A dozen Legend 900s heading this way
More than 250 of Kenworth’s special edition ‘Legend 900’ model, which premiered at the Brisbane Truck Show in May, were sold during the one-day that they were on sale. Of those, 12 are confirmed for New Zealand.
“It’s a fantastic result,” said Richard Smart, Southpac Trucks, General Sales Manager. “The dozen Legend 900’s are destined for operators from Auckland to Southland and will be found in a variety of different applications,” he says.
Combining the best modern technology with limited edition features coupled with a uniquely Kenworth heritage feel, the Legend 900 is the second historic tribute model launched by the brand, albeit with a different sales approach. The first limited edition model, the Legend 950, was restricted to just 75 vehicles when released in 2015.
The Legend 900 is inspired by the iconic T900 Kenworth which was originally released in 1991. Modelled on the legendary W-model, the T900 with classic looks and style in mind, it was designed with the versatility needed to operate in almost any application, and tough enough to stand up to the harshest conditions.
Driven by customer demand, the T900 was built to revive the character of the American-style long bonneted truck. Although not the spitting image of its much-loved predecessor the W900AR, it created its own elegance and class and followed the brand’s move to the highly aerodynamic T600 and rugged set back axle arrangement of the brawny T650.
The limited edition Legend 900 carries over many of the original features which made the T900 a favourite for so long. Numerous features on the 900 Legend had to be specifically manufactured and, in some cases, handmade to recreate this unique truck.
The Legend 900 uses the last of the flat windscreen B series cabs. These have increased head room and depth (for greater seat travel) which offer greater levels of comfort than the original cab. The traditional doors (swung on piano hinges) along with airlift windows have also been retained.
The split windscreen is topped off with a two piece stainless sun visor, bullet marker lights and round air horns. Side-mounted exhausts include a wraparound cover and twin 16-inch Cyclopac aircleaners with stainless caps and chrome bowls finish off the all-important traditional appearance.
There was a choice of 36-inch and 50-inch sleeper bunks with either an “Aero 1” (with dove tail air deflector) or a flat roof design.
The hood is adorned with heritage Kenworth and Cummins badges with the traditional italic Kenworth bug sitting above the grille which has seven grille bars included.
The interior of the Legend 900 features diamond pleat trim with ‘Legend 900’ embossed into the rear wall and door trims, and a wooden plaque on the glove box lid to identify the unique build number. A traditional Kenworth logo and Legend 900 logo is embroidered into the leather seats. The gear lever is topped with a handmade wooden gear knob featuring the original Eaton Fuller logo. A traditional flat dash layout houses a full range of handmade heritage style chrome-bezelled and white-faced gauges, back lit toggle switches and a four spoke leather steering wheel. There are even unique stainless scuff plates in the door openings.
Outside there are traditional extruded aluminium tank steps mounted to round fuel tanks, stainless rear guards and tail light bars, and black rubber mudflaps.
Under the hood is the latest generation Cummins X15 engine, specially painted in red and black to commemorate the Cummins N14 engine that was fitted to many of the original T900’s. The high tech X15 is bolted to a manual eighteen speed Eaton Fuller transmission.
According to Kenworth, sales came in a steady stream, with some customers requesting specific production numbers to suit special occasions in their company’s history. The result is a one-off 250 plus production run, making the Legend 900 the company’s most successful replica model to date.
“The common thread carried through the Legend Series models is the compelling combination of the latest technology for safer, cleaner and more productive operation, with iconic design features that help many enduring memories live on,” explained Brad May, Director Sales and Marketing at PACCAR Australia.
“Not only does the Legend 900 symbolise the Kenworth spirit, it celebrates the long history of manufacturing in Australia and some of the legends that have been along for the ride.”
May also revealed that the first Legend 900 has been named “Steady” in honour of Allan “Steady” Stead, one of Kenworth’s longest-serving employees who dedicated his working life to improving the product.