Truck of the Month

December 2018
Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A Conventional
Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A
WRITTEN BY:
  • Mark Harter
PHOTOS COURTESY OF:
  • Jim Cox
In 1976, Jim Cox and his brother David had been working in the hay field on their ranch in Texas all day long, dealing with a bunch of old "rag tag equipment" as Jim told us. Jim, tired of breakdowns and constantly fixing the old worn out trucks they were using, decided to buy a new truck.

Heading to the local Kenworth Dealership in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Jim and David, wearing straw hats and covered in sweat and dirty from working in the field all day, looked like a couple of Good Old Boys without a penny in their pockets. The dealership manager, when seeing this pair walk in the front door didn't know what to say, so when Jim told him they were there to buy a truck, the manager told him the used truck lot was down the street! But Jim wasn't there to buy a used truck, and nearly 30 minutes later, Jim had the keys and the title to a beautiful brand new two tone green 1976 Kenworth W900A.

Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A
Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A

Fast forward 42 years, and Jim's 1976 Kenworth is still as beautiful as the day he purchased it. But here's where the story gets interesting. The W900A only has 67,000 original miles on it!

Yes, you read that correctly, 67,000 original miles! Oh, and Jim's Kenworth is nearly 100% original since the day he drove it off the lot. Only a few things have ever been changed/modified on this rare, low mileage Kenworth. Since the truck did not have power steering, Jim added air assist to help steer this classic largecar along with a new steering wheel as the original began to crack and fall apart. For comfort, Jim added air-ride seats for both the driver and passenger (although he still has the original Kenworth "box seat" that it came with for the passanger side). Jim also gave his truck a complete set of Alcoa aluminum wheels, helping this beauty shine even more. While the truck has been meticulously maintained during Jim's 42 years of ownership, his mechanic had noticed that one of the valves on the Cummins NTC 350 needed to be replaced a few years ago, so off came the heads and when going back together, a brand new set of Jacobs Engine Brakes were installed.

Besides the few additions that have been added to this low mileage Kenworth, Jim tells us that from its paint to its pleated interior, the rest of it is all original. It is powered by its original drivetrain, a Cummins NTC 350, mated to a 13 speed Roadranger pushing power to 4:33 rears and rides on Kenworth suspension and 24.5 rubber. One of the more interesting items of the spec of Jim's Kenworth though, it has both aluminum frame rails and aluminum cross members. Jim also told us that in 1976, this was an option and trucks produced with this lightweight option were only built for a very short time, and most of these trucks with aluminum rails and cross-members don't exist today.

Interior of Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A
Interior Sleeper shot of Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A

While Jim and his brother David initially bought the Kenworth to work on their Springtown, Texas ranch, it did run over-the-road briefly, and we do mean briefly! Jim told us that since they had only initialy purchased the Kenworth to work on their ranch, it was a shame to let a nice piece of equipment sit around. So Jim and David decided to go trucking, leasing on to a carrier and for about a month, they pulled a reefer with their Kenworth. But as fate would have it, and as Texas ranchers, that month was enough trucking for the both of them and the Kenworth went back to doing what it was purchased for, working on the ranch hauling equipment with a 50 ton Loadking lowboy trailer.

Since most trucks of this spec and caliber were purchased by owner-operators to run over-the-road and would most likely see 67,000 miles in 6 to 7 months of being placed into service, and at its age, most OTR trucks would have over a million miles or more which makes Jim's W900A an extremely rare survivor and virtually non-existent considering its year of manufacture.

Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A
Speedometor of Jim Cox's 1976 Kenworth W900A

Now 70 years old, Jim is in the process of downsizing his ranch and other businesses. He's selling off equipment and other items he no longer needs. Of these items, is his low mileage 1976 Kenworth W900A. But Jim tells us he's not just going to sell it to anyone. He's got a pretty hefty price tag on it and would like to see it go to a good home, maybe a trucking museum or a collector who will keep his rare Kenworth all original, and just that, all original.

Outside of his Kenworth and ranch, Jim loves old military vehicles and currently has a few. His favorite being a 1984 Oshkosh HEMTT (Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck), which his wife Marsha affectionately calls their "Town Car." And yes, Jim's not kidding, he has taken her out for dinner from time to time in the HEMTT!

Jim Cox's 1984 Oshkosh HEMTT
Jim Cox's 1984 Oshkosh HEMTT

The HEMTT is powered by an 8V92 Detroit Diesel Engine with an Alison Automatic transmission. Jim tells us the HEMTT will hit a top speed of 55-60 mph, although it's made for off-road use and he normally doesn't drive it any faster than 40-50 mph. Considering it weighs over 45,000lbs and is over 34 feet long, that's pretty impressive for a military vehicle of this capacity and built to handle all types of terrain!

EDITOR'S NOTE:
  • Special thanks to Jim for sharing his rare, low mileage Kenworth with our readers!
  • Do you own a unique rig? Get your truck featured here on our website and show-it-off to the world! Click Here to contact us and tell us about your truck!

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