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Peterbilt Cabovers

1950 until 1981


1970 Peterbilt 352 glider kit


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Stan Holtzman snapped a photo of a real Peterbilt glider kit at the old Newark factory in early 1970. The photo inspired me to build my own version of the truck.  I used only junk and spare parts.  No fresh-kit parts were used.   The color is Duplicolor red oxide primer with some brown spray on.  This is build #6 for 2007.  Completed 2/5/2005.



Inspired by the 1973 Peterbilt "Pacemaker" brochure, I built this from an AMT T502 Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker kit.                 

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The interior is dark brown. The highlight the detail I drybrushed silver over the surfaces.

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My version of the Pacemaker 

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The brochure truck had the suspension and axles painted orange and yellow.  

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352 and 359 in the same color scheme.  The 359 uses modified kit decal stripes and features a long hood from Spaulding Trading and shipping and Vortox breathers from Clint Freeman.

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I swapped in a Cummins 350 from a reissue Ertl/AMT 359, along with the air conditioner.  The mufflers are from an junker T500 359.

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This is #5 for 2007.  I started it in January of 2006 along with an T500 Peterbilt 359 for a Trucker's Corner column talking about Tamiya masking tape.

NO bleed under on this cab.  Too bad my stripes aren't straight.



1970 Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker 12v71


I got the inspiration to build this early Pacemaker from a black and white photo in the January 1970 issue of Overdrive Magazine.  The photo showed a 352 with a 12v71 Detroit Diesel, twin behind-the-cab air cleaners, a large air-reserve tank for an air starter, large fuel tanks and an odd stripe job (stripe ended at the doors).

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I built this from spare and junked parts from my Peterbilt COE parts box.  

I wasn't sure of the color, so I went with all red.

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I took an AMT 352 cab, plugged the breather hole in the roof, opened up the backwindows, took 2 junker 8v71's and built a 12v71 (not quite accurate), added an auxilliary transmission, a 5th wheel from an Italeri kit, the air starter tank is a fuel tank from a junked White-Western Star.  The fuel tanks are PVC.  Grab handles are bent metal wire.  The Peterbilt oval nameplates are from JBOT decals.  Since the real truck had a spare tire and a transmission sitting on the deck plating, I thought I'd add those too.  Tires and wheels are resin from RNK Conversions.com.   I felt that this truck would be a work-truck, so I painted the single air horn, cut the bumper to a straight unit and painted it also.  The color is Krylon International Harvester Red.  FYI:  The cab originally was on a hand-painted built-up that I obtained, the paint stripped off easily, the only flaw on the cab was a big glue distortion across the roof where the visor was mounted.  ( 8/18/2005)  This appeared in the December 2007 Trucker'sCorner column in Model Cars magazine.


Wastebed - The Testbed from 1973

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My birthday present for my 14th birthday was a trip out to California to tour the Newark headquarters of Peterbilt.  While there I spied this wide-grille COE.  It really intrigued me, I was convinced it was the latest design, but was told it was "old" and that I really should take any additional photos of it.  I had this ONE photo of it all these years.  Then in early 2000 I decided to try to track down the story on the truck.  I made numerous phone calls and eventually found the story, the truck was a test bed (test platform) for all sorts of new features relating to higher horsepower, cooling, quiet engine fans, interior styling and other features.  According to the engineers who worked on the project, the truck was built in 1973, had a Cummins KTA engine, a 36" fan, 1800 square inch radiator, and was doomed.  The US Gov't changed the regulations regarding noise (db) limits while the truck was being developed and the truck didn't meet the new rigid standards.  Right in the middle of this the Oil Crisis began, and the US Economy began to suffer.  This put an end to the funds to continue to develop the new COE, and it was dubbed "Wastebed" instead of a testbed.   When I snapped the photo in July of 1975 the truck had sat for quite some time, the sound deadening material around the exhaust system was making the truck look really ratty.   


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This photo shows Wastebed in her glory. (photo courtesy of Don Mullens)

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This photo shows Wastebed in late July 1975 being dismantled. 

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Here's a 1/10th scale model of Wastebed built by Dale Root.  For the tires of the model he used Michelin ash-tray tires, cut down to fit the scale of his model.  

