WWW.TIMSTRUCKS.COM                                                                                            08/29/2009 08:19 AM

Peterbilt Conventionals



1972 through 1987

For photos of actual Peterbilt Conventionals click Here


Old Number One

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Old Number One.  The real truck is the first unit built at the Denton, Texas Peterbilt plant in 1980.  The truck was eventually sold to a Houston area company and then bought back by Peterbilt and restored for the the plants 20th anniversary.  The truck now resides inside the plant in the welcome area beside the 1939 first-year Peterbilt 334. no1sfront.jpg (178131 bytes) no1sfromabove.jpg (118430 bytes) no1grille.jpg (39973 bytes)
I built my version of Old Number One starting with the AMT Peterbilt 359 wrecker kit.  I used the fenders out of a Revell USA snap 359 kit.  These fenders have the proper shape, length, rolled fender lip and front bracket that the AMT fenders are lacking.  Note that I shaved off the rear step and relocated it further up the fender skin.  All the model companies missed this and molded the step at the bottom of the fender.  

The Revell USA kit also was sourced for the air cleaner tank, air horn and instrument panel.  The Revell of Germany 359 provided the interior door panels. The quarter fenders and exhaust came from an Italeri 377 kit.  

Paint is Duplicolor Bright White clear coat over Duplicolor primer and BIN sealer primter.  The frame is Duplicolor black.  Wheels and tires came from Kit Form Services.

Body modifications include removing the mold seams on the back of the cab, top corners of the hood and reworking the panel seam for the roof cap.  AMT has the seam and rivets in the wrong location.  I also sanded flat the grille/crown sides and scribed in the panel seam.  The grille/crown, fuel tanks and battery boxes are covered with Bare Metal Foil.

I built two of this truck, which was enjoyable knowing that both had to be matching.  



10/19/07 Update:  I am extremely proud that there is a series of my model photographs on display at Peterbilt Motors.   The photo below shows one of the featured photos on a large monitor in the Welcome Center.

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1980 Peterbilt 359 - Old Number One 

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Thanks to George Maffey for the inspiration and information to build the "before" version.

Old Number One as it might have looked when in service for Earle M.Jorgensen hauling steel.  I built this version from the AMT 359 with a few parts from the Revell snap 359 including the dash, air cleaner, front wheels and tires and rear tires from Revell of Germany.  The EMJ doors signs were hand drawn and printed on Bare Metal Foil decal paper.  

I weathered everything with chalk and acrylic paints including the carpet, engine, drivetrain and frame.


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I couldn't get the hood stripes too look right so I left them straight.

I don't like how the fuel tanks turned out.  BMF with Dullcote didn't give the effect I wanted.  I should have painted them silver.


Richard Crane Truck Show 2007

Every year since 2000 I've had a display of my models at the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show in Saint Ignace, Michigan.Here is my display from this year.      

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1986 359-127 with stand up sleeper 


This represents an as-nearly-new '86 359 with a 1st generation stand-up sleeper.  The tall sleeper was available on 359 the year before 379 debuted.  The 359 version of the sleeper had doors on both sides standard, did not have t the large Unibilt walk through or air ride cab/sleeper.

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I combined a Revell of Germany Peterbilt 359 kit with an Italeri Peterbilt 377.

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The sleeper, wheels, tires and fuel tanks are 1/24th scale. The sleeper was modified for the RH door and the walls were shaved to remove a little bit of height so that the roof cap seam lined up with the cab roof.

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I stretched the Revell frame rails for the longer resin-cast hood and an additional 25 inches was added to the overall wheelbase.

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The Revell chrome trees are getting a bit tired, plenty of excess flash and thick sprue attach-points.  I sanded the fronts of the horns to remove the nasty mold seam, then covered the snowcaps with Bare Metal Foil. 

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Here's the basic truck after painting with Duplicolor Light Blue Metallic and clear coated.

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The Warren Transport Inc., door signs are from the USA decal sheet from Kit Form Services.

