Take a cruise on any major highway in the United States and at some point you’ll likely feel the approaching rumble reminiscent of a 3.0 magnitude earthquake. You investigate by peering at your rear-view mirror, and the reflection is immediately consumed by a massive chrome grill. As it screams by, you realize by its red oval monogrammed logo, it’s a Peterbilt truck.
Peterbilt Motors Company, a name synonymous with long-haul trucking, has reigned as America’s premium quality heavy-duty truck manufacturer since the company was founded in 1939.
Based in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt’s mission is “to build custom engineered, superior quality trucks, with unparalleled style, fuel economy, and performance.”
It is the dream of every trucker [and non-truckers alike] to own a Peterbilt. And I mean that, literally.
To say Luca Bordin is a Peterbilt fan would be an understatement. This northern Italy resident likes the big hulking American trucks; non-characteristic of its European counterparts. I assume it’s because American trucks won’t fit down the narrow Italian streets. “European trucks are small and dull in comparison,” Bordin says.
Bordin, you might say, is a Peterbilt fanatic. He’s spent many months designing, fabricating and assembling his own Peterbilt; one-fourth the size of the real deal.
The replica looks and sounds like the real thing. But that’s where the similarities end. Powered by a 750-watt electric motor and weighing in at just around 400 pounds, the remote-controlled cab lights up with the help of hundreds of LEDs. A fog machine, more commonly found in night-clubs, spews puffs of smoke to simulate the exhaust. A pair of speakers reproduce the roar of the diesel engine and a mini air compressor belts out the very distinct trucker horn.
Bordin doesn’t stop there. He’s constructed a 16-foot Nascar-branded trailer equipped with a 22-inch LCD flat screen and a 1,200 amp audio system. Don’t worry; the trailer’s roof is outfitted with solar panels to recharge the battery so power is rarely a concern.
When asked why he went to such lengths to recreate the Peterbilt 359 and if he has any advice for others looking to build a model of this magnitude, Bordin answers, “I built it for personal satisfaction. It’s an indescribable feeling of accomplishment every time I look at it. You must have a great deal of patience, perseverance and the right set of tools like a 3D CAD system. It helps in getting the details just right and allows you to visualize the dimensions and simulate the mechanisms before the build.”