Joe Scetto's 1986 Peterbilt 359 has become a part of the family, with his 14 years and 4,100 hours restoring the truck stretching back to the day of his wedding.
"It all started when we got married in 2005," Scetto said. "I was filling in part-time for this company Jackson Transport in Ontario, and we got Peterbilts to be our limousines" for the wedding. "This one was a day cab. We drove it to the church, then I drove my wife and I to the reception in it."
Scetto, who showed the rig at the recent Gear Jammer Magazine truck show in Greenfield, Massachusetts, subsequently bought the classic 359. By 2007, he'd begun a "frame out restoration" of the classic.
But in the intervening years, the newlywed Scettos "built a house and had kids," he said. "There was a lot going on."
"I call it my sister wife," Scetto's wife joked after he finally admitted to having spent more than 4000 hours on the truck. "I've had to share him with it for 14 years. I can't compete."
The rule then, in the Scetto family, is when the truck gets something shiny, so does she.
"Before COVID started we finished it and started working on the trailer, which is a 1984 Great Dane 466, which is period correct for the 1980s, because it's 96 inches wide and not a 102," said Scetto.
That idea of "period-correct 1986 359" extends beneath the surface as well. While Scetto does have new lights inside and out, all the parts are either restored and redone by Scetto or bought out of California from fellow enthusiast Henry Velasquez.
That includes the original 1986 425 V "white head Caterpillar" engine and a six and four double overdrive transmission, which Scetto called his favorite detail from the truck. "When I put in the six and four transmission double overdrive, I had no idea how to drive that transmission," he said. "I went with my mechanic for the first trip, went up to road speed and said, 'I don't know what to do now.'" Here he laughed.
The mechanic: "just pick a gear," and they figured it out from there.
At the end of the long restoration, Scetto decided to simply put personal plates on the truck and only use it as a show truck. He said it has more than 1.5 million miles on it, but only 1,000 or so since the restoration.
Look for him at truck shows as he looks to drive that number up. With a 298-inch wheelbase, he said it "rides nice," and certainly seemed fun for the whole family, including his two daughters, who followed along in a four wheeler as the "period correct" sleepers don't exactly leave room for a family of four.