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I used the Peterbilt rims from the Italeri kit along with the 'modern' cab roof lights and square turn signals for a true mid '80s look.

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I suspect this will be the last truck I finish for 2006.


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Bare Metal Foil applied to the fuel tank straps, undercab light bars, door handles, door jambs and sleeper vents.



This is my second build of the Revell (USA) snap together Peterbilt 359.  I built this one basically box stock, only reworking the overhang of the frame aft of the wheels.  I used Bare Metal Foil to detail the wipers, door handles, sleeper vents and other small items.

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This builds a nice version of the Peterbilt 359.  A 1982-87 version.  There are a couple of quirks to the kit, namely the tires.  I spread a thin bead of glue around the inner lip of the tires so that they would seat on the rim properly.    Finished June 22, 2006.

Snap Two II - Revell 359


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While stuck at home unable to do anything after throwing my back out, I HAD to build something, something that wouldn't take a lot of work or reaching,or bending or moving.

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The visor is from an AMT Peterbilt 359 kit, as is the rearwall of the cad and the mirrors.

The PacLease decal is from the USA decal sheet from Kit Form Services.

This started as the Revell 1/25th scale snap kit.  I had already removed the sleeper for another project, along with other parts, so this kit was just asking for something different.

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I sprayed Duplicolor Bumper Chrome on most all the chrome parts then rubbed the finish to a slight dull luster for an aged aluminum look.

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I shortened the wheelbase, swapped in some AMT fuel tanks, RNK wheels and tires, an RNK cab guard, and scratchbuilt the rear fenders.

Other parts were scavenged from the parts box.


The inspiration came from a photo seen in the Chris Sissick Collection at www.hankstruckpictures.com  Hank's site is always great for finding reference and modeling inspiration.

353 Tractor

or Snap III

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This is the kit that I kitbashed the fenders, air cleaner and air horn from for Old Number One.   I really like this little kit dispite the terrible fit of the tires which meant I couldn't let the rest of the kit go to waste so I decided to build it as a butterfly hood 353 tractor using various resin bits and pieces.

The hood is the kit hood reworked as a 353 butterfly style.  I sanded off the top of hood fluted ribs and side panel seam raised rib.  I scribed in the panel seam, added a piano hinge to the top, cut a new air cleaner panel and scratchbuilt a new bumper.

The fenders are resin items from Spaulding Trading and Shipping.  The front tires and wheels are resin from Dave Natale at AITM, the rear tires/wheels are resin from the parts box.  Note the AMT air cleaner and air horns.  The winch is from the AMT Peterbilt wrecker kit.  The rear fenders are made from Plaskit diamond tread material.  The curved tip of the exhaust is the lower elbow of the LH side exhaust.  


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Tomato Red

I wanted to build a 359 set back front axle with a sleeper.  I haven't seen any and was searching for one when Eric Macha sent me a photo of a 359 SBFA with a sleeper that he saw in Florida.  Perfect inspiration.  Mine sits on an AMT Peterbilt 359 chassis, I modified the front springs for the set back axle, then added a resin SBFA hood and sleeper from Spaulding Trading and Shipping.  I swapped in parts from a Revell of Germany Peterbilt 359 (dash of class, muffler, varashield, fuel tanks and headlamps).

359SBFA_withbunk_ericMacha2.jpg (32829 bytes) The inspiration photo (Eric Macha)

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Body color is Duplicolor Victory Red. Bare Metal Foil was used on the grille, bumper, fuel tanks and battery boxes.  Finished June 20, 2006.

Short Hood Single Axle

This is one of those builds that had no plan, no real truck for inspiration.  I had build the long hood and painted it as an experiment in using BIN primer/sealer on AMT plastic to test if the hot paint would craze/etch the plastic.  The BIN primer did the trick.   This was in the fall of '05.  I've had this slick paint job just sitting here, so I decided to build it as a restored 289. Finished June 14, 2006

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I used an AMT Peterbilt 359, cut the frame down, added a peep window to the passenger door, scratchbuilt the extended long hood from 2 AMT kit hoods. Colors are Duplicolor Metallic Red and Bright White.  Pin stripes are decal stripes from Microscale.

