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The 379 was Peterbilt's flagship truck from 1987 until the 2007 model year maintaining the nameplate's signature long-nose styling coupled with a rugged edged yet refined profile. Available in standard (119″ BBC) and long hood (127″ BBC) lengths.
Replacing the "359" in 1987, it remained in production until March 2007 with the last 1,000 379s called the "Legacy Class 379".
Throughout production, the 379 came loaded with some of the most powerful high-torque inline 6-cylinder turbo-diesel engines offered in on-highway vehicles. These engines included the Caterpillar C-11, C-12, C-13, C-15, C-16 and the 3406-(B,C,E,P and EWS), Cummins the "big cam" NTC, N-14, ISM, ISX, Signature 600, and Detroit Diesel 60 series and 90 series.
In popular media
Autobot leader Optimus Prime's alternate mode for the first three installments of the live-action Transformers (film series) is a Peterbilt Model-379 truck. Three modified 379s were used interchangeably. There was much controversy over this in the Transformers fan community because Optimus Prime is almost always portrayed in the various cartoon series as a flat-nose cab over semi-trailer truck (or later as a fire engine); his movie incarnation would be the second with an extended nose conventional cab. The filmmakers have said that, ignoring the fan-termed "mass shifting" associated with the series, Optimus's final official height of 28 feet (8.5 m) in robot mode would not have been possible to allow for all of the mechanics of the CGI model if they had gone with a cab-over, which would have dropped him instead to a smaller 20 feet (6.1 m).
A Peterbilt 379 was used in a 1998 film, Black Dog, and made the truck model more popular.
Other popular culture
- A Peterbilt 379 was driven by the antagonist in the "Joy Ride featuring Paul Walker as well as the sequels Joy Ride :2 Dead Ahead and Joy Ride :3 Dead Ahead.
- A Peterbilt 379 appeared in the 2000 version of Gone in 60 Seconds
- A Peterbilt 379 appeared in the movie Black Dog (1998)
- A close relative of the Peterbilt 379, the Kenworth W900, appeared extensively in the 1977 film "Smokey and the Bandit" driven by the country guitarist and actor, Jerry Reed.
- In Cars, Lightning McQueen mistakes "Jerry Recycled Batteries", a 1979 Peterbilt 352 voiced by Joe Ranft, for "Mack". Jerry Recycled Batteries replies "Mack? I ain't no Mack, I'm a Peterbilt for dang sake! Turn on your lights you moron!"