by David Eichelbaum

Truck Compare 1973 vs 1974

Truck #1, 1973-built W900A

  • Built Jan. 1973 - Jan. 1974 (KW 50th Anniversary Model)
  • Donaldson "FWA" type Air Cleaners
  • Dented RH tank w/incorrect forward filler neck location *changed prior to CA filming
  • Incorrect RH step cover (handles make it a LH cover only)
  • Mismatched door mirrors throughout GA & CA filming
  • Note upper RH muffler mount is broken here; later fixed

Truck #2, 1974-built W900A

  • Built Jan. 1974 - Sept. 1974 (based on HVAC unit in dash)
  • Donaldson "EBA" type Air Cleaners
  • Correct flat diamond-tread step covers
  • Correct Rear-fill fuel tanks. Black painted straps.
  • Slightly different hood stripe & emblem position is due to original paint scheme on this truck. Emblems were NOT always positioned in the same place.

Stack Comparison

  • LH stack is significantly taller than RH in the filming of the 1973 Truck in GA
  • RH stack is slightly taller than LH in the filming of the 1974 Truck in GA

Comparing the trucks filmed in Georgia and California

Steps Comparison

NOTE: "EBA" & "FWA" refers to the style of air cleaners

Note A: W900A model LH Step boxes always housed the battery box - except when batteries were spec'd elsewhere - but batteries were never in the RH step box because RH steps were not standard and many trucks did not have them. "Standard" equipment was one 90 gal. fuel tank under RH door w/battery box in LH step.

Note B: Both of the diamond tread step covers on the 1974 "EBA" truck are correct. The 1973 "FWA" truck would have originally had the exact same covers.

Left Side

Note handles and wingnuts; this is a LH side Battery box cover. This entire step was added and fuel tank moved under sleeper so they used whatever parts they had access to.

Correct '73-on diamond-tread Step cover. Note Multiple bolts holding it on. There is nothing behind this cover and no need to remove it for access to anything.

Right Side

Incorrect '69-'72 smooth LH step (Battery Box) Cover. This detail never changes throughout GA & CA filming.

Correct '73-on style LH Battery Box cover that both trucks should have. Note handles and wingnuts for easy removal to access batteries.

Synopsis: Both step covers on the 1973 "FWA" truck are incorrect. Both should be diamond-tread (w/o recessed foot well). The smooth LH cover present in the movie is only correct for '69-'72 era trucks. The RH step cover is actually a LH step/ battery box cover (handles and wing nut attachment make it incorrect for a RH step cover). Why was this done? Judging by the RH tank saddle/strap spacing and incorrect filler neck, this tank was almost certainly located under the door from new. At some point - perhaps for the movie - the tank & saddle were relocated under the sleeper and a RH foot step was added probably to match the other truck. The chances of this exact oddity being duplicated on a third truck are slim to none!

Truck Compare - GA vs CA

Filming in Georgia vs filming in California

  • Uneven LH Stack.
  • Mismatched LH Mirror and white painted cat eyes top & bottom
  • Clips from a previously installed Bug Deflector

Comparing the trucks filmed in Georgia and California

Fuel Tank Comparison

Filming In Georgia Note mark from original strap location and forward filler neck position (should be rear fill with a factory installed (sleeper.) Saddle spacing is wrong. This tank was relocated from its original position under the cab door and the step added at a later point. It's possible this was originally a non- sleeper truck.

Filming In California (opening credits)

New Tank & Strap installed on RH side only seen in CA footage.  Note the EXACT same INCORRECT strap placement even though the tank & Straps are new. Forward-fill neck is incorrect but they replaced same for same.

*Standard W900A equipment was one fuel tank under RH door and LH battery box step