In 1923, two Seattle businessmen decided to incorporate their small manufacturing firm, the Gersix Motor Co., under a new name. Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington combined the first syllables of their last names and called it “Kenworth.” That first year, the company produced 78 six-cylinder, gasoline-powered trucks, and a major American brand was born.
In the century since then, Kenworth has built more than a million vehicles, ranging in size from Class 5 to Class 8 models. Today the company’s catalog also features super heavy-duty trucks—like the C500 6x6, with a gross combination weight rating of 1 million pounds—and a number of medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric vehicles.
Executives emphasized the company’s leadership in truck design and fuel efficiency. “From being the first U.S. truck manufacturer to offer a diesel engine as standard equipment in 1933 to selling Kenworth trucks with an electric powertrain today, it’s been quite a journey,” Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and vice president of parent company Paccar, said in a press release. “We’re also especially proud of our leadership in truck aerodynamics with the Kenworth T600 introduction in 1985. That model began the revolution in fuel-efficient trucks, and its evolution has tremendously advanced in the new flagship T680 that sets [the] industry standard today in truck aerodynamics.”The company will be celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2023. To mark the milestone, Kenworth has set up a dedicated web page with links to a photo archive gallery, corporate history, info on special edition trucks, videos and interviews, branded merchandise, and “Kenworth Kids” children’s content.
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