Forty years ago, semi-trucks and the trucker lifestyle were portrayed on the silver screen and TV sets far more often than they are today. Perhaps it was a fascination with the “play by your own rules” lifestyle, or truckers’ ability to travel all over the country, but 1970s pop culture certainly seemed to have an extreme interest with heavy-hauling truck drivers.
Alas, those days are behind us. It seems as if a transportation carrier in Aurora, CO is adored and envied by few aside from those in the business and die-hard trucking enthusiasts. That being said, trucking fanatics who want to live in the glory days of 1970s trucking have the ability to see classic rigs at semi-truck shows across the country. However, it’s not too often that famous trucks from classic TV shows and movies show up in the same place at the same time. Last September, lucky individuals got to see five of the most famous semi-trucks from ‘70s and ‘80s pop culture together on “Hollywood Hill” at the Southern Classic truck show in Lincolnton, North Carolina:
- 1960 Peterbilt 281: In 1971, a little-known director named Stephen Spielberg scared audiences with his first full-length movie, Duel. The story about a psychotic trucker chasing another driver in a 1960 Peterbilt 281 undoubtedly terrified any motorist who saw a semi-truck driving down the road. The scary TV-movie must not have turned off all audiences, however, because the trucking genre was just getting started.
- 1974 Kenworth W925 – V.I.T.: Three years later, in 1974, Movin’ On debuted on TV sets across the nation. This exciting drama was about two truckers, a veteran in the business and a newbie, who would team up to haul goods all over the country. Although it only ran for two seasons, it helped spawn a CB radio fad that captivated folks of all ages.
- 1973 Kenworth W900 Anniversary Edition: It’s hard to come up with any trucking-based movie more famous than 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit. This classic action/comedy movie features a modern-day bandit in Burt Reynolds who must haul a tractor trailer full of beer across county lines while being pursued by a sheriff and his whole department.
- 1980 Kenworth K100C: If a show about a truck driver and his pet monkey driving across the country getting into hijinks sounds too ridiculous to be real, you’re mistaken. J. and the Bear is a classic comedy show that can be enjoyed by everyone from a veteran transportation carrier in Aurora, CO to someone who’s never been inside of a rig.
- 1970 Mack RS731LST: Fans of the 1978 movie Convoy would have been elated to see Martin “Rubber Duck” Penwald’s rig up on Hollywood Hill. The classic movie is about a convoy of truckers who are supporting Rubber Duck’s vendetta against a corrupt sheriff.
These are just five of the famous trucks from our past. Other rigs from long ago pop up every now and again at truck shows. Be sure to keep your eye out for them—the team at Osage Specialized Transport certainly will!