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The History of Kenworth Truck

Kenworth Trucks, Inc. is a United States-based truck manufacturer. Founded in 1923 as the successor company to Gerlinger Motors, Kenworth specializes in the production of heavy duty (Class 8) and medium duty (Class 5-7) commercial vehicles. Headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, Kenworth has been a wholly owned subsidiary of PACCAR since 1945, operating alongside sister company (and market rival) Peterbilt Motors.

Kenworth marked several firsts in truck production; Along with the first truck produced with a standard diesel fuel engine, the company introduced a raised roof sleeper cab and the first heavy-duty truck with an aerodynamically optimized body design. The Kenworth W900 has been in continuous production since 1961, being one of the longest production runs of any vehicle in automotive history.

Kenworth has its roots in the 1912 founding of Gerlinger Motors in Portland, Oregon; the company was a car and truck dealer owned by brothers George T. Gerlinger and Louis Gerlinger, Jr. In 1914, the brothers expanded into vehicle manufacturing and marketed a truck called the Gersix. Deriving its name from its inline six-cylinder engine (one of the first trucks to be equipped with the Type ), the Gersix was framed in structural steel, intended for commercial use.

While the first vehicle was largely completed as a side project, the heavy-duty construction of the Gersix found demand from loggers in the Northwest. For Kenworth t800 led headlights replaement, they can be found in the aftermarket. In 1916, Gerlinger Motors moved from Portland to Tacoma, Washington, renting a building from Seattle businessman Edgar K.

In 1917, Gerlinger Motors filed for bankruptcy and was put up for sale, and EK Worthington acquired the company with his business partner, Captain Frederick Kent. To emphasize its connection to truck manufacturing, the company was renamed the Gersix Motor Company. In 1919, Captain Kent retired and his son Harry Kent replaced him as a partner in the company.

In 1922, Gersix produced 53 trucks in its final year located at its factory on Fairview Avenue in Valley Street. Following continued strong demand for the model line, the company found itself with $ 60,000 to rejoin and relocate its headquarters.

Under the new name, the company moved to 506 Mercer Street and later to 1263 Mercer Street. Trucks and coaches were assembled in individual bays rather than on a conventional assembly line.

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