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Trucks on Display

 

Below is a sampling of many of the trucks on display in our Trucking Hall of Fame® Exhibit Hall. When you visit, you’ll find more than what is featured here.

1950 Peterbilt


Truck Information:
What you see here is a classic '50s-style truck. It's a 1950 Peterbilt, long conventional hood, got an air cleaner sticking out the side. It's stretched out long. It's got a five- and a three-speed transmission, so it's got 15 speeds. Driving and shifting a truck like this is an art. Once you miss a gear, it's very hard to get back into gear. Drivers were real shift masters and sometimes you put your arm through the steering wheel to shift both levers at once. You planned ahead when you were driving. These early trucks didn't have a very large power band like today's do. You had to run them from about 1600 to 1900 RPMs and stay in that range. If you got down to 1600 you needed to drop a gear. If you got down to 1600 as you were going up a hill, you had better drop two gears. If you had to drop to where you had to shift both of them, you wanted to make sure not to do it on a curve. This is a Western truck; it's long. You would not have had a truck like this in the Midwest or East in the '50s. It's just too long. The cab doesn't really look any different than that 1938, nor does it look any different than that 1968. Or today's Peterbilt. Maybe the angle of windshields has softened a little bit on today's. But the overall exterior cab design has not changed very much to speak of.



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