Unfortunately, Dale's model, like Wastebed herself were scrapped, but the tires and wheels were used in later Peterbilt scale models.  The wheels on Dale's model were later used on the 372 model, and the tires on the 362.

Armed with all the brain-picking tidbits that I've gathered over the last 5 years I had enough info to attempt to build my version of Wastebed.   Using an AMT Peterbilt Pacemaker 352 kit, I added longer fuel tanks from Spaulding Trading and Shipping (using the kit end caps), I stretched the frame, swapped in a Cummins engine (no, there is no KTA under the cab), Clint Freeman Componants 2 hole wheels, Uniroyal tires from the AMT Kenworth K100, I used panels and parts from 3 Pacemaker cab shells to make the Wastebed cab, which sits 6 inches taller than normal.  The grille was scratchbuilt from Evergreen plastic, the grille pattern carefully drawn and scribed into the plastic, then covered in Bare Metal Foil.  The bumper is the resin H bumper from my Griffen Designs 352H pattern.  

wb_grille.JPG (27828 bytes)  cabshell.jpg (21736 bytes) The real truck had no headliner or interior padding, so I added the braces and basic structure to the inside of the cab.

wbdash.jpg (14088 bytes) This too-dark shot shows my version of the wrap-around dash that the truck had.

The finished truck!  

All the grab handles were made from stainless steel wire bent to shape with small bits of plastic for the base.  

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The above views are a sort of evolution of the COE starting with the UniLite from the 1960's, Wastebed from 1973, Pacemaker from 1970, 352H from 1975, and the 362 from the 80s and 90s and the 372 from 1989.

pacemaker_wb_profiles.jpg (37802 bytes) pacemaker_wastebed_profiles.jpg (41628 bytes) This view highlights some of the differences, including cab height

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Wastebed lives on in 1/25th scale now, and only in the few photos and memories of those who worked on her.  However..  part of the 1/10th scale model still exists..

wb_dr_tires.jpg (32465 bytes) The tires!  They grace my shelves now.

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Building Wastebed was quite enjoyable, sometimes difficult trying to guess at a few things, and I might still find something to wrap the mufflers and stacks in to mimic the sound deadening material just for a photo.  Thanks to those who provided me all the info and tolerated my incessant digging for info on the truck (you know who you are).  (5/18/2005)



1976 Peterbilt 352

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1976 Peterbilt 352.  Modifications to this Pacemaker kit include single exhaust, small bumper, rounded battery box cover, small fuel tank step, painted rear wheels, and "Winslow" stripes made for me by Paul Kittle.


Peterbilt COE Oroweat Drom

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Peterbilt drom tractor.   Oroweat runs big drom tractors on the west coast.  David Faust had a photo of one on Hank Suderman's www.hankstruckpictures.com website.  I scratchbuilt the chassis and drom box.  The Oroweat logo is from a photo, enlarged and printed out.  The logo has faded, and needs to be reprinted, maybe on decal paper next time.  Wheels are resin from Ben Wicker, an RNK tool cabinet is mounted on the left too.


1972 Peterbilt 352

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1972 Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker.  I stretched the frame, recessed the stacks into the cab corners.  Rick Mark made some custom long fuel tanks for me.  RNK Conversions tool cabinets.  I plumbed the air lines for the rear brakes and suspension.  I scratchbuilt the air  conditioner. (Real truck photos copyright to the owner Stan Holtzman)

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1975 Peterbilt 352

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1975 Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker.  This was the first 352 I built when I got back into truck modeling.  I enlarged the fuel tanks, cut down the tank steps, and added squared horns.  The truck is suffering from shelf damage, with parts broken off (note the left stack is leaning).  It needs TLC. The tanker was torn down and rebuilt into my 8 axle Autore Oil Tanker seen on another page. The second and third photos of the 352 is after I redid a few things, painted tanks, new door logos, taller stacks, round horns, antennas and mirror changes, plus backdating a bit to a '73/74 Pacemaker. ( reworked 10/21/04).


