We here at Pittsburgh Power Inc. often get interesting calls from unique people. Here is a great example. Bill McCammon from Emporia, Kansas, recently called and told us about a hot rod 1972 skinny windshield Peterbilt he was building. The skinny windshield Pete is eight inches lower than a 359 or 379 Peterbilt, thus the “skinny” name designation. Bill stated that the US Government ordered Peterbilt to quit building this style of truck because of the reduced visibility out the windshield. I remember a guy named Jay Bonanni of Volant, PA who drove a skinny windshield Pete with a dropped sun visor back in the day. To see the traffic lights ahead, he had to keep the top of his hood clean and use the reflection!
Bill McCammon was drafted by the US Army in 1969, got out in 1971, and was later diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability. However, this “disability” enables the person to see everything in three dimensions, and it has nothing to do with intelligence. In fact, I know three men with it, and they are masters at what they do. Bill says he can back up a trailer with speed and efficiency because it appears to him as though he is going forward.
After he told me about his Peterbilt project, I asked Bill to send me some pictures. The first thing I noticed was that he has the two Vortox air cleaners behind the Big Cam engine, which is interesting. To accomplish this, he would have had to stretch the frame and move the engine forward, but what about the shifters? This truck has a 5+4 Quadraplex transmission, which means it has two sticks, and if the engine is moved forward, so is the transmission. Bill McCammon is one sharp guy. He got the shifting apparatus out of a mining truck, one of those deep mine trucks that are only three feet tall.
For the hood, Bill built his own and made it 20 inches longer than the stock version. I asked him if he had a machine shop and sheet metal working equipment. He told me he had no special equipment, just a Lincoln 225 stick welder, a 90-degree hand grinder, and a cutting torch. He took an old truck frame and some hinges and made his own sheet metal bender. He used parts from two hoods to make the one extra-long hood. He also made a separate frame for the cab and bunk and made it a Unibuilt system.
Purchasing this skinny windshield Peterbilt in 1985 to haul cattle, this truck and the cattle trailer were blown over by 85 mph winds twice – once while Bill was driving it without cattle and once when it was parked. He has gone through this truck three times, and I think this third time will be a charm. Along with the Pete, Bill also has a 1957 Chevy hot rod with a Super Bell 4200-pound straight axle front end. The engine is a 327 cubic-inch Chevy. He purchased this car for $200 from his brother many years ago. Needless to say, it was in bad shape back then. Being that Bill is retired and loves to talk about trucks and welcomes phone calls about his projects, feel free to call him at (620) 341-0171 – he loves to chat.
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If you are already using Max Mileage, you should know that your next bottle may look a little different. We designed some new labels, and the bottle is now clear. So, don’t be confused when it arrives – it’s still the same great product, just in a different wrapper. For more information about all our available products and services, stop by our shop in Saxonburg, PA, call (724) 360-4080, or visit us online at www.pittsburghpower.com anytime.