Owner Operators West Coast Hot Rod-Style 379.

Daily Rig: Owner Operator Jake Bast’s West Coast Hot Rod-Style 2001 Peterbilt 379: A Labor of Love

When it comes to trucking, there’s something undeniably captivating about a customized rig that stands out from the crowd. One such remarkable creation is the 2001 Peterbilt 379 owned by Jake Bast, a proud Owner Operator based in Shoshone, Idaho. This distinctive truck, which pulls a flatbed leased to RAM Transportation out of Brownsville, Oregon, is a testament to Bast’s passion, dedication, and a promise he made to his late father. This iconic rig recently turned heads at the 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show, where it secured a well-deserved second place in the Tractor-Trailer Division.

For Bast, trucking is more than just a job; it’s a way of life. He typically crisscrosses the country, covering routes from northern Oregon or southern Washington to the Southeast, New England, or the Midwest. His cargo often consists of machinery, equipment, steel, or other commodities, all securely loaded on his 2019 East flatbed. Bast’s strategic approach to long-haul trucking minimizes the time he spends on loading and tarping freight, allowing him to focus on what truly matters – the open road and his beloved Peterbilt 379.

Jake Bast’s journey as a truck owner-operator took a transformative turn when he acquired the 2001 Peterbilt 379. Unlike his previous trucks, which he would own for just a year or two before moving on, this truck was special. It all started with a heartfelt conversation with his father before he passed away. His father’s wish was simple: he wanted to see Bast finish a truck project. That conversation ignited a spark in Bast, and the result is a rolling work of art that truck enthusiasts and admirers of custom vehicles can’t help but appreciate.

The 2001 Peterbilt 379 was a “clean slate” when Bast took ownership. With the help of friends, he embarked on a journey of transformation, stretching the frame to a lengthy 301 inches. Bast combined two of his favorite stylistic influences for the rig’s theme – the classic aesthetics of hot rod cars and the timeless appeal of old-school West Coast trucks. This fusion of styles is a homage to the trucking culture he grew up around in the 1980s, guided by his truck driver father’s experiences. Bast aimed to capture the essence of that era while adding his unique twist, giving the truck a distinct hot rod and California truck look.

One of the most eye-catching elements of Bast’s Peterbilt 379 is the freehand-painted flames adorning the hood and other parts of the truck. This intricate artwork was skillfully executed by his friend Jack Miller, based in Nevada. Bast describes the truck as “loud” and “a lot,” much like his own personality, making it a perfect reflection of his character.

To achieve the truck’s stunning appearance, much of the bodywork was expertly crafted by Brent McGrath at Brent’s Custom Trucks in White City, Oregon. The rig’s original white exterior with purple fenders underwent a dramatic transformation as McGrath painted the fenders to match the body and made several other enhancements, enhancing its overall aesthetic.

Under the hood of this beauty lies a 1999-model 3406E Cat 6NZ engine that packs a powerful punch. While the truck originally came equipped with a brand-new 18-speed transmission, Bast had a unique vision in mind. He decided to install two transmissions in one truck, removing the 18-speed and replacing it with a homemade five-speed and four-speed transmission. Bast admits that these transmissions may be slow, smelly, noisy, and prone to leaks, but they bring an irresistible joy to his daily routine – shifting two sticks with a grin on his face.

The interior of the 2001 Peterbilt 379 is yet another testament to Bast’s commitment to perfection. Originally featuring Peterbilt’s blue American Class interior, it was a selling point for him when he first acquired the truck. However, the previous owner was a heavy smoker, leaving a persistent odor that Bast couldn’t eliminate despite numerous attempts. In response, he gutted the interior and embarked on a comprehensive customization project, ensuring that every inch of the truck was a reflection of his personal style and comfort.

In the world of trucking, where individuality often shines through customization, Jake Bast’s 2001 Peterbilt 379 stands as a remarkable testament to the dedication and passion of owner-operators. It’s a rolling work of art that combines the best of hot rod aesthetics with the timeless charm of West Coast trucking culture. Bast’s journey to create this masterpiece was not just a tribute to his late father’s wishes but also a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence in trucking. As it continues to hit the open road, Bast’s custom rig serves as a captivating reminder that for some, a truck is not just a vehicle but a canvas for self-expression and a symbol of pride.

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