Custom cabover emerges as tribute to a driver’s pride, from former Viking hauler

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Owner-operators across the country probably remember the LTL doubles and triples hauler Viking Freight, before a buyout by FedEx folded the company under the FedEx Freight umbrella with another, American Freightways, in the early part of this century.

Former Viking Freight hauler Steve Sprenger works today in commercial real estate in Southern California. Photos here courtesy of Sprenger and taken by Zach Forest of Western States Caterpillar in Meridian, Idaho.Former Viking Freight hauler Steve Sprenger works today in commercial real estate in Southern California. Photos here courtesy of Sprenger and taken by Zach Forest of Western States Caterpillar in Meridian, Idaho.

Today’s edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast features my talk through the 1983 Kenworth cabover you see here. It’s the work of Steve Sprenger, a commercial real estate broker for the last couple of decades following work in trucking with about a decade hauling for Viking from the mid-1980s. Sprenger has finally concluded what’s been a decade-and-then-some-long project in a full custom restoration of the single-drive-axle COE, a former Viking Freight truck he located in a yard in Northern California.

Initially enlisting the help of NorCal Kenworth to make sure the rig was roadworthy for a trip back to his home area down South in Orange County those years ago, detail work commenced and took on a life of its own over time. The end result is a tribute, he believes, to a company’s drivers who took as much pride in what they did as did he. Take a listen:

The 1983 rig’s odyssey spanned more than a decade and was restored and partially transformed by shops from NorCal Kenworth, this Caterpillar shop in Idaho, and Mickey Larson’s Twins Custom Coaches — remaining in the process as the last of these businesses relocated from Southern California to Idaho. Sprenger drove the Caterpillar 3406A-powered rig home from Idaho in June.The 1983 rig’s odyssey spanned more than a decade and was restored and partially transformed by shops from NorCal Kenworth, this Caterpillar shop in Idaho, and Mickey Larson’s Twins Custom Coaches — remaining in the process as the last of these businesses relocated from Southern California to Idaho. Sprenger drove the Caterpillar 3406A-powered rig home from Idaho in June. This view of the single axle from the rear shows modified dual-air-cleaner treatment that Sprenger and company employed for symmetry’s sake. The driver-side cleaner, though, is a dummy — but not fully dysfunctional, as it were, given its use to conceal the power steering pump’s reservoir.This view of the single axle from the rear shows modified dual-air-cleaner treatment that Sprenger and company employed for symmetry’s sake. The driver-side cleaner, though, is a dummy — but not fully dysfunctional, as it were, given its use to conceal the power steering pump’s reservoir. The deck plate/storage box cover shown open here is something of a concealer itself for the battery box.The deck plate/storage box cover shown open here is something of a concealer itself for the battery box. This interior shot shows the reupholstered doghouse and custom three-drawer cabinet Larson designed and built with Sprenger’s consultation. Stay tuned for further views on the rig in a video treatment still in process.This interior shot shows the reupholstered doghouse and custom three-drawer cabinet Larson designed and built with Sprenger’s consultation. Stay tuned for further views on the rig in a video treatment still in process.
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