'69 Peterbilt 352 COE

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After finishing the yellow 359 below I thought I'd build a matching COE.  I scrounged up a junked AMT Peterbilt Pacemaker 352 cab, chassis and parts. The cab started as a built-up daycab painted purple and orange.  This was not a fresh kit, the only "fresh" parts are marker lights, horns, bumper and wheels, plus any Evergreen plastic and clear parts. I cut off the Pacemaker's lower body skirting panels, grafted in new panels and shaped them like the pre 1969 UniLite cab had.  I cut the door out and modified the interior for both opening door and the UniLite interior (no wrap-around dash), I also added a headliner, sunvisors and CB radio.  I swapped in a Cummins from the KW parts box too.  The gold and black stripe is from JBOT.


1961 Peterbilt "UniLite" 352

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1961 Peterbilt 352.  This is my second attempt at a Uni-Lite cab (Pacemaker came after UniLite).  I reworked the lower panels, headlights and all panel seams.  I weathered the paint for a well used look.



Peterbilt 352 straight truck

Timexplosive352.jpg (64228 bytes) 

 Peterbilt 352.  Stang might be the name on the door, but they never used Pete's as they were a Mack dealer.  This truck was built in december of '99 out of the junk parts box, with only the mirrors being fresh-kit parts.  I decided to "enhance" this model (10/21/2004) and wanted to clean a few things up, then decided the original junk cab was really in bad shape.  When I originally built this from junk parts I no skills on repairing glue damage or body damage, so I junked the cab, and brought in another from the parts box.  My inspiration for the "new" version of this 50" BBC COE came from a photo by Stan Holtzman in the book Semi-Truck Color History

owlidea_stanholtzmanphoto.jpg (29856 bytes) The real truck was a '60's vintage Peterbilt 352.

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I robbed the parts box for the bumper and decals (from a Lowboy kit),  fresh paint and a coating of weathering.


Peterbilt Motors Co. Factory Stake Truck

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Back in '75 when I toured the Peterbilt headquarters in Newark, California, I photographed the factory owned stake truck, a 1970 352 with a stake rack.  The poor thing was a work truck, faded paint, bird poo, dirt and grime.  

352satplant.jpg (36545 bytes) The stake truck is barely visible on the right

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My version of the Stake Truck sits on a 359 kit's chassis.  The cab is the Griffen Designs 352-63" daycab resin conversion that I made the master pattern for (Bobby did the rivet work).  I reworked the cab for the recessed muffler.  Chrome on the bumper, headlights, grille, air cleaner and visor is Bare Metal Foil.

The stake rack is scratchbuilt from strips of Evergreen styrene.  The wheels are Clint Freeman Componants resin 2 hole Budd's with valve stems added (thin Evergreen rod).  I weathered the model to reflect how it looks in the photographs. To quote a Peterbilt employee who worked at the plant in '75 "We gave the old thing no respect back then."


1979 Peterbilt 352 small sleeper COE


1979 Peterbilt 352 73" cab  

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     Originally, I built a similar model back in 1975 while at my grandparents house in California. I had just toured the Peterbilt Headquarters, and had to build one of the unique "California style" cabovers I saw out there. I left the original version of the model in California.  Now, 25+ years later, I wanted to build it again.  This time as a 73" mini-sleeper cab.  This was a nasty-glue-bomb built-up.  I rebuilt the cab, swapped in a Cummins, shortened the fuel tanks, and used steel wire to make new mirror brackets and the antenna.


Peterbilt 350 "bubblenose" COE

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1950's Peterbilt 350 COE.  The Bubble Nose was inspired by Evan Hermel.  Using an Illini Replica Conversions cab, RNK Conversions wheels and tires, a scratchbuilt chassis, and a junked AMT Wilson livestock trailer for the body.



Peterbilt 352-110" Pirkle 

This 1972 Peterbilt 352-110 double sleeper started as 2 glue-bomb built-ups.  I cut both cabs tossing the damaged halves, mating the good halves for the big doublebunk cab.  Same for the chassis.  The only new or fresh parts are the glass, resin air cleaner and headlights (Griffen Designs), and the rear outerwheels. I changed the kit to a single exhaust set up, also made the correct wide low profile air conditioner by mating 2 units from the AMT Pete 359 kit.  A smaller bumper was swapped from an old T500 Pete 359 kit.

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Pirkle logos and lettering were printed on Bare Metal Foil inkjet decal paper.  Mirrors were scratchbuilt.  Large grab handles are from an Italeri 377 kit.  The large Peterbilt nameplate on the front is from JBOT.


