This month’s creation was built for a good friend of all the employees at KC Peterbilt. James Mitchell (61) of Byrdstown, TN is a household name at our dealership, and over the years he has become like family to us. We are excited to say that we get to see James about every week on his return trips back home. So, when James heard Peterbilt was discontinuing the model 389, he decided that he better get one more.
We featured James in December of 2019 with his “plain and simple” black Peterbilt, which he still owns. It was his first black truck – all the previous ones were yellow. And since the first wash job at home with his wife Charlotte helping, he has been second guessing that choice. James and Charlotte wash the truck together, and with a black truck in the hot sun you have to be speedy at rinsing it off. James joked that Miss Charlotte has one speed rinsing, and if you don’t like it, she has one slower! So, when it came time to order this last 389, James opted for white with his favorite stripe scheme. When picking the colors, he wanted to match the truck to his trailer best he could, so we took some paint chips out and found a pretty close match.
Once the new truck showed up, Pat the painter laid out some sweet stripes in the colors James and I came up with. Not wanting to feel the stripes, Pat sanded and re-cleared the truck to bury the stripes. James loved the stripes, but said, “Man, I need this one to be lower.” Since he goes into some tight places his current truck barely got through, he opted for 23” tanks, and then decided to go with the Patented J Ferrel air ride front end, which I am now a dealer for. Charles gathered some parts, and then Cody had the pleasure of building James’ dream truck.
Charlotte thought the truck should have a cow hide interior, so they found some beautiful hides, and then Cody did an awesome job coming up with a way to make it flow – he even made James his own JMT brand for the driver’s door. The last truck we repainted the frame and it has held up so well that we repainted the frame on this one, as well. Tyler welded up some single square headlight buckets, and Cody installed a 379-style grill, one of my body drop kits, a KopyKat visor, matching door chops, stainless breather panels, mirror lights, straight stacks, cab and sleeper skirts, and stainless Hogebuilt half-fenders. We also painted the fuel tanks and moved them out to resemble fatter tanks, added a painted flush Merritt deck plate, a new rear crossmember, and a Jim Crain rear light bar.
James would not normally have been ready to trade in his current rig, but due to the model change, he decided to order early. As time went on and we added more stuff, James had a guy he knew all lined up to buy his current truck once the new one was finished. Unfortunately, by the time we got the new truck ready, his buyer wasn’t able to purchase the truck and, to make matters worse, it started pushing water. We talked a lot, and in the discussions, it was brought up that it was better that it happened to him, because he wouldn’t want the next guy to have any issues with it right after James sold it to them.
Knowing it was the right thing to do, James took the black truck to his friend’s shop and had it fixed right. Once the black truck is fixed, he will make a round in it to make sure it’s good, and then sell it with confidence to the next guy. So, if you have been in the market for a nice and clean well-loved cool flattop Peterbilt, give me a call, and I can get you and James together.
All of us at KC Peterbilt want to thank James and Charlotte for their business and for allowing us to build this dream truck – and just for being them. They both are just wonderful people, and it makes us all proud to have them as friends. But as excited as they are about the new truck, they are even more excited about the latest addition to the family – a granddaughter named Evelyn James, AKA Evie J (yes, her middle name is in honor of her grandpa). Enjoy your final new 389 James, and hopefully the time washing it with Miss Charlotte will be more relaxed now!