Big Rig 1984 Kenworth W900B Restomod

Daily Big Rig: 1984 Kenworth W900B Restomod: A Modern Classic

In trucking, where efficiency and performance are paramount, classic rigs often seem like relics of a bygone era. However, the story of J.R. Schleuger’s 1984 Kenworth W900B is a testament to the enduring appeal and potential of vintage trucks. Purchased in June 2022, this iconic Kenworth has transformed remarkably, emerging as a showstopper at the 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show in Gillette, Wyoming.

Schleuger, based in Britt, Iowa, acquired the 1984 Kenworth W900B at an auction for a mere $9,000, describing it as a “legit $9,000 truck” in “very bad shape.” However, he saw something special in this aging workhorse and embarked on a journey to restore it to its former glory. Little did he know that this truck would not only regain its workhorse status but also capture the attention of trucking enthusiasts and judges alike.

The restoration process began in earnest after five months of active duty hauling grain. Towards the end of November, Schleuger decided it was time to give his Kenworth a second lease on life. On December 18, he took the first bolt off the truck, signaling the start of a comprehensive rebuild that would showcase the skills of his Lifetime Nut Covers custom parts business.

One of the standout features of this Kenworth W900B restomod is the fact that the entire transformation took place under one roof – Schleuger’s own shop. From the initial teardown to the final coat of paint, all the custom work was done in-house. This approach not only allowed for meticulous attention to detail but also demonstrated the capabilities of Lifetime Nut Covers as a provider of high-quality custom truck parts.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this restoration is the sleeper on the truck. While not original to this specific rig, it boasts a unique history. The sleeper was salvaged from a previous B-model Kenworth that Schleuger had purchased. Remarkably, it retained its originality, with plastic still covering the floors and bed. This blending of old and new elements showcases the commitment to preserving the truck’s heritage while incorporating modern upgrades.

The 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show in Gillette, Wyoming, served as the perfect platform to unveil the fully restored 1984 Kenworth W900B. Competing in the Classic Division, Schleuger’s creation earned a well-deserved second-place trophy. This recognition not only underscored the dedication and craftsmanship that went into the project but also highlighted the enduring appeal of classic trucks in today’s trucking landscape.

The transformation of this Kenworth W900B is more than just a restoration; it’s a celebration of the timeless design and durability that made these trucks legendary in the first place. Schleuger’s ability to take a truck in dire need of attention and turn it into a showstopper serves as an inspiration to truck enthusiasts and restorers alike. It’s a testament to the fact that, with the right vision and dedication, even the most weathered workhorses can once again take center stage.

In the end, J.R. Schleuger’s 1984 Kenworth W900B restomod is not just a beautifully restored truck; it’s a symbol of the enduring spirit of the American trucking industry. It’s a reminder that classic rigs like these will always have a place on the road, continuing to work hard and capture the hearts of those who appreciate their timeless charm and unmatched craftsmanship.

Schleuger’s connection with his 1984 Kenworth W900B doesn’t end at the showcase; it’s a living, breathing part of his daily life. Even after its impressive restoration and successful appearance at the 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show, this classic truck has yet to retire to a museum or collector’s garage. Instead, it continues to be a workhorse, just as it was when he first acquired it.

Today, Schleuger still puts his beloved Kenworth to the test, primarily using it to haul grain leased to IMT Transport. The truck’s enduring reliability and robust performance make it an ideal choice for this demanding task. It’s a testament to the effectiveness of the restoration work and the enduring quality of Kenworth trucks that, even in a modern context, this vintage rig can hold its own in the field.

Furthermore, the versatility of the 1984 Kenworth W900B shines through in Schleuger’s operations. It isn’t limited to just one type of hauling. When the need arises, Schleuger occasionally hooks it to a step deck, showcasing its adaptability and reliability across different transport requirements. This flexibility is a valuable asset in the ever-evolving world of trucking, where the ability to take on a variety of loads can make all the difference.

In a world where newer and more advanced trucks are constantly emerging, Schleuger’s decision to continue working with his 1984 Kenworth W900B speaks volumes about the enduring appeal and capability of classic rigs. It’s not merely a showpiece but a real workhorse that continues contributing to his livelihood. It proves that timeless design and solid construction can stand the test of time and that there’s always a place for a classic on the open road.

More photos and our thanks to “Custom Rigs.”

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