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He’s Restoring A 1926 Kenworth Truck
After his positive experience restoring a 1956 Kenworth truck, Kevin LaPlant is eager to tackle an even older model, a 1926 K-W Kenworth, that he first saw parked in a California field.
    “It’s not pretty, but everything is there and is fixable. It’s a neat truck. Kenworth started building them in 1923, and I think it might be one of the first 100 they built,” LaPlant says.
    One big difference between it and his 1956 truck is the Buda motor.
    “I’ve been doing research for parts and not finding them, so I want to find an experienced machinist/mechanic near me,” he says.
    He’s begun disassembling the truck which often requires spraying a penetrating lubricant a few days in a row or grinding off rivets. He carefully documents everything by taking photos and marking parts. Removing the rotting wooden frame of the cab requires extra care so a pattern for a new wood frame can be made. LaPlant has a local custom car builder who will replace the metal parts.
    The retired law enforcement officer admits he’s not a mechanic, but he had some experience as a young man working with a trucker and later buying his own truck and trailer.
    In his retirement, he has had time to focus on his fascination for the industry and the trucks. After restoring the 1956 Kenworth, LaPlant found and restored a 1952 Union Pacific Railroad trailer. While driving the truck and trailer to a show in Oregon, the highway was parallel to a train track, and he noticed a Union Pacific train engineer waving to him. Later, he learned about a photo of his truck and trailer posted on the railroad’s website.
    The 1926 Kenworth is providing a new learning experience with all its mechanical parts including worm drive rear end gears, 4-piece brake shoes, vacuum diaphragm fuel pump, and a bottom draft carburetor.
    “The transmission looks like a 3-speed from Brown Lipe. The wheels were cast metal and had pneumatic tires,” he adds.
    LaPlant’s biggest concern is getting the Buda motor overhauled correctly in a timely manner.
    “My original goal was to finish it by 2023, the 100th anniversary of Kenworth,” he says, adding he’s interested in talking to FARM SHOW readers who have information about the motor or are truck restorers.
    “This truck is going to stand out because of its age. I’ve seen a couple of 1920’s models in museums, but not at shows,” he says.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kevin LaPlant, 1122 Cortez Lane, Gardnerville, Nevada 89410 (ph 530-249-3375; kevinglo@riversedgervpark.net).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #2