Mack B-61 – $5,000 – $46,000
Peterbilt 281 – $18,500
A scene in the movie features the truck driving off a cliff. A mechanism was built to shoot the scene driver less, but it failed. The driver had something else to do the next day so he hopped in the truck, drove it to the cliff and jumped out at the last second. While you can’t get an exact replica, the Peterbilt 281 frequently pops up used online. You just need to be quick because they sell fast. We think this is definitely one of the baddest semi trucks on earth!
Quick Fact: As for choosing a Peterbilt in “Duel?” Spielberg liked it because the front resembled a face.
International Harvester – $9,500.00
Here is the third on our classic semi trucks and trailers list. Do you recognize the brand? International Harvester was an American Company comprised of several other companies. In other words, a merger. IN 1902, J.P. Morgan merged Deering Harvester Company with McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and a few other smaller agricultural businesses.
The result was International Harvester. IH was known for agricultural machinery, trucks, construction equipment and other household/commercial products. Trucks were the crown jewel of IH branding. Yet the brand was more recognized for agricultural equipment. Even so, trucks like the one pictured were constant highway fixtures from the early 1960s to mid 80s.
Quick Fact: International Harvester built military tactical vehicles between 1941 and 1961.
Peterbilt 351L Logger – $16,000-$46,000
The Peterbilt 351L logger was one of the most popular classic semi trucks for the company and a perfect addition for your used semi trucks collection. You can often find pictures online in old archive vaults. People knew the truck for one thing… being a consistent workhorse! You could buy one of these in the mid 1950s brand new for about $16,000.
You weren’t considered to be a real trucker unless you could shift the “Brownie” gears with your hands and rive with your knees. In short, the Peterbilt 351L inundated the logging industry as a durable semi. Now they are really popular in the modeling community. Different color variations, custom transmissions, peerless trailers, the only limit is your imagination.
Quick Fact: The 351 series outlasted the Peterbilt 281.
1949 Freightliner – $2,000
Quick Fact: The 1949 Freightliner has a 4 speed main, 3 speed auxiliary with an engine capable of cranking out 262 horsepower. And to think, you thought 1949 was all flappers and art deco.
GMC Cannonball – $6,900
The General Motors Truck Company named the semi truck “GMC cannonball” after stuntman Erwin Baker. In other words, GMC used him in their early marketing campaigns to promote the durability of their vehicles. For instance, in 1927 Erwin drove a two ton GMC tanker full of water from one end of the country to the other.
It was a 3,700 mile road trip beginning in New York City and ending in San Francisco. During the trip he averaged about 27 mph over the five day, 17 hour excursion. So when GMC decided to produce a semi truck representative of the type of durability and performance people thought of, they chose the name “Cannonball.” It was Erwin Baker’s nickname.
Quick Fact: British singer Mark Knop referenced the GMC Cannonball in his song “I Used to Could.”
Kenworth T608 – $145,533
Quick Fact: The aerodynamic stylings features help with the T608’s fuel economy.
Volvo tanker – $21,404-$47,409
People know Volvo tanker trucks for their dependability, fuel efficiency and power. However, Volvo tanker trucks owned by Gulf Oil Company are nothing short of epic. Here is a restored classic themed out with Gulf’s iconic blue and orange color scheme. The orange and blue are a bit updated (not as harsh as the original scheme) , but still hint at nostalgia. However, in the 40s and 50s, residents were very familiar with these trucks. Why? Well, today these trucks refuel gas stations. Back then, they pulled double duty.
They were responsible for both filling gas station tanks and making sure consumers got heating oil for their homes in the winter. In fact, if you live up north this is still quite a common experience, though most of the heating oil is now purchased through co-ops rather then major American corporations.
Quick Fact: People consider the Gulf to be one of the largest American corporation by 1975. In fact, there were number 10 on the Forbes 500 list.
Kenworth 1978 to 1981 – $31,500
The semi truck probably looks very familiar to you. From 1978 to 19 81 it was a household name. That’s right, you were looking at the original Kenworth from the popular BJ and the bear television series. More than 30 years later, this semi still turns heads. Incidentally, the owner of this vehicle did a full restoration on it. However, during the process he found an inscription which read “BJ and the Bear by WS”.
The owner uncovered label underneath a lot of rust at the location of the fifth wheel weld. However, today the BJ is still a faithful hauler. The owner, Paul Craig, routinely drives thousands of miles each week to locations like Miami, FL, Boise, ID, San Antonio, TX and Raleigh, NC. He says fans routinely approach him, shaking his hand and thanking him for his history saving restoration.
Quick Fact: You might not be able to find a replica from the show, but find a Kenworth online and try making one for yourself.
Mack RS 700 – $9,500-$35,000
Quick Fact: Those familiar with Mack trucks will understand the complexity of the R series. Different letters in conjunction with the R stood for different designations like steel frame, aluminum frame, heavy duty, setback front axle, as well as different chassis maintenance configurations.
Check out more rare and classic semi trucks!