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Peterbilt 353 tridrive crane

My original plan for this was to build a 353 tractor, a plain and simple conversion of the AMT Peterbilt 359 into a 353 using resin fenders from www.stsmodeltrucks.com.  That didn't happen.  I reworked the hood, grille, lengthened the chassis, added an axle for a tri-drive, went with an axle-forward 353, scratch built the push bumper and added a crane from and Italeri accessories kit.  2/06

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The pushbumper was made from thick plastic sprue heated and bent to shape.

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I added a winch from an AMT Pete wrecker kit.

Peterbilt 359-127"

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Peterbilt 359-127.  AMT's Pete kit with a resin hood from Spaulding Trading and Shipping, Clint Freeman Components Vortox air cleaners.  I modified the fenders for a more correct look so they reach the bumper, not sit 1/4 inch off the bumper.

Here's the same model the 1st time I built it.  timt501.jpg (23403 bytes) I didn't like how it turned out, and rebuilt it to the 1st photo.


Peterbilt Wrecker

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Peterbilt 359 wrecker.  Using the AMT/Ertl Pete wrecker, I added chromed parts from ChrometechUSA, modified the grille for a "grille densor" option (no rooftop A/C needed).  I narrowed the wrecker body by 1/4 inch so that the body didn't overhang the rear tires as much.  Paul Kittle made the "Winslow" stripes for me, and the Peterbilt of Wisconsin logos I made on the computer, on Bare Metal Foil decal paper.  Engs Peterbilt (now Rush) had a Peterbilt 359 with the "Bakersfield body" South Union Body Works towbody.  Mine is similar, but not the same.  The Engs' truck has a longer wheelbase and fatter boom than the AMT wrecker body.  Mine also has different stripes on the body.  I'll build the Engs' version eventually

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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My 1975 Peterbilt 359 conventional sporting the "Winslow" stripes.  The kit is the AMT 359 with modifications for the cab roof seams, lengthened the fenders to eliminate the "buck toothed gap" the kit has, hood (removed mold seams), reshaped the sleeper rooftop, added a roof vent, added a small filler panel at the top of the door with a grab handle above the door, Revell 359 fender flaps, Bare Metal Foil chrome on the battery box and other small chrome pieces.  Aluminum tubing for the tall stacks.  The stripes are decals made by JBOT (www.jbot.ca). 

1975 359 SBFA tractor

359sbfa_firstweatheringproject.jpg (33347 bytes) My first attempt at a 359 Setback axle, and my first weathered project.  This was built from a poorly built model I purchased off eBay in late 1999.

Detailing AMT Peterbilt dashes

2petedashesforcomparison.jpg (18617 bytes) detailadded.jpg (19675 bytes) These dash panels from Peterbilt 359 kits(T500 and T501-reissue) were featured in Model Cars Magazine in 2003.  The dash on the right was detailed with Bare Metal Foil for the instrument bezels.  I carefully cut each dial and gauge.

Peterbilt short hood dumper

1974 Peterbilt 359-113" short hood dump truck with fiberglass hood

359red_blackdumper.jpg (26488 bytes) 359red_blackdumperrear.jpg (26155 bytes) 359red_blackdumperfront.jpg (37136 bytes)This is how the yellow Pete started when I built it in the fall of '99

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I never really liked how it turned out.  A dip in Castrol SuperClean for the dump body, a new AMT cab and hood modified for the short fiberglass hood, a charged air-air cleaner on the left, right hand oil filter and steering resevoir, Auslow 2 hole wheels, wide floats up front, JBOT Peterbilt nameplates on the hood, MAG Decals door signs, Jaymar mudflap logos,  Bare Metal Foil on the grille, door jambs, window posts, opened up the passenger peep window, and reduced the backwindow size to the older pre-75 size.   I covered everything in dirt for a dull aged look.  The short curved exaust tips are the bottoms of a spare set of the AMT 359's exhaust pipes turned upside down and the mounting flange cut off. The single headlights are MTFA metal lamp housings on the AMT kit headlight bracket.  I shortened the bracket's width so that the headlight is closer to the radiator surround.

