Last of the 359s: '87 Pete a 'Classic 359'

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Diamond, Missouri-based Gerald Mock showed this impressive 1987 Peterbilt 359 at the 2023 Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Missouri.

While not a driver himself, Mock has been around trucking his whole life, with his father and grandfather both in the business.

Mock's brother-in-law, Brantley Johnson, owns the truck and bought it after it had been sitting for 15-20 years, Mock said. The truck is unique in that it's technically a "Classic 359," a numbered series of trucks sold in 1987 to commemorate the final year of the 359 model.

This truck, however, isn't numbered and is what Mock said is considered an "extension truck." Even though it's not numbered, "it still made the Classic cut." 

Classic 359 badgeThe Classic 359 badge under the door signifies the rig is part of the limited run of '87 359s in the Classic series.

"We knew what we had, on the aspect of a Classic," Mock said, "but we didn't know if it was numbered. So, my son started digging, and when we found out it wasn't, but still they were like, 'Well, it's an extension truck.' ... It still made the Classic cut."

Mock was involved in the rebuild process, which took about six months, he said. The truck's paint was still in good shape when Johnson bought it, along with the interior. 

Interior of Brantley Johnson's 1987 Peterbilt 359Mock and build partners made sure during the rebuild to keep everything as original as possible.

The team replaced seals and hoses, fixed up some chrome and replace original parts that took plenty of tracking down. 

Johnson may use it occasionally to work, hooked to a grain hopper for his True Farms business in Richards, Missouri. But with the amount of work put into the rig, Mock said he was doubtful it would work too hard.

Rear view of Brantley Johnson's 1987 Peterbilt 359The flattop Pete features stainless full fenders over the rear axles.

[Related: 'I just had to have it': Missouri cattle hauler's '71 Pete 359]

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Gerald Mock: I'm out of Diamond, Missouri, and just started fixing up trucks for family. My dad drove truck. He's been driving for 50 years. He had a mechanic shop, and I helped him there and so been around it my whole life. My granddad drove a truck. I just help out. I've got another job.

My brother-in-law bought it, and it's been sitting for 15, 20 years. So he got it and brought it home. We rebuilt another one, so we thought, "Well, let's try another one." They found this one, and we took it home and started tearing her down, which it had a good paint job on it. So we had something to start with. It took us a while to find out some information, and my son, he did some digging and we come to find out it was... It wasn't a numbered, but it was still a Classic, and they call it an extension truck.

And we read about it being in Missouri, which come to find out, this is the one that they had been writing about. So that made it more exciting. We knew what we had on the aspect of a Classic, but we didn't know if it was numbered. So, my son started digging, and when we found out it wasn't, but still they were like, "Well, it's an extension truck." So then we dug into that. Well, it still made the Classic cut. I think there was two more made after it. So we were pretty excited that we still had something classic.

We went in, and we tried to keep it as original as possible. Pretty much everything in the inside, we went through. And just setting for so long, it needed seals. We went through and re-hosed a lot, which we were going to overhaul it at some point, so we go finish re-hosing. But yeah, really, the truck run good. Interior, paint was good. We fixed some chrome, found some... It was missing some original parts, so we found original parts, and here we are today.