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Freightliner celebrates it’s 75th Anniversary

Founded in 1942 on principles of innovation and customer satisfaction, Freightliner Trucks began with Leland James’s idea to build truck components with lightweight aluminum rather than traditional steel. James’s innovative concept was initially met with resistance and skepticism, but he was determined to make his idea a reality. He hired a team of engineers and built the first Freightliner truck.

To celebrate their anniversary a rare A64-800 1950 ‘Bubblenose’ has also been shipped from the United States. This was one of 116 trucks built that year for Consolidated Freightways, the freight company established by Leland James. He had approached truck companies with an idea of using lightweight aluminum for truck components instead of regular steel.

They weren’t interested, so James hired a team of engineers and built the vehicles himself. Freightways Manufacturing Company was established in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1940 before changing its name to Freightliner Corporation in 1942. It soon became North America’s leading heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer and after serving the war effort, resumed truck manufacturing at a new facility in Portland, Oregon, in 1947.

The ‘Bubblenose’ model you see in the photo here was initially used as part of the CF on-highway fleet, but appears to have also been worked hard as a logging truck and as the basis for some sort of crane. It was found, in a rather dilapidated state, sitting in the woods near Mt Hood and was lovingly restored by the Freightliner manufacturing team at Portland, Oregon.

More than seven decades following James’s revolutionary idea, Freightliner continues to innovate, developing trucks that build businesses. As a result, business owners, fleet managers and professional drivers rely on our efficient and innovative products to finish the job.