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Leonidas

AMT Peterbilt 359 California Hauler

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With the high prices people are paying for the Peterbilt 359 California Hauler with sleeper (the brown one pictured below, which is out of my price range), couldn't I make the same basic truck using the new reissue of the California Hauler (day cab) and add the AMT Mercury Sleeper?

If I did this, I would assume the back of the 359 cab would have to be cut out to accept the sleeper cab that will now sit behind it?

Just wondering, thanks.

 

Peterbilt Day cab.jpg

AMT Sleeper.jpg

Peterbilt with sleeper.jpg

Edited by Leonidas

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Of course you can, it's not the same sleeper tho' but if you want the correct sleeper AITM sells one in resin called 36 inch Restrite Sleeper Box, it's the same sleeper as in the brown AMT T500 kit missing only the steps...I have both the T500 kit and the resin sleeper so that's how I know.
The kit number for the original release of the Unilite Small Window Cab California Hauler from 1969 was T500-500 wich is the first kit in your post recently reissued by Round 2 with number AMT866/06, the number for the California Hauler kit with the sleeper was as i mentioned T500 released in 1971 and the number for the later 1100 series cab was T501 released in 1973-4, unfortunately Round 2 couldn't find the tooling for the sleeper and the other stuff so they couldn't reissue the T500 kit...these parts were originally sold as a parts pack upgrade for the T500-500 kit but was later combined into the T500 kit.

But I don't know if you need to cut the cab, the old sleepers were "crawl through" so they crawled through the hole where the back window was into the sleeper and the rear wall of the cab is still intact, or they could climb in from the outside through the sleeper doors.
So they were not like the modern "walk through" sleepers where you can walk from the cab into the sleeper.

Edited by Force

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Here's the current reissue Ca Hauler with a Mercury sleeper.

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Auslowe stocks the sun visor.

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No cut out for the sleeper as they were crawl through in those days. The kit with the brown truck is the same exact kit with the sleeper and visor added. As a side note the earliest releases of the Ca. hauler had green tinted windows.

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Actually the Mercury sleeper was an available option on Peterbilt's for many years. Our resident Pete expert Tim Albhorn should be able to fill us in.

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Thanks for the info guys. Very informative and much appreciated.

Edited by Leonidas

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I believe you could get the Mercury sleeper with most of the truck manufacturers back in the day if you wanted one...or you could buy and mount one yourself, or have it mounted by someone else...so it is definately not wrong to use one on a Peterbilt from this era.

I have one original issue T500-500 kit and it's molded in gray plastic but the sprue with the windows is clear in mine, not green, it's the right glass as it fits the small window cab, my T500 kit is molded in white and also have a clear window sprue.

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Apparently the green tinted windows were early in production and very rare.

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May or may not be common knowledge,  but 1967 appears to be the first year for the real wide hood 359. The front radiator was increased to 1444 sq. in. from the standard 1050 sq. in version. Looks like we got most of this with the kit, but  the 1676 CAT? IMO, the box art on the original kit  appears to be a artist rendition of a  real photo at the Pete plant in Newark Ca. Maybe  Tim would know.

IMG_4938.JPG

Edited by leafsprings

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This Brown California Hauler 359 was the first, of only two big rigs that I built.

I built the first one because of C.W. McCall's song, Convoy and it's popularity during the school year in '75. I believe I bought it mail order from Auto World.

Would love to build one again with that chrome sleeper.

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IMO, the front fenders are the biggest flaw in the kit, they are too short,  causing a large gap between bumper, they should come down level with bottom of radiator.  P + P resins show correct fenders on their site, but they don't respond to emails? 

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Rather than waste money on a pair of resin fenders , all that’s required is some plastic added to the bottom of the fenders ,shaped to the contour of the kit fenders and done! Definitely the only short coming of the kit!

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