The 1972 Peterbilt 359 flagship of Smokin’ S Customs

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Updated Jan 27, 2019

I caught up with Wann, Okla.-based Steve Snelson at the Guilty by Association Truck Show in late September for another look at his beautiful 1972 Peterbilt 359, which had made plenty progress since I first saw it in 2016, particularly inside the cab. I didn’t write anything about it back in 2016, having taken note of it just briefly at that time, but this year, Snelson ran me through the truck’s history in more detail, a good bit of it detailed in the video above, which takes you through a pictorial run around and inside the power unit.

Snelson’s 1972 Peterbilt 359, with years of work put in since he purchased it several years ago from Alfred Burrows, also of Wann. Burrows passed this year in August at age 79, and was well-known in Wann as owner of Burrows Trucking. This Pete was among his first trucks, Snelson says, used to pull dozers and other equipment in a construction business when Burrows first purchased it in 1974 from the initial owner.Snelson’s 1972 Peterbilt 359, with years of work put in since he purchased it several years ago from Alfred Burrows, also of Wann. Burrows passed this year in August at age 79, and was well-known in Wann as owner of Burrows Trucking. This Pete was among his first trucks, Snelson says, used to pull dozers and other equipment in a construction business when Burrows first purchased it in 1974 from the initial owner.

The interior has been largely re-skinned and custom-designed by Snelson since picking up the truck, a good bit of it new to me since I saw the unit in 2016, also at GBATS, where Snelson’s been a regular.

The custom Corvette-style dash Snelson built with a steel base, as is the case for much of his metal custom parts, though cab extenders on the unit were built from aluminum to save hanging weight:The custom Corvette-style dash Snelson built with a steel base, as is the case for much of his metal custom parts, though cab extenders on the unit were built from aluminum to save hanging weight:

Snelson Cab Extenders 72 359 2018 12 13 13 04

This wide interior shot from the driver door gives you the overview. Run through the video at top for more still on a variety of interior features, from mahogany-stained ponderosa pine flooring to new ventilation for the rig’s climate control system.This wide interior shot from the driver door gives you the overview. Run through the video at top for more still on a variety of interior features, from mahogany-stained ponderosa pine flooring to new ventilation for the rig’s climate control system. Among my favorite features on this unit is the custom rear bumper, fabbed meticulously by Snelson and shown here in a “before” view when he’d not yet finished it all out with paint, clear and lights.Among my favorite features on this unit is the custom rear bumper, fabbed meticulously by Snelson and shown here in a “before” view when he’d not yet finished it all out with paint, clear and lights. The results are spectacular, though Snelson’s rig remains a work in progress, he notes, details of which he takes up when he has the time. Less and less of that is available, lately, as his Smokin’ S Customs business attracts more customers partly as a result of his work on this rig. All the same, he’s still “painting out of a barn,” as he quips in the video, on his family’s farm. He may ultimately invest in a more formal shop setup if things continue well.The results are spectacular, though Snelson’s rig remains a work in progress, he notes, details of which he takes up when he has the time. Less and less of that is available, lately, as his Smokin’ S Customs business attracts more customers partly as a result of his work on this rig. All the same, he’s still “painting out of a barn,” as he quips in the video, on his family’s farm. He may ultimately invest in a more formal shop setup if things continue well. More “before” pics clearly illustrating the progress made.More “before” pics clearly illustrating the progress made. With only an apparent 270,000 original miles on the odometer, the truck is powered by the original NTC 350 small cam Cummins engine with a 5+4 transmission, also original, as are what follows: a walking beam suspension and 4:63 rears.With only an apparent 270,000 original miles on the odometer, the truck is powered by the original NTC 350 small cam Cummins engine with a 5+4 transmission, also original, as are what follows: a walking beam suspension and 4:63 rears.
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