Winslow Stripes

The Class of the Industry

In 1975 Peterbilt introduced a series of multistripe paint schemes, most penned by a Peterbilt employee named Winslow.  Dubbed the "Winslow Stripes," I've always loved this paint scheme, but have never been able to reproduce it in paint..  until now. Well, not paint, but decals.  Thanks to Paul Kittle and Jim Botaitis (www.jbot.ca) these stripes are now available in decal form, in many scales and any color combo!


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Here's a JBOT stripe in silver and red on burgundy. Another '75 from behind the factory.

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I snapped this slick looking long wheelbase 352 in Newark, California in '75. Just left the factory.  The 352 really caught my eye.  My version uses an AMT 352 kit and a 359 conventional kit for the chassis.

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I cut the fuel tanks down to small size, modified the battery box cover for the '75 and newer rounded top.  2 air tanks were added under the box.  The deck plating is Plastruct diamond plate with Bare Metal Foil.  I used long grab handles from an Italeri 377 kit.  The rear wheels are resin 2-holes by Ben Wicker from Griffen Designs.  I added valve stems to them also.


Peterbilt 282 COE

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1967 Peterbilt 282 COE.  My first attempt at making a UniLite Cabover.  UniLites were before the Pacemaker.  I recessed the stacks into the cab corners, modified the lower panels.  Thanks to Pete Stowell for the photo of the real truck for the inspiration.


Peterbilt 352H

  green352Hpaint.jpg (25482 bytes) green352Hpaintside.jpg (17376 bytes) InProgress shots of a Peterbilt 352H

The finished 352H.  Loosely based on a 1977 352H owned by George Van Dyke of Oregon seen at westcoast ATHS truck shows.

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352Hfacefoil.jpg (34628 bytes) 352Hfoiledout.jpg (37712 bytes) These two front photos show some of the areas covered in Bare Metal Foil: Bumper, Grille, Visor, Horn snowcaps, radiator fill door, headlights, air cleaner cap and windshield surround trim.

352_352H.jpg (24907 bytes) pacemaker76H.jpg (21333 bytes) pacemakerfacetoface.jpg (23935 bytes) Here's a 352H and a normal Pacemaker cab.The H stands 4 inches taller. Note the taller grille and higher headlights.  The H was designed for larger horsepower engines that needed more under-cab space and larger radiators.  The 352H cab is resin from Griffen Designs and is meant for the reissue AMT Peterbilt Pacemaker 352 kit.  (Note: If you buy this conversion you will have to modify the rear cab mount height, shift tower height, bumper mount and construct front cab hinges) Peterbilt nameplates are from www.jbot.ca (Thanks Jimbo!) The cab guard is from RNK.



1970 Peterbilt Pacemaker 352

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This 1970 Peterbilt Pacemaker 352 started out as an eBay-built-up that I bought in 2000.  It came to me in bare white plastic with a red stripe and black chassis.  Back in early 2000 I painted the white silver, and reassembled the truck.  

MVC-015F.JPG (24386 bytes)   I never was happy with the model as the paint was dull, so sometime in 2003 I stripped it down, then in December of 2004 decided to rebuild to the photos above.  Duplicolor metallic light brown, white stripes with red accents, 1970 front mount air conditioner, single exhaust, painted rear wheels, and several small items were fixed or corrected.



Peterbilt 352-110" double-bunk

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1977-80  Peterbilt 352-110 double sleeper tri-axle tractor.  The cab is a resin conversion from Spaulding Trading and Shipping.  The chassis is an AMT 359 kit.  Cab guard is from CFC or RNK.

rebuilttanker_352.jpg (33155 bytes)


Peterbilt 282 Lightweight


In keeping with the Peterbilt Cabover theme I seem to have going this summer(2004), here's the latest


1977 Peterbilt 282 Lightweight COE.  I was inspired by a 1977 brochure.  (go to The 282 Lightweight page for more pics)

282lightweight.jpg (83200 bytes) Click the brochure!

