Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a historical look at the trucking industry through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.
Flip over any issue of Overdrive from the late 1960s to today, and odds are you’ll be face to face with a Peterbilt.
From the long needle-nose models of the ’60s to the cabovers of the ’70s and ’80s, the 20-year reign of the iconic Model 379 and today’s modern aerodynamic tractor stylings, Peterbilt tractors have graced the back cover of Overdrive for nearly 40 years.
It’s a prime advertising position the company still holds today. Peterbilt has used that space to display its flagship model of the era, often a testament to the market trends of the time.
A constant element of those ads for many years was the company’s famous tagline, “Class.” That marketing emphasis, combined with maintaining such a visible space over much of Overdrive’s 55-year history, has helped solidify Peterbilt as one of the most desirable brands for the owner-operator.
That goal has been long realized, if Overdrive’s Pride & Polish shows are any indication. The vast majority of trucks over the competition’s 25 years have sported the Red Oval trademark.
Here’s a look at Peterbilt’s backcover ads through the decades: