The day's festivities culminated in a ceremony entitled "20 Years of Class." The highlight was the presentation of Peterbilt-Denton's first truck, which had been restored by employee volunteers.
Plant Manager Dave Rudkin recapped the history of the first truck produced by Peterbilt-Denton, a Model 359-119, and detailed the restoration process. Truck No. 1 was then driven off the assembly line by Weldon Faught, who also drove the truck off the line the first time, 20 years ago, on August 4, 1980
The truck originally was delivered to Dallas Peterbilt and sold to Kilsby Tube of Grand Prairie, Texas. It was in service for Kilsby and Jorgensen Steel until it was purchased back by Peterbilt. Over the last few months, a team of Peterbilt employee volunteers refurbished the truck and brought it back to original condition.
Peterbilt opened its Denton plant in 1980, with an initial investment of about $50 million. The original plant employed about 100 people and covered approximately 430,000 square feet, including administrative offices. In 1993, Peterbilt moved its corporate headquarters and engineering department to Denton from Newark, Calif.
To date, Peterbilt-Denton has produced more than 160,000 custom-built Class 8 vehicles. In its 20-year history, assembly line workers have installed nearly 233 million huckbolts, more than 1.6 million tires and have applied approximately 1 million gallons of paint.