Peterbilt 359-113" SBFA

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 James House trucking ran Pete's like this out of Essexville, Michigan.  Tim Gibson has photos of the real trucks in his collection on Hank Suderman's www.hankstruckpictures.com . The truck is a mid 70's Peterbilt 359-113" SBFA.  

  timjameshouse_25_wreckright.jpg (84863 bytes) Here's James House unit #25 in the weeds.  Note the air cleaner tank straps, the inside of the instrument panel.



Peterbilt 359 setback axle 359

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Peterbilt 359 Set-Back Front axle heavy tractor.  The hood is a resin conversion from Griffen Designs, based on the master pattern I made.  Wheels and tires are resin from RNK Conversions. I modified the cab for the "Severe Service" windshield mask.  Bumper and grille are Bare Metal Foiled. The third photo is after I added taller stacks, moved the front axle forward to center it in the fender opening, and refoil the bumper.(10/21/04)

1974 Peterbilt 346


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1974 Peterbilt 346.  I built this truck based on the real truck still in operation in Traverse City, Michigan.  The real truck was still owned by the original owner.  Only 10 346's were built from 1972-75.  Mine uses a Paystar kit's chassis, AMT Pete cab, Griffen Design's 346 hood/fenders, modified International engine to look like a Cummins V555.  Scratchbuilt flat deck, modified Italeri crane.  RNK Conversions wheels and tires.  MTFAco handles, hood latches and lights

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The truck is weathered and faded to look like the real truck.  Company names on the doors are decals made from the real truck, photo-reduced, and printed on Bare Metal Foil decal paper.

Peterbilt 346 and 348


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Peterbilt 346 Mixer.  This 346 is fictional, and features more polish and doo-dads.  Griffen Designs hood, RNK Conversions wheels and tires.  A Paystar Mixer was the donor kit.


Tim348dumper.jpg (61122 bytes) tim349front.jpg (29578 bytes)   Matching the 346 is my Peterbilt 348 dumper.  I modified an AMT Pete 359 hood for the sloped fiberglass 348.  Wheels and tires are from RNK.

'75 Peterbilt 359 

Back in July of 1975 I spotted this new 359 at the Peterbilt headquarters in Newark, California.  I snapped a couple of pics, but this is the only photo that remains.  The truck has always intrigued me.  Long wheelbase, lift axle, single stack, steel wheels, large fuel tanks, straight-cut end of frame, no visor, twin horns, big bumper, painted headlights, no extra chrome.   

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 Here's my version of the cab painted.  I modified the AMT kit's fenders to the right length, reworked the cab roof seam to the right location, added Revell 359 fender flaps, reworked the sleeper roofcap to be a bit more rounded (not enough), and added the small filler panel above the sleeper door. (10/04) (finished photo 8/30/2005)

Here's the finished truck.  I lengthened the AMT 359 frame by 5 inches.  Swapped in the walking beam suspension from a GMC Astro kit, added Revell 359 fuel tanks, RNK Conversions wheels and tires, 5th wheel from the Revell 359.  

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The mudflap hangers are from the Monogram Snap Peterbilt 359.

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Since this model is of a brand-spanking new 359, I didn't weather the tires or drivetrain.  I made the Peterbilt "quality check" for the windshield, just as the new trucks had then.  

