Overdrive Extra

James Jaillet

Rearview: Peterbilt ads through the years

| April 06, 2016

Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a historical look at the trucking industry through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.

A Peterbilt ad from the back cover of a 1968 edition of Overdrive.

A Peterbilt ad from the back cover of a 1968 edition of Overdrive.

Flip over any issue of Overdrive from the late 1960s to today, and odds are you’ll be face to face with a Peterbilt.

From the long needle-nose models of the ’60s to the cabovers of the ’70s and ’80s, the 20-year reign of the iconic Model 379 and today’s modern aerodynamic tractor stylings, Peterbilt tractors have graced the back cover of Overdrive for nearly 40 years.

It’s a prime advertising position the company still holds today. Peterbilt has used that space to display its flagship model of the era, often a testament to the market trends of the time.

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A constant element of those ads for many years was the company’s famous tagline, “Class.” That marketing emphasis, combined with maintaining such a visible space over much of Overdrive’s 55-year history, has helped solidify Peterbilt as one of the most desirable brands for the owner-operator.

That goal has been long realized, if Overdrive’s Pride & Polish shows are any indication. The vast majority of trucks over the competition’s 25 years have sported the Red Oval trademark.

Here’s a look at Peterbilt’s backcover ads through the decades:

2005

2005

1979

1979

1988

1988

1979

1979

1979

1979

1977

1977

1969

1969

1996

1996

1971

1971

2013

2013

1999

1999

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