Doug Small may be the owner of the oldest Western Star truck model in existence: a 1968 WD4964 truck that is nearing 50 years of age.
Though it’s now carried from place to place by other trucks – most recently from its home base at The Truck Shop dealership in Auburn, WA, to the 2017 Western Star Dealer Meeting in Quebec City, Canada – Small said his 1968 truck “still runs like a top,” though it’s been “retired” from active commercial duties for much of the last five years.
Small – who, with his brothers Steve and Dan, bought the truck for their dealership in December 2015 – said this particular WD4964 put in more than 45 years of hard labor before retiring to become a show piece.
Built in Western Star’s former plant in Kelowna, British Columbia, Small said his 1968 Western Star workhorse started out hauling logs and poles for its first decade before its then-owners started a building-truss company and converted the truck to a crane tractor.
It delivered trusses in and around Washington’s Skagit Valley from 1978 until the company closed its doors in 2015, which is when Small and his brothers bought it.
“We bought it because we love old trucks,” he noted. “It’s got sentimental value because we’re a sentimental dealer.”
Though the truck is largely original, there have been a few changes over the years. In 1980, the previous owners swapped out its original Cummins 335 engine for a Cummins Big Cam II that cranks out 400 hp.
Then, around 1994, its 5-speed main gearbox and 4-speed auxiliary transmissions got changed out for an Eaton Fuller 18-speed manual. Aside from those changes, though, it’s almost all original, Small noted – all they do now is keep it polished up.
“Now that it’s on display, its working days over,” he added. “It’s a beautiful truck. Customers come in, particularly the older ones, and they can’t stop ‘oohing and ‘aahing’ over it.”