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Other modifications include new wipers made from thin strips of plastic (the kit wipers are too klunky).  I lengthened the air horns to match the longer ones on the real truck. I cut the kit horns just behind the bell, then added almost an inch using Plastruct tubing that matched the diameter of the horn, assembled the parts and covered with Bare Metal Foil.  I added the front-of-fender steps that the AMT kit is missing, mine are made from small scraps of plastic, using the Revell 359 fenders as a template. I also added the missing rolled edge/lip of the fender using thin Evergreen round rod. I am really pleased at how this truck turned out.  The 3 coats of clear coat really make the red pop!  3/21/2005

Peterbilt 353 mixer

Tim353mixer.jpg (60521 bytes) tim353mixerrear.jpg (23273 bytes) Peterbilt 353 mixer.  This started as several glue-bomb kits I bought of ebay. There's an AMT 359, Revell 359, Italeri 377, Mack Rex Mixer and several other kits mixed in on this one. Resin wheels from both RNK Conversions and Spaulding Trading and Shipping.  Tool cabinets from RNK.  I took this truck to a model show in Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan in 2000 and won best of show with it!  At the time of the contest it wasn't finished..  it still isn't today!  (The muffler isn't connected to the manifold).

Peterbilt 351 Setback axle heavy tractor

Tim351flatfender.jpg (61479 bytes)1974 Peterbilt 351.  Tim351train.jpg (42839 bytes)  Tim351partsclose.jpg (58860 bytes)A rare combination of the 1100-series cab and older 351 set-back axle flat fender.  I used a Griffen Designs 351 hood, scratchbuilt the fenders and radiator surround.  Rear tires are from a Paystar kit. Stacks are from an Italeri Pete.  There's an old Peterbilt factory spec sheet that shows this truck, minus all the extra chrome and polish.  In the 3rd photo, you can see several unique features I've added.  The AM/FM antenna is brass wire.  The spotlight has a through-the-cab handle, the Luberfiner and power steering reservoir are plumbed to the chassis, the wiper is made from Evergreen strips.  

Matched Set 1975 359 and 352

The Matched Set!  


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 beige359atnewark.jpg (41276 bytes) 359grille_readyrow.jpg (40149 bytes) 1975 Peterbilt 359 wearing blue, black and red "Winslow" stripes from JBOT.  The last pic on the right is the real truck that inspired the model.  I shot the photo in '75 behind the Peterbilt factory.  Resin wheels from Clint Freeman.  Lengthened chassis, Italeri stacks and mufflers, modified fenders to be the correct length, shortened fuel tanks, Griffen Designs air cleaner cap, Revell cab roof lights.  Overall more than 70 changes to the AMT kit.    See the Peterbilt Cabover models page for the matching COE and info.timtan359leftside.jpg (53705 bytes) tan359atparts.jpg (29171 bytes) 


Peterbilt 359-127"

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1976 Peterbilt 359-127.  Scratchbuilt long hood, lengthened wheelbase, plumbed and wired airlines for the suspension and brakes.  The sleeper was modified to correct where AMT goofed (small panel above door, with handle).  The fenders are Revell 359 fenders (they look better).  The grille was modified for the "Grille densor" option (no need for a rooftop A/C).  Inside the windows are "for sale" signs, listing the features and options of the truck.  I got the idea from seeing a Pete parked on a lawn for sale.

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1985 Peterbilt 349

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1975 359 

tim359_75bw.jpg (30617 bytes) I built this when I was 13.  I tried to update the older Peterbilt 359 with a new rounded door cab.. I used an AMT Kenworth cab, and widened the 359's hood.. not quite accurate.  Colors are black, orange and green.  The headache rack was made from brass. (built in the spring of 1975)

1972 Peterbilt 1100 cab

Back in 1972 Peterbilt displayed the 1100 cab in brochures as just a shell with the then-new features highlighted in red.  I took a damaged AMT cab and made my own version.  A nice evening project!

realcabphoto.jpg (37718 bytes) The real cab   cab_a.jpg (28743 bytes) My version

cab_AMTstockcab.jpg (26684 bytes) Comparing the stock AMT kit cab.( 3/27/05)

Click Here for more pics and an explanation of what I did to the kit cab The 1100 Cab

My reflection in a 1/25th scale spotlight.

Go to Peterbilt Conventionals Late 80s and 90s

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