Grand old man of the show

1 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 26, 2017

Front and centre on the Freightliner stand at the Brisbane Truck Show is a truck that‘s rarely seen outside of the USA, arguably the rarest Freightliner of them all. Brought to the show in recognition of Freightliner‘s 75th birthday, the 1950 A64-800 Bubblenose #292 was one of 116 built for Consolidated Freightways. But what makes this truck so rare is its wheelbase. Interstate length law changes in the late fifties saw most trucks chopped into 4×2 tractors.

Because #292 had been sold into logging as a rigid, it remained intact. Oftentimes the logging trucks never survived due to the tortuous conditions, being run into the ground and eventually scrapped, but this lucky old fella was simply discarded and left to rot.

The truck was discovered by Freightliner in 1994 in a logging yard in Mt Hood Oregon, not far from its place of manufacture. The restoration commenced in 1998. Cummins were called upon to assist in the engine restoration, as were Eaton to remanufacture the original Fuller main and Brownie auxiliary gearbox. By the end of the project 39 of the R&D staff had pitched in to help.