Coga Power: Andre Gagnon’s Pete 379 and 1,200-hp Cat

| September 22, 2013

When the thick smoke rolls out the 10-inch stacks of André Gagnon’s black ‘97 Pete and you see the uphill drag racing competitors fade into the distance, there’s little doubt this Quebec-based trucker’s rig is special.

But it’s not until you get up close that you see just how special.

Gagnon bought the truck new and put more than 750,000 miles on it until one day he decided to “retire” it and make it his personal project truck.

The beautiful murals and tractor’s details would do any truck owner proud. The frame-up build sports a cabin chopped four inches and a sleeper cut down six. The fenders are hand-made as are the skirts and mirrors.

Open the suicide doors and your eyes are greeted by a full-on custom interior with deep bucket seats up front, a matching pair in the one-time-sleeper-turned-audiophile retreat, and a sound and video system rivaling the display section of Best Buy. (He has six TV screens in the truck!)

Every wall and both roofs have sound deadening material behind the custom panels, and all the speaker enclosures and wiring was carefully crafted to this Maniwaki resident’s specifications.

His truck runs every bit as good as it looks and sounds, too. The Gagnon family is quite well known in Eastern Canada for their  utra-competitve competition trucks – and the elder Gagnon’s show truck is no exception.

Under the hood is a 1,200-hp Cat 3406E, of which the upgrades are a closely guarded secret other than the ECM allows it to turn 3100 rpm with an Eaton 18-speed backing it up.

“It took us five years to complete this project so far,” says Gagnon, who is a regular at the Rodeo du Camion uphill truck drags.  “Each year we try to bring in a new idea so [the truck] has something a little different.


OWNER: André Cagnon

MODEL: 1997 Peterbilt 379


ENGINE: 1,200-hp Cat 3406E

EXTERIOR MODS: Hand-molded fenders ; cabin chopped 4-in.; sleeper chopped 6-in.; suicide doors; 10-in. stacks with custom exhaust; custom paint/graphics by Ben l’Artiste and Sylvain Charest; custom wheels with 275/80/24.5 tires; front air suspension

INTERIOR MODS: Alpine sound system with Tsunami amps; TVs in each door, headrests and sleeper; Jacques Flansberry custom upholstered seats and interior floor to ceiling; custom hardwood floor

  • Bomer42

    Now thats a truck

  • wayne

    eat my heart out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tyro4

    To Boomer 42 Not really. It’s a rich mans toy.
    nothing to do with a REAL truck.

  • Bill VanEpps

    Nice truck, wonder how much money it earns per mile.

  • wayne leverton


  • winford marshall

    yea it’s kinda like a truck ,for a rich wasteful person !!!

  • Burgersmith

    Well duh he said he retired it to play with. Are you capable of reading your dispatches or do you just drive around aimlessly hoping to get somewhere?

  • Col Patrick G Montgomery

    These are great trucks, but lets see more tow trucks. Without Trucks America stops, when your truck stops its us who come to the rescue, lets see more tow trucks.

  • easy454

    love it hand !!!!

  • easy454

    get over yourself loser !!!

  • Dave Nichols

    nice to see the results of all his hard work. I ask what happens to these trucks when the morons in gubbmint hang all these smog regs on us nationwide??

  • Col Patrick G Montgomery

    What I just made a suggestion , years ago asshole, this publication did a feature for us in towing, in the magazine. I just happen to belong to the same organization whose original President created Overdrive, so showing a few tricked out tow trucks would a be good. So in reply I will show the mirror to you and say , Get over yourself, Asshole!!

  • Harry Rybacki

    would love to see a section on the towing side in every issue. you guy’s are the trucks I hate to see but love to know that your out there. and there are a lot of really nice tow trucks out there. thanks for a job well done and being there when we need you

  • g

    Imagine pulling a hill with that truck..any hill..anywhere..fully loaded and never drop a gear!! Too Cool!!

  • Daniel Kupke

    It’s a nice truck but I think they need to stick more with the real “”working trucks”” thing myself ??

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    Business write-off. If it wasn’t for that, no one would put a nickel into a non-revenue earning CMV.

  • John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt

    Yes please blow the lid off the towing industry and how much money they make. Then everyone will be going out and buying tow trucks and there go the rates. Hahaha!

  • aaron chater

    I would trade in my wife for that sexy machine. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.