Last Updated on :
You may download any image for personal or non-commercial use only.


Here is the cover of the book where these pictures came from.
If you ever find a copy of this book anywhere, I highly recommend it. It's a great history lesson.
This 1930's Fageol, the first COE reshaped in the Consolidated Freightways maintenance shop in Portland, Oregon, was the predecessor of the Freightliner COE.
Until the summer of 1941, James' trucks, like the manufacturing company itself, bore the "Freightways" name.
In the lates 1930's, Consolidated Freight Lines vehicles arriving for service in the Portland maintenance shop were often modified with newly developed lightweight components.
A late-1930's conventional, reshaped by Consolidated in Portland. Such trucks were specially designed to operate on the rugged unpaved open roads of the West.
Early 1940's Freightways prototype COE, built in a corner of the Consolidated Freightways maintenance shop in Portland.
Forrunner to the Freightliner Conventional was this tractor, modified in 1941 at the Consolidated Freightways shop in Portland. These Conventionals bore no nameplate and were dubbed the "no-name conventionals."
Early Freightliner "shovelnose" COE model, from 1941. The straight truck was designed to meet North Dakota's 50-foot overall length requirements.
Some 40 COEs were built in 1948 at Freightliner's N.W. Quimby Sreet plant in Portland. The truck at the lower left includes a proposed new grill which eventually was rejected by Leland James.
Frame build-up area at the N.W. Quimby Street plant in 1949. The two gentlemen in the white on the right are Norm Chew (left), who would become Freightliner's vice president of engineering, and Glen Watkins, later vice president of sales and service.
The first all-aluminum Freightliner cab, developed in 1948 and purchased by Vince Graziano, represented the first sale outside the company to a Consolidated Freightways lessor.
Seen ready for delivery, these four trucks were built at the N.W. Quimby Street plant in 1950 and included both non-sleeper and integral sleeper cab models.
The first Freightliner truck sold to an unaffiliated customer - in 1949 - went to this Oregon lumber hauler, who simply walked in and paid cash.
The Hyster Company was the first private company to buy a Freightliner. The truck embodied a number of design changes and is generally considered "No. 1" for Freightliner as well as for Hyster. It logged more than four million miles before Freightliner bought it from the current owner in 1976 and restored it to its original condition. It is now on display at the Smithsoniam Institution. Ray Turpen, right, was one of the original drivers who participated in displays of No. 1 at truck trade shows after it was refurbished.
Leland James was so impressed with the Hyster truck's integral sleeper that in 1950 he began to convert the CF fleet to a similar integral sleeper design.
As Leland James modernized the CF fleet by converting to the modern COE bubblenose design in 1950, production rates in Freightliner rose to three a week.
This single-drive bubblenose non-sleeper COE, purchased by the Mayflower Milk Company of Portland in late 1951, was the first truck manufactured under the new White-Freightliner marketing agreement.
This Cantlay & Tanzola tanker truck, built in 1951, was the first White-Freightliner designed for petroleum transport.
In July 1953, White-Freightliner introduced the first overhead sleeper cab on it's dual-drive truck chassis. it allowed 23 feet of loading space on a truck and total of 51 feet of van and trailer length, within 60-foot overall length limit. This was especially appealing for livestock hauling, which required maximum loading space plus sleeper accommodations.
After steel axle tubes were pressed into aluminum axle housings, other components were assembled on the housings as they moved down the Swan Island truck production line.
Ken Self, left, and "Jake" Jacobsen, assistant superintendent, examine a detail of Freightliner's cab construction. Jacobsen originally hammered the cab skind by hand.
Aluminum nose sections were assembled on a special jig near the start of the U-shaped assembly line of the Swan Island plant.
Introduced March 1953 was the first 48-inch cab, dubbed the Spacemaker, representing the first of a new cab style. Incorporating a Cummins engine mounted horizontally under the frame, this truck, a model WF-4864 tandem axle, was purchased by Lee & Eastes, Inc.
Evolved from basic sketches drawn by Ken Self and Norm Chew, the WF-5844T tractor was unveiled in 1953. It provided maximum, all-wheeled drive traction on an extremely short wheelbase, and was designed to pull two trailers over the rugged mountain passes of the Pacific Northwest.
In 1965, the experimental TurboLiner became the first Freightliner with a gas-turbine engine. Although it weighed 2,400 pounds less than comparible piston-driven rigs, the rising cost of gasoline doomed the project.
In 1968, Freightliner built this 104-inch COE, naming it the Van Liner in honor of its owners, a driving team that worked for Greyhound Van Lines. The name stuck.


E-Mail any comments to Hank Suderman         E-Mail any comments to Mat Shelton
Back to the Main Transportation Page
Back to the Trucks Page