1989 Freightliner FLC 120

Daily Big Rig: Jason Earlywine’s 1989 Freightliner FLC 120

Jason Earlywine’s 1989 Freightliner FLC 120 stands out, not for its state-of-the-art features, but for its nostalgic charm and timeless appeal. Affectionately known as “Back in Time” it holds a special place in the hearts of truck enthusiast, and for good reason. It represents the last year of production for this iconic Freightliner model before introducing the FLD series. 

Jason Earlywine, an owner-operator hailing from Kentucky, showcased this classic beauty at the 2023 Mid-America Trucking Show, giving visitors a glimpse into a bygone era of trucking history.

While “Back in Time” may be retired from the daily grind of hauling goods, Jason Earlywine continues to put in miles, working as a dedicated owner-operator for Goullon Inc., a grain hauling company based in Bagdad, Kentucky. Despite his active role in the trucking industry, Earlywine has maintained his beloved Freightliner’s classic look and feel, with only a few subtle customizations.

Earlywine’s approach to customizing “Back in Time” reflects his desire to preserve the truck’s authenticity. “It’s just your run-of-the-mill Freightliner truck,” he modestly states. Among the tasteful additions are a well-lit chrome front bumper and carefully selected accessories designed to enhance the truck’s appearance without overpowering its original charm. Earlywine emphasizes his preference “not to overdo it,” a sentiment that resonates with those who appreciate the elegance of classic rigs.

What sets “Back in Time” apart is its vintage aesthetics and rich history. Earlywine’s connection with the truck dates back to when it was brand new. Previously owned by family friends, Earlywine became the truck’s third owner approximately 12 years ago, carrying on the legacy of this iconic Freightliner. The truck’s moniker, “Back in Time,” is a tribute to its late-’80s heritage and a nod to a time that Earlywine believes was an especially “good time for trucking.”

Under the hood, “Back in Time” packs a 400 Cummins engine with a 13-speed transmission and 4.11 rears. While some components, like the seats and a few chrome pieces on the instrument panel, have been updated, the interior retains its original character, offering a glimpse into the past and reminding us of the rugged simplicity once the hallmark of trucking.

In an industry that constantly evolves with new technology and innovations, trucks like “Back in Time” remind us of the enduring legacy of classic rigs. They represent a connection to a simpler era of trucking, when the open road held a sense of adventure, and the camaraderie among truckers was unparalleled.

As we celebrate the past and look to the future, “Back in Time” and its dedicated owner-operator, Jason Earlywine, stand as a testament to the timeless allure of vintage trucks and the enduring passion that drives the trucking community.

See more photos and thanks: Custom Rigs




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