OLD SCHOOL TRUCKING, on June 25, 2018 a new Western Star pulled into our shop and I had to go and see this beautiful purple truck. A 78-year-old owner-operator climbed out of the cab and his name was Charles Cowdrey. What I thought was a brand-new truck turned out to be a 1999 Western Star that he paid $13,000 for. The story is much deeper, you see Charles had another ‘99 Western Star powered with a 60 Series Detroit using the Pittsburgh Power exhaust manifold, 15% larger turbocharger, torsional damper and mercury filled engine balancer, and the Pittsburgh Power computer. This 12.7-liter engine produces 763 horsepower on level 2 of the power box so needless to say, horsepower was not an issue. Charles’s grandson was driving the Western Star on I-85 in Durham, N.C. when a tree that was 2 feet in diameter fell on the truck at 70 miles per hour. I’ll bet his grandson never saw that one coming! The tree hit the hood and then the passenger side of the cab demolishing the truck. Branches of the tree ripped the oil drain plug out of the oil pan and the grandson shut off the engine as soon as he got to the side of the highway. No damage to the Detroit Diesel. Now Charles and his grandson are truck-less and being he has only been driving a truck for 60 years, he is not finished. (Charles’s first truck was a 1958 Ford F-1000 powered by a 534 cubic inch gasoline engine.) The insurance company gave him $26,000 for his demolished Western Star, he then bought it back from the insurance company for $6,000. His search for another Western Star took him to the state of Indiana where he purchased the purple 1999 Western Star for $13,000. He sold the seats, engine, transmission, differentials, tires, and wheels for $10,000. Then he took the parts form his wrecked Star and installed them into the purple Star and off to the paint shop it goes. As you can see the result is phenomenal! He fooled me, I thought it was a brand new Western Star!
Many of the articles compiled here where written by Bruce Mallinson. Attribution to other contributors is given in the specific articles.