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A Look Back: 90 Years of Kenworth Trucks


KIRKLAND, Wash., Feb. 13, 2013 – Kenworth Truck Company is celebrating its milestone 90th anniversary during 2013. With an excellent heritage of quality, innovation and technology, Kenworth has provided thousands of customers with The World’s Best® trucks over the decades.

Early Assembly

Early Kenworth Assembly Process

It all began in 1923 when Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington incorporated the Gersix Motor Company as “Kenworth”.  The company name was formed from a combination of letters from the founders’ last names.

1920s Kenworth Fleet

Kenworth Fleet in 1920s

That first year, the small Seattle truck manufacturer produced 78 six-cylinder, gasoline-powered trucks. Since then, Kenworth has produced more than 900,000 trucks.

Early Logging Truck

Early Kenworth Logging Truck

Kenworth’s success and staying power in a competitive business can be traced back to a philosophy established early in the firm’s history. The goal was to build the right Kenworth truck for each customer’s application to get the job done…and build that truck to last. That philosophy, which continues to be true to this day, resulted in Kenworth establishing a solid reputation for its quality, innovative and durable trucks that are driven by state-of-the-art technology.

First Diesel

Kenworth Diesel Truck in 1933 

Kenworth was the first truck manufacturer to install diesel engines as standard equipment in 1933 and sold the first sleeper cab in 1936.

First Sleeper

Kenworth Sleeper Cab in 1936

The Kenworth T600A transformed the industry as the first truly aerodynamic Class 8 truck in 1985.

Kenworth T600

Kenworth T600

A year later, the Kenworth T800 was introduced and is widely recognized for serving productively in applications such as dump truck, mixer, logger, and extreme heavy haul. The milestone 250,000th T800 was produced and celebrated last year.

At the  2012 Mid-America Trucking Show, Kenworth significantly pushed aerodynamics ahead again with the introduction of the all-new Kenworth T680, the company’s most aerodynamic truck in its history.

Gold T680

Kenworth T680

“Over the past 90 years, Kenworth has played an essential role in the development of trucks that are more fuel efficient, productive and economical to operate,” said Gary Moore, Kenworth’s general manager and PACCAR vice president. “It’s the foundation that began when Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington incorporated the Gersix Motor Company as ‘Kenworth’ in 1923, and delivering trucks that provide exceptional performance continues today.

“Kenworth takes great pride in our history of achievement and excellence. As we go forward, Kenworth’s core values of quality, innovation and technology will remain steadfast as we provide customers with The World’s Best trucks,” said Moore.

In 2013, Kenworth expects to bring its latest industry-leading innovations to the Mid-America Trucking Show. Throughout the year, Kenworth will also host many customer events to commemorate the company’s 90th anniversary milestone and showcase our exciting new trucks. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.

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