December 29, 2021


Peterbilt Motors Co.
Oakland, California (1939-1960)
Newark, California (1960-1986)
Various locations (1986-present)

This is a Peterbilt emblem (1944-c1950)    mjs
Size: 184mm wide 70mm high   MM: None

T A Peterman bought the Fageol Truck & Coach Company in 1939 and changed the name to Peterbilt. Initially, Peterbilt trucks were mostly used in the logging and mining industries and for quarrying and oil-field work. All early Peterbilt trucks were conventional trucks, the first cab-over prototype appeared in 1950 and went into production in 1952. In 1955 came the first flush-fronted cab-over.

In 1958 Peterbilt became part of Pacific Car & Foundry and in 1960 production moved to a new plant in Newark. A branch plant was opened at Nashville, Tennessee in 1969. Production grew considerably from the late 1960's as Peterbilt became a nationwide brand. Peterbilt continued to develop new models and new styling and remains today (as of 2021) as one of America's most successful trucks.


The first Peterbilt trucks in 1939 carried "Peterbilt" script emblems, sometimes painted, mounted at the top of the radiator shell and on both sides of the hood, see surviving Peterbilt truck photos shown below:

Peterbilt 260GD 5-ton tractor truck (1939)     hatm

Close-up showing Peterbilt radiator emblem (1939)

This is the cast metal Peterbilt radiator and hood side emblem shown below. Original Peterbilt radiator emblems of this design are rare.

Peterbilt radiator & hood side emblem (1939-1944))   lktec
Size: 260mm wide 70mm high

The Peterbilt radiator and hood side emblems were changed in 1944 to a painted rectangular, cast aluminum emblem, see the following surviving Peterbilt truck showing these emblem:

Peterbilt truck wth rectangular emblems (1949)  ScottieDTV

The following shows the production drawing for the rectangular Peterbilt emblem:

Peterbilt radiator emblem drawing (1944)   lktec

This is the painted cast aluminum Peterbilt radiator and hood side emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Peterbilt emblem is scarce.

This is a Peterbilt emblem (1944-c1950)     mjs
Size: 184mm wide 70mm high      MM: None

During the Second World War there was a demand for aluminum for military purposes and some Peterbilt radiator and hood side emblems were made of cast iron, see example shown below. Cast iron Peterbilt emblems with this design are rare.

This is a cast iron Peterbilt emblem (c1944-1945)  lktec
Size: 184mm wide 70m high     MM: None

The Peterbilt radiator and hood side emblem was changed to the now familiar oval shaped red enamel emblem in 1951, although some references say 1953, see example shown below:

This is a Peterbilt emblem (c1951-date uncertain)   mjs
Size: 205mm wide 87mm high     MM: None

A much larger version of this Peterbilt emblem appeared in the 1970's and a very small version was later used as a dash emblem.

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