Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Semi Crazy


RT sent this to me - and I got a large kick out of the clip. As far as I can tell, the trucks are all from the seventies. The two GMC COEs at the first are kinda rare - as well as rode hard and put away wet! There are a couple of good shots of the interior of a Pete cabover - it's the instrument panel above the doghouse. Petes all have the rotary elbow vents on top of the dash. The COEs had three, conventionals had two because the cabs were smaller and narrower. Folks, they were the only registers those trucks had (unless the A/C was a roof mounted unit). They doubled as vents and defrosters. The fans mounted on the headliner helped move a fair amount of air but didn't help NVH much - they were noisy.

The door and window seals - it is to laugh. Insulation? Not so much. The other interior shots of the Pete showed the height of luxury - the vinyl door panel with all the heat sealed fake tuck and roll - but only on the door. The doghouse? Just a padded sheet of vinyl. Those chrome door handles and window cranks look cool, but after you've been slammed against them for the seventeenth time that day - well, that part of your body wished the engineers would have mounted them somewhere else. You can also see the door vents - open one way and they would act as scoops bringing in fresh air, open the other and they'd exhaust interior air. Those vents were pretty useful. These days they are just on sleepers - I suspect they allow too much outside noise even when they are closed for today's trucks.

Even with all my bitching and moaning these old trucks are pretty cool. They were built to last as well as they knew how at the time, so ruggedness is a hallmark of their design. The plastic and electronics of today's rigs certainly won't last as long as those old warriors. The average shade tree mechanic could and did work on them. Today's trucks? Not so much.

Some nostalgia is good, and we can overlook some things with rose colored glasses. This tubby trucker still likes the new equipment better. I'm built for comfort, not for speed these days, and the majority of those old wagons weren't all that fast anyhow.

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