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5/8-Scale Semi Truck
Mike O'Donnell, Sauk City, Wis., spent 12 years worth of weekends and about $50,000 to build a 5/8-scale semi tractor modeled after a Peterbilt semi truck. It looks and runs just like the real thing.
    "Wherever I drive it, people take a second look. Theyre not sure what they're looking at," says O' Donnell.
    The truck is powered by a Detroit 453T 4-cyl. turbocharged diesel engine with 190 hp and has a Fuller 9-speed overdrive transmission. The rear axle has a 3:33 gear ratio. The front axle is from a 1-ton International pickup and the tandem rear axle from a 1-ton Ford pickup. The truck is fitted with 215 R16 Bridgestone tires and has stainless steel fenders over the rear wheels. The cab, which is from a 1950's Willys pickup, seats two and has a sleeper on back. A pair of stainless steel fuel tanks and stainless steel exhaust mufflers mount on the sides of the rig while a "turbowing" deflector mounts on top of the sleeper. The truck has an air ride suspension, air ride seats, air brakes, and air horns.
    "The detail work makes it a real show stopper," says O' Donnell. "Everything on it is completely hand-built, including the chassis which I built from a little bit of everything. I drive it on the highway at speeds up to 70 mph. I have a great time with it on the road. Travelers go crazy when they see it, and truckers love to talk with me about it on their CB radios. People often comment on the quality of workmanship and want to know where they can buy one. My wife Jane and I have entered it in parades and have won trophies with it at several major truck shows.
    "It's modeled after the 359 Peterbilts of the 1980's."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike O' Donnell, 7333 Cedar Crest Drive, Sauk City, Wis. 53583 (ph 608 643-6535).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #2