabric seats come in the Classica, with leather or faux-seats available for Lusso and Abarth. Passenger side leg room can be described as tight, if you are a six footer or greater.
This may not be the ideal “grocery getter” for some with families for the obvious, but seems to very much tick a lot of the must haves on many peoples list. It is priced very competitively, has some very nice packages or options and so far owner reviews indicate they simply love it!
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Want to tow a light RV behind your SUV or other small vehicle?
RV trailers offer space to people who want to hook up something to their truck and go out for the weekend, or longer trips, but what about if you have a smaller vehicle, an midsize SUV or maybe even a car?
“We’ve been imagining a small, well-thought-out fiberglass travel trailer for quite some time and are very confident about its potential,” according to Airstream President Bob Wheeler. “Nest is a product that conveys sophistication, simplicity, and upscale modernity, so it made sense for us to partner and help bring this design to market.”
It’s a highly compact 16.5-foot fiberglass travel trailer created by designer and fiberglass expert Robert Johans is a perfect fit within the Airstream line — legendary durability, fine attention to detail, timeless design, and innovative features.
This small RV travel trailer has LED lighting, stainless steel appliances and a queen-size bed, as well as brightly lit interior spaces.
These RV trailers will be coming Summer 2017, and is being touted by the company as the highly compact fiberglass travel trailer and a perfect fit within the Airstream line, “continuing our reputation for legendary durability, fine attention to detail, timeless design, and innovative features.”
For more from RVT, find them indexed in our vehicles, trucking and RVing directory. You can search for the company’s name and look for suppliers and dealers in an area near you by looking at our regional headers. And to see more RVs, click here
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Pure 70’s. And the interior looks like you’re stepping into a 70’s house as well! This cabover Ford from the past is definitely worth taking a look at. Not least of all because it went up for sale.
I’ve heard that those old Fords, maybe more common in the 70’s than now, 40 years later, were reliable back in the day, and that local carriers used them to for regional freight.
This one went up for sale, and it’s Mike Gunney Faram’s rig, or at least he’s representing the seller. Contact link if anyone’s interested in buying it at the bottom of this article about his cool 70’s style semi. Here’s what Faram wrote about the truck:
“I am representing Gas Monkey Garage time capsule Barn Finds.
“1970 and 1974 COE Fords with matching House Trailer untouched since 1980….Both Run and drive almost perfect condition. Both equipped with 5 Speed twin box eaton Transmissions.
“Asking price $55,000.00 ea. Both need Fluids and possible brakes replaced or serviced. Been stored INDOORS since new.
“Both Trailers equipped with large Generators which have not been started in a while.
“The 74 has boat in bottom storage compartment with motor included with sale. Request pictures of Boat can be sent. Comes with a promotional Brochure when built .
“Serious Inquiries Only Located at #gasmonkeygarage in DALLAS TX email for viewing or appointment email@example.com”
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