Being one of a fading breed, Harm Speerstra could certainly be considered an icon in the world of trucks and trucking. So, what would be the chances that this rare quality of trucker would find an equally rare truck — pretty good, if you love trucks as much as Harm. After over 40 years of trucking, Harm is retired now and enjoys spending time with his wife Thelma and his collection of old trucks — including the perfect, all-original Peterbilt H cabover seen here.
Wanting to see the world, after high school, he joined the Dutch Air Force Service and ended up on an air base where Americans had Thunderbolts stationed. For two years, Harm spent almost every day with these Americans as they guarded the planes together and talked about all of the different states they were from.
Harm really enjoyed his time with these men, who all told him that he had to go stateside — and he agreed. After getting out of the Air Force, Harm contacted a cousin who was living in Southern California and asked if he would sponsor him to come to the United States. Lots of hay trucks came through there, and Harm really liked them.
After a few months, Gerrit Fikse put Harm in an older GMC powered by a four-banger Jimmy, rated at horses, and coupled to a 5-speed and electric two-speed.
The driver helped Harm load twice and then he was on his own. After six months, Harm jumped in a big binder International with a speed ranger.
The Jimmy and the both came with a board that you laid over the seats to create a bed for the night. Back in the day, truckers were never spoiled with luxuries.
Hauling hay was good in the summer, when there was a lot of work, but there was no work in the winter. One night, in one of the brake check areas on the Grapevine just outside of Southern California, a car-hauler parked next to Harm. The two got to talking and this car-hauler, named Dean Callen, told Harm that he was an old hay hauler who had started hauling cars in the winter. Embracing this new idea, Harm took his hay truck to Hadley Transport where he got a job hauling cars.
Now, he had year-round work, hauling hay in the summertime and cars in the winter. Harm even found a paper company called Noland Paper that needed some paper hauled at night, so he added that to his list of employers. In the meantime, as an added bonus, Hadley leased Harm out to Carrol Shelby, and he got to run their car-carrier when needed.
After a few months, Dale convinced Harm to go there, too — and it was the best thing he ever did. For almost 40 years, Harm hauled cars off the docks as a Teamster, and because of that, he has a wonderful pension today.
After a few years of driving a company truck, Harm was allowed to buy his own, and since he already had bought some tractors to run mail and other freight on the side, he transformed a two-axle into a car carrier. Everything was possible in those days. Over the next few years, Harm built his fleet up to four trucks, hauling cars during the day and mail and other freight at night. Life was good — but very busy. Apparently, they had lost their Ferrari account, and had an almost-new Peterbilt cabover car-hauler for sale with only 12, miles on her.
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Harm flew to Reno and got the truck, which became a legend in Southern California, and beyond. This group of truckers, led by Harm, produced their first show in in Pomona, CA at the Fairgrounds. The following year, they held another show at the raceway in Irvine, CA and included drag racing. This show, which was another big success, benefited the Ronald McDonald House.
At one of the truck shows, Harm was approached by a man named Steve Krieger who invited him to visit his office in San Bernardino, CA where he produced a cool magazine called American Trucker. Harm and Steve got along great, and Harm ended up doing some work for the magazine. Being very busy at the magazine and still driving the car carrier, Harm decided to sell most of his trucks and trailers, besides Betsy, to make life a little easier.
These three-week tours, which went to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Holland, were coordinated and led by Harm and were very successful and fun.
After about seven years of co-owning the magazine, they had an offer from an Alabama publishing company to buy them out and they took it. When SUVs became popular, Harm had to get rid of his beloved cabover and replace it with a Peterbilt conventional the cabover was just too tall to put an SUV on top of. Harm kept on trucking with this car-carrier until he retired in After that, he and his wife Thelma started motor-homing all across the USA and Canada, visiting as many truck shows as possible.
Later, Harm found and bought a few more trucks a and a Peterbilt in Washington, near where he and Thelma had moved to, and put them in the barn. A few years ago, while spending time with Dale and Phil at their shop, Phil told Harm about an old Peterbilt cabover that was supposedly sitting somewhere in National City near San Diego.
So, Harm went looking for it, and sure enough, he found her. After asking if he could look at it, Robert Mijers and his son Danny came out to show him the amazing tractor. Painted in the colors of Pan American Van Lines white with blue and gold stripesHarm could not believe his eyes — everything was like brand new, and the odometer only had 56, miles showing it now has about 59, miles on it.
Robert told Harm that his dad had trucked it for a while, but then parked her inside the storage facility, where it had sat for the last 30 years. It took a lot of friends to get her to Callen Truck Restoration, but once she was there, they brought in a mechanic that got the injector pump cleaned up, and then she fired right up! Phil spent a year cleaning up and customizing the truck just a little so Harm could drive it to shows. Mechanically, the truck was sound — all Phil did was replace some hoses, the filters, the wheel seals and the brakes.
The Peterbilt H with a inch cab features a speed overdrive transmission, 3. Phil built a custom twin air intake system for the truck, a rear light bar, custom mud-flap brackets for the front wheels with integrated lights, added a deck plate and new quarter fenders, and polished the visor. The original paint was polished, new Firestone The truck even had a factory-installed, key-operated alarm that still worked.
Everything was in such great shape that the truck passed its DOT inspection with flying colors. Harm gives all of the credit to Phil Callen, and deeply and respectfully thanks him for all the wonderful work he did on the truck. Unfortunately, Harm has not been able to take the H to very many truck shows due to health problems. After being diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer, Harm had six chemo treatments, which put the cancer in remission, but now, thanks to the cancer and chemo, he is having problems with his kidneys.
