LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY …Freightliner Trucks is taking two historic trucks on the road in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Freightliner’s incorporation. A fully restored 1942 Freightliner Bubblenose COE and a 1930s-era conventional are highlighting the Freightliner Trucks display at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.
The 1942 Freightliner Bubblenose COE, a truck with an all-aluminum cab, helped revolutionize how highway trucks are built. Lighter than competitors’ trucks by at least one ton, Freightliner’s COEs allowed operators to haul more payload and increase their revenue, making it the industry’s first practical cab-over-engine truck.
The restored Conventional began its working life as a 1937 Fageol and was one of dozens of “no-name” conventional trucks rebuilt and recycled by Consolidated Freightways Inc. in the 1940s when new trucks were not available. The trucks were dubbed “no-name” conventionals because they didn’t carry a manufacturer’s nameplate. The historic conventional was used as a wrecker unit for the Consolidated Freightways fleet into the late 1950s.
“Freightliner’s history is well represented in these two trucks,” said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Freightliner Trucks. “Sixty years down the road, the vision and strong character of those pioneering individuals who gave Freightliner its start remain the cornerstone of our legacy today. From the beginning, Freightliner has been willing to challenge traditional methods to build better trucks, and the craftsmanship evident in these trucks shows how we first accomplished those goals.”
Freightliner got its start in business in the early 1940s when Consolidated Freightways founder Leland James and a group of Western motor carriers launched Freightways Manufacturing Company Inc. The fledgling truck manufacturer built Freightways trucks for the carriers’ group, who wanted lightweight power units for long distance, over-the-road freight hauling.
The first unit with a “Freight-Liner” nameplate was produced in December 1940, with the hyphenated name referring to both the truck and its trailer combination, which the Salt Lake City operation built as a lightweight package. By the summer of 1941 the first trucks with the Freightliner nameplate were built.
In August 1942, Freightways Manufacturing Company Inc. changed its name to Freightliner Corporation, marking the birth of the company that would become North America’s largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer.
Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a DaimlerChrysler company, the world's