Channel 19

Todd Dills

Mystery Machine: The Peterbilt ‘369’ of Ronald Millsaps

| July 09, 2013

1He’s not sure if he was the first one to do it or just one in a line of similar rigs, but he knows at least that he’s never seen one like it personally and that, when he talked to the folks at 4 State Trucks about what he was looking to do back three years ago now, they told him they’d had similar requests from a host of owner-operators over the years — and he was the only one who’d followed through on the idea.

I’m talking about the “Mystery Machine” here pictured, a 2002 Peterbilt 379 that Statesville, N.C.-based owner Ronald Millsaps modified up front to look like a 359 — hence the altered “369” model number Millsaps and his wife, Rose, bestowed upon the bull-hauling tractor with a front-bumper plate that reads “Mystery Machine 369.”

Ronald Millsaps Peterbilt '369' hood bracingFind visuals of the modifications he’s done to the Peterbilt’s front end to accommodate the 359-style breathers and more in the gallery below. One crucial element of the design that he initially overlooked — the connecting piece running down the center top of the hood, which he left virtually unmodified at first. A driver on the CB pointed out the inconsistency after telling Millsaps his truck looked like a sort of “fat 359” when he saw it initially, but the skinny bracing piece on the hood gave it away as a 379.

Today, the piece is wider, as it was on the 359s, he says.

Millsaps runs as an independent, loaded both ways hauling livestock out toward Kansas from a site in Gaffney, S.C., then back to a different Gaffney facility “within seven miles,” he says, of his outbound load site.

  • Mike Smith

    I notice when Overdrive writes about this kinda stuff they just show a picture of the trucks meaningless stuff like the owners name and family. Its about time you really do something. Spend time on more important things like are they Owner Operators, do they have there own Authority, the cost to fix these trucks up, in detail. Who did the work, IE. Mexicans, or who? Who cleans these trucks, the owner or does he take it to have it cleaned. I talked with a guy with a 379 Pete. I asked hime if he cleaned and polished that giant truck with all that chrome. He said, “No. I take it in for polishing”. I then asked him how much it costs, He said, “$300.00”. Then I had to ask how many times a year he does it and he said, “once every 6 mos.” All questions I had to ask because he wasn’t really very forth coming. What’s there fuel mileage. The above kind of questions are what you should be asking and posting. If you don’t do the important investigation on your stories I’m gone stop reading your stories because it’s nothing but STUFF really.

  • Zach Hoefs

    i notice you complaining on every article that Overdrive isn’t spoon-feeding you every bit of information you would need.
    do your own research. it won’t be the same for everyone, so why would Overdrive waste space and time on figuring all that out? because if they did figure it out and it didn’t match the price you get quoted somewhere, you would surely be back on here whining that they lied.

  • martymarsh

    Where would you go Mike, we may not like each others comments but we are one big happy family. But here is the answer to all of your questions, it is not cheap.

  • William McKelvie

    Simmer down, if it is who I think it is, the paint was done by a local NC shop. And no, I will not name them because I would not recommend them. I would however recommend Four States, Joplin, and Pickett who I think is in NM now. They both produce SWEET products. Now if you are an east coast fella, go see the men at Elizabeth Truck Center, in NJ. And if you cannot pick out of those three, well then I cannot help you. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.