1955 Kenworth conventional gets back to its roots

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Marty Glomb, vice president of the American Truck Historical Society, showed off his 1955 Kenworth conventional, “Pepe,” at the Great American Trucking Show Pride & Polish last month, picking up a first-place award in the Antique Bobtail 1975 and Older category.

The rig is unique in that it was one of only a couple hundred Kenworths built in 1955 with an all-aluminum body, which made it about 850 pounds lighter than the same trucks built with steel bodies that year. As he explains in the video above, the only steel parts on Glomb’s KW are the front bumper and one crossmember in the frame.

Glomb bought the truck in 1999 and spent about 10 years rebuilding it. He says it was “in horrible condition” when he bought it and had to put a lot of work into it to get it back to near-original condition.

His goal with the truck was to rebuild it to be as original as possible. In order to do that, he says he touched every nut, bolt and rivet on the truck and fabricated the radius panels on the roof and the hood from scratch. The interior features all OEM gauges and the original steering wheel.

Not everything in the truck is as it was when it was manufactured, however. Glomb says he added some creature comforts like air conditioning, power steering and air-ride seats to make driving the truck more comfortable.

Under the hood today is a 400-hp Big Cam with a 5-speed and 4-speed auxiliary transmission with 3:70 rears. It originally had a 180-hp Cummins and a 4-speed with 3-speed auxiliary.

Marty Glomb rebuilt this 1955 Kenworth conventional over a decade with the goal of making it look as original as possible.Marty Glomb rebuilt this 1955 Kenworth conventional over a decade with the goal of making it look as original as possible. The truck’s wheelbase is currently 220 inches, but Glomb says it was originally 256 inches. He cut three feet off of it during his rebuild.The truck’s wheelbase is currently 220 inches, but Glomb says it was originally 256 inches. He cut three feet off of it during his rebuild. The interior features the original steering wheel and OEM gauges, and is painted the original gold that the truck had in 1955.The interior features the original steering wheel and OEM gauges, and is painted the original gold that the truck had in 1955.
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