This 1982 Freightliner cabover is practically a member of the Hilker family. Dennis Hilker of New London, Wisconsin, who bought the truck new from Schoeneman Truck and Trailer in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, is the original owner. The cabover, which sits on a 180-inch wheelbase, features a 96-inch cab and is equipped with a 350 Cummins engine hooked to a 9-speed transmission. The Freightliner worked hard, pulling 45-foot Utility reefers, hauling meat and cheese from Wisconsin to all points east of the Rockies. Originally, Dennis drove the Freightliner, and then he was followed by his sons, Steve and Brian, respectively. In the late 1990s, after the truck racked up 1.2 million miles, it was retired from its long-haul work and was then used locally around its home state of Wisconsin. The 1.2 million mile mark was also the point at which the 350 Cummins engine was given its second overhaul. After giving the Hilker family more than 20 years of service, the Freightliner was completely retired from active duty in 2003. At that point, the cab and frame were stripped and repainted, but the interior was kept original. Since the truck had been cared for so well over the years and it had no damage or rust to repair, the “refurbish” job was easy. Now, the truck enjoys its well-earned retirement by going to truck shows, where it receives a lot of attention.
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.