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‘Midnight Special’: Van Wagoner Trucking's 1998 Peterbilt 379

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Updated Apr 23, 2022

Josh Van Wagoner, owner of Van Wagoner Trucking out of Elburn, Illinois, showed this pristine 1998 Peterbilt 379 and matching 2012 Great Dane reefer at the 2022 Mid-America Trucking Show in March.

Josh Van Wagoner's 1998 Peterbilt 379Josh Van Wagoner's "Midnight Special" earned second place in the First Show — Combo class in the PKY Truck Beauty Championship as part of the 2022 Mid-America Trucking Show in March.

Van Wagoner’s small fleet does a little bit of everything, with five reefer trucks that run to California and back, along with some tanker work locally around Illinois and Indiana. He also has a couple flatbeds, and in the fall hauls corn.

This particular truck has been in the family since it was new. Van Wagoner’s father bought it new in 1997, and Van Wagoner started driving it in 2003. It was originally painted black cherry with pink and teal pinstriping.

Josh Van Wagoner's 1998 Peterbilt 379The base color of the truck today is black with teal and purple pearl, which coupled with the pink and teal accents make for an eye-catching combination.

Van Wagoner was in Wisconsin visiting friends one day and saw a motorcycle that was painted a similar shade of pink to what’s seen on the truck today.

“I decided I liked it, and I wanted to do it,” he said. “I’d never seen anything like that on a truck, so I wanted to be different than everybody else.”

Interior of Josh Van Wagoner's 1998 Peterbilt 379The inside of the truck is painted to match the exterior and features suicide doors, a custom stereo and “the whole nine yards,” Van Wagoner said.

Under the hood is a 3406 Cat with a 13-speed and 3:55 rears. The truck sits on a 327-inch wheelbase.

Even though it’s been off the road for about a year for a frame-up rebuild, the truck is still a worker and has about 2 million miles on the odometer.

Josh Van Wagoner's 2012 Great Dane reeferVan Wagoner's 379 is coupled with a matching 2012 Great Dane reefer. The reefer unit, landing gear and fenders are all painted pink to match the tractor's frame.

Josh Van Wagoner's 1998 Peterbilt 379 frameVan Wagoner had the frame stretched to 327 inches several years ago when he had the truck's engine replaced.

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