 282_4.jpg (22505 bytes) Look close inside, you'll see a photo-reduced Peterbilt shop manual and a copy of the Lightweight 282 brochure! white28263.jpg (36707 bytes)


Peterbilt 352-110" doublesleeper

1979 Peterbilt 352-110" double bunk. This started as 2 broken built-ups.

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110_63cabs.jpg (48086 bytes)  I cut the 2 AMT cabs to make the 110" cab, used an old 359 chassis, lengthened the fuel tanks with PVC, reworked a Revell-AG cab guard, made grab handles from metal wire, and used stripes made by Paul Kittle (thanks Paul!).  The Peterbilt nameplates are from JBOT ( www.jbot.ca ).  The company name "Rex Xpress" is a joke name.. on some websites a bad image photo-link shows up as a red X, so this is my truckload of Red X's.  I made the Red Xpress decals using Bare Metal Foil's decal paper. Plenty of Bare Metal Foil chrome was used on this too.

Spauldings Resin cab in dark brown and silver, my Pirkle double bunk and the latest doublebunk.




Matched Set of '75 Peterbilts


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1975 Peterbilt 352 set up for a straight-truck application.  I modified the chassis length, swapped in a Hendrickson spring suspension, cut the cab corners for recessed mufflers, base color is Cummins Beige with JBOT Winslow decal stripes.  This model is based on the 352 seen behind the old Peterbilt plant in California in 1975 (last photo)


The Matched Set!  (See the Peterbilt Conventionals model page for the matching 359)



1959 Peterbilt 352

Timmissdolly352.jpg (67374 bytes) 4axletank_yellow352.jpg (29146 bytes) 4axletankrear.jpg (25958 bytes) 3unilitecoe.jpg (34083 bytes) 

1959 Peterbilt 352.  "Miss Dolly" is the trucks name.  This was originally an ebay auction and the front of the cab had "Miss Dolly" from the original decal sheet on it.  The truck was in a bad way, broken, missing parts.  I reworked the cab from a '70s Pacemaker to an older UniLite, added wheels and tires from a Paystar kit.  Shell Oil Co decals are from Microscale's model train catalog.  I even found an old T502 decal sheet with "Miss Dolly" so the name can continue.


1975 352  built in 1978


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I built this 352 back in 1978 for a display case at Hobby Horse hobby shop at West Towne Mall in Madison, Wisconsin.  The white is spray painted, everything else is brush painted.  This is the ONLY surviving model from my childhood truck collection.

Speaking of my original collection, here are some pics from back then, various makes.

Tim352_builtin1974.jpg (77707 bytes)  Timsonnytruck_1974.jpg (97069 bytes)

The 2 pics above were taken in 1974.  My Peterbilt 352, Sonny Pruitt's Kenworth, and a Peterbilt "fleet dress" 352.  The red and white Pete 352 looks like I did some kitbashing, with the wheels from the Autocar A64B, and I see a second air cleaner cap but don't see a second air cleaner tank (hmmm?).  My Sonny Pruitt truck (like the Pete) was  brush painted with some Testors dark green and I used some sort of paper stripe.  The red on the 2 Pete cabovers was probably spray painted, and the chassis were probably brush painted.  The white stripe on the "fancy" 352 is bare plastic, studying the photo I can see bleed under from the masking tape on the front.  Not bad for a 13 year old!

timsold352.jpg (23867 bytes) 

Here are 2 Pete cabovers I built when I was 14.  The truck in the foreground was entered in the 1st Owner/Operator/AMT model truck contest.  I won 48th out of 50 in the Junior division! Once again, sprayed red, with bare white plastic.  Lots of little modifications to it.  The 352 in the background is an interesting one.. I made that one with a Turbine engine from the GMC Astro kit.  I'm not sure why I chose the red/gold/white paint scheme.

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Three more photos from my teenage building days.  Top pic is a Diamond Reo with Fruehauf flatbed.  Note the added air cleaner and twin stacks. The fleet pic was only part of the fleet parked on my bed..    The yellow Chevy Titan/90 and reefer was my Gateway Transport truck..  funny, they didn't have reefers back then. The red Peterbilt was built when I was 13, note the 12v71 Detroit Diesel and my attempt at a "new" Pete cab (that's a KW cab).  The last pic was a "truck show" diorama I made when I was 13.  Look at the International COE in the foreground, it looks a lot like my 7UP daycab.. I liked the model (and real truck) back then, so I built it 28 years later.(see my International page)

overhead2003.jpg (187164 bytes) petes2_2003.jpg (139407 bytes) 28 years later..

For Peterbilt cabovers 1981-2005   Click Here


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