Patterson Farms' pristine fleet of vintage Peterbilt 379s

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Updated Aug 16, 2023
patterson farms peterbilt 379
The Pattersons and their crew enjoyed each other's company behind a line up of well-preserved Peterbilt 379s at the Gear Jammer truck show in Greenfield, Massachusetts, in July.
Alex Lockie for Overdrive

The 6th Annual Gear Jammer Magazine Truck Show, an emerging fixture in the New England trucking scene, featured a show of force from Sunderland, Massachusetts-based Patterson Farms' fleet of vintage Peterbilt 379s. 

The farm specializes in growing pumpkins and peppers, which it hauls around the region. Other agricultural products like sod get moved in the hand-painted daycabs, too. 

Donnie Patterson, the farm's owner, said he owns a shop and does the work "from soup to nuts."

patterson farms peterbilt 379This 1999 model featured some of the cleaner hand painting work, but still a few nicks and knocks here and there to let you know it works hard.

"We've got a painter, me and my cousins do the engines," said Patterson. "They're all original, and all Caterpillars."  

Patterson had around two dozen of the old 379s at the show, which itself had a strong showing from the antique and otherwise older-truck crowd. But Patterson's stood out. These trucks worked and paid homage to the classic old look, but weren't afraid to show a little patina here and there. 

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Why 379s exclusively?

"There's no other brand with more trucks on the road, and thus parts are available," said Patterson. "Pandemic or no pandemic, if you need a wiper motor, we can get them, because there was a lot of them."

Sourcing the trucks from the West Coast, Patterson found, resulted in an easier task. It's no small achievement to keep any vehicle rust-free in New England, let alone one from the early years of the 379 in the 1980s. 

row of peterbilt semis

Just a hundred or so feet away from the Patterson installation on the show grounds sat Peterbilt's newest model, the 589. As someone who has owned dozens of Petes, Patterson said "it's gonna take us a while to get used to it. I'm thinking I want a 359 before I go to that.

"Change is hard, but it's gonna happen." 

patterson farms peterbilt 379Patterson made no effort to hide the little bit of patina showing on the paint. The cooler below was filled with Coors Light. Smokey & the Bandit reference, or just a good light beer?

[Related: 'Last of the 389s': Jade Transport's 2023 Peterbilt 389X]

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