’70s fever: 1977 KW catches lots of highway attention

| February 26, 2014

Rick Sousa

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Pay and play: ’03 Western Star works in the summer, tours in the winter

Owner-operator Bill Kolias’ 2003 Western Star works hard during the summer, towing throughout New Hampshire. When cool weather arrives, Kolias, his wife and grandson take the truck and camper to Florida for the winter.

Owner-operator Rick Sousa of Portsmouth, R.I., hauls general commodities with his 1977 Kenworth W900A and says the paint job is popular with passers-by. The truck is powered by a Caterpillar motor and a 13-speed transmission. Sousa, who has been an owner-operator for 40 years, says when he pushes the pedal on his rig, “she moves right out.”

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  • Yesteryear Trucker

    I had a 1977 coe KW with a KT cummins. I have always regretted selling it. It was a real truck. I love my old cabovers, (Freightliner or KW. Not fond of the Pete coe with the slanted back bunk, and what can I say about IHC!, not much. Nice truck in the picture though. I sure wish trucking was like it was back then. I am now 58 years old and have been trucking ever since I was 17. What a change! I live in Canada and it is different up here too. Everybody is in a hurry trying to cut the next guys throat. Try being broke down on the road now. You can’t even get truckers to move over let alone stop and help you. There are no real truckers these days. If you resent this comment think of the last time you let a driver ahead of you at the fuel pumps or helped a driver fix a flat tire or helped him tarp his load. I know you don’t have time because you have to be somewhere yesterday! End of conversation.

  • James

    I have to agree with what you say,about no real truckers anymore.My best friend used to drive tanker for Husky/Oil City,and he often said,”Ya know-there’s a lotta guys herding trucks up and down the road,but there’s damned few Truck Drivers anymore.” He never failed to stop to help anyone on the road,and often put himself in relatively hot water for spending time helping a fellow Trucker or assisting a carload of broken down tourists. (By law they said it was a traffic hazard for a tanker to stop alongside the highway,so sometimes he’d pull or push a break-down to the next off ramp where he could work on it safely. That was years ago,when the micro-management of the rule-makers was less oppressive. That kind of behavior would NEVER fly now.)