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A Brief History of Kenworth Trucks

The history of Kenworth trucks is an interesting one. It all began in Portland, Oregon in 1912 when two brothers came together to start a new trucking company. George T. and Louis Gerlinger, Jr. began their company by starting a vehicle dealership selling cars and trucks but quickly decided they were not happy selling vehicles that other people produced. They turned to manufacturing their own trucks in 1914 naming the company Gerlinger Motor Company. Pioneering the advancement of trucks, they decided to use an engine that was more powerful than what was currently being used at the time which was an inline 6-cylinder engine which was the first of it's kind used in modern vehicles.

The brothers decided to move their operation to Tacoma, Washington in 1916. Businessman Edgar K. Worthington took interest in the motor company and decided to purchase it in 1917 with his partner Frederick Kent. Frederick soon retired from the business and passed down his ownership to his son, Harry. The company's continued success called for a rebranding in 1923 when they changed the name to Kenworth by combining the two names (Ken - Worth).

In 1926, Kenworth began producing auto parts and buses and haven't stopped since. Kent and Worthington remained owners of Kenworth up until 1945 when it was purchased by The Pacific Car and Foundry Company who took the company international. Some of the manufacturing was moved to Mexico at that time.

Later in 1967, a new division was born which was called Dynacraft which crafted several different auto parts such as hoses, belts, adapters, and other parts that are used at Kenworth manufacturing plants. 

The company changed names once again in 1972 when the shareholders and company directors made the decision that the name did not reflect the company's growth and change over the years. PACCAR Inc was created and The Pacific Car and Foundry Company moved to become a division of PACCAR.

If you need parts or service for your truck, Michigan Truck Sales is here to help. Contact us today.


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