His doctors are working hard to correct the problem, and we pray that he has a speedy and full recovery. Throughout the decades, Harm has done it all — he trucked for 40 years, organized truck shows and travel tours, published a trucking magazine, and now he is becoming an avid truck collector.
But, through all that, he never forgot who he was or where he came from. At his core, Harm Speerstra is a pure truck fanatic, an outspoken advocate for the trucking industry, and a true gentleman — all of which makes him an authentic trucking icon, and a rare find, just like his amazing Peterbilt H cabover. Linss - Editor Daniel J. Linss has been with Magazine since the beginning in September of and has been the Editor and Art Director since March of Over the years, he has also become one of the main photographers for and is well-known for his insightful cover feature articles and honest show reports.
Married for over 25 years with three children, Daniel operates a marketing and production company Daniel Designs which produces Magazine each and every month from his office in Squaw Valley, CA. Australia Even though the Australian market of today mainly consists of Australia's own automotive companies alongside Asian automobile brands, Australia once had its fair share of American cars as well.
Bodies for the local assembly of Chevrolets were built in Australia as early as : From the early s to the early s the Chevrolet name was also used on various light commercials in Australia. The Holden VF Commodore was exported from Australia to the United States as the Chevrolet SS until Holden ended production in May during its transition to a distribution platform of vehicles that are sourced from GM's American and international plants that is expected to badge as Holden vehicles.
These vehicles will retain the Chevrolet badge and nameplate, and will be converted to RHD in Australia. In addition to the announced relaunch, Holden Special Vehicles confirmed in December that it will add the Camaro and Silverado to their performance lineup.
In the s, the advertising jingle "braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet"  adapted from the US "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pies and Chevrolet" came to epitomise the ideal lifestyle of white male South Africans. However, since South Africa was right-hand drive and the US was left-hand drive, along with encouragement by the South African government to use local content, Chevrolets such as the Biscayne were eventually made entirely in South Africa, along with GM's "own car for South Africa": Due to local content laws the cars usually received different engines than in their home markets.
However, these were replaced by Opel models like the RekordCommodoreand Senatorand in the Chevrolet brand name was dropped in favour of Opel. Because of the political climate at the time, GM decided to divest from South Africa inand a local group eventually bought out GM's South African operations including the Port Elizabeth plant and renamed the company Delta Motor Corporationwhich concentrated on Opels, Isuzus, and Suzukis, built under licence.
However, thanks to an improved political climate in the s, GM decided to reenter South Africa, eventually buying out the whole of Delta. Inthe Chevrolet name made a comeback, used on the Luminaa rebadged Holden Commodoreand later on, on the Daewoo range of cars. On May 19,GM announced that they will withdraw from South Africa, with its truck division and its plant changing hands to Isuzu while at the same time ending all sales and the dealership network of the Chevrolet brand at the end of GM will work with both Isuzu and PSA the new owners of Opel, which GM spun off the division to to ensure existing customers receive parts and technical support during and after the company exit the country.
The current generation of North American—built Chevrolet Impala V8 sedans has also been available in Europe in recent years, marketed as both large family sedans and more economically priced alternatives to Jaguars and BMWs as high performance executive cars.
However the Daewoo name was retained in South Korea and Vietnam until In the rest of the world, most Daewoo models have worn the Chevrolet badge since During the mids, the Corvette and Cadillac range were marketed in Europe through a separate distribution channel operated by Netherlands-based Kroymans Corporation Group  but following its bankruptcy in General Motors established a new Swiss based subsidiary to relaunch Chevrolet in Europe and add the Corvette, Camaro and Malibu models to the European range.
Although announcing that they will maintain a broad presence in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States General Motors later announced that they will reduce their line-up to the iconic models in Russia, and more, the Opel division will also exit the Russian market by the end ofwhile also abandoning production at their Saint Petersburg plant.
Chevrolet sales in Western and Central Europe [nb 1] ranged aroundunits per year sincepeaking atunits inwhile the market share achieved its highest of 1. The car was used against the German army in Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising in In collaboration with the Russian company GAZthe second generation Chevrolet Aveo was produced at the plant in Nizhny Novgorod for the Russian market, starting from the beginning of until The current S10 and Blazer exemplify this strategy.
However, more modern vehicles are now being marketed as market conditions change and competition increases. Besides those older models made in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, and Mercosur countries, Korean sourced cars from former Daewoo factories some markets also get Korean and U.
Argentina Chevroletmade in Argentina from to InGeneral Motors started importing Chevrolet Double Phaeton models and were welcomed with great demand. Inin order to reduce costs in the Argentine market, General Motors decided to manufacture in Argentina and started producing a sedan, a roadster, a truck chassis and the Chevrolet Double Phaeton, now called "Especial Argentino", a model exclusively designed for the Argentinean market. Sales increased and soon the Oldsmobile, Oakland and Pontiac units were incorporated to the assembly line.
When the Second World War broke out the operations were complicated. In the Chevrolet The last Chevrolet went out of the plant in August In order to avoid the total stoppage, the company made electrical and portable refrigerators and car accessories amongst other items.
Inmanufacturing plants are enlarged and set up to produce cars, pick ups and trucks. On January 25, the first Argentinean Chevrolet pick-up was introduced. The following year the national government approves the investment plan for 45 million dollars which included a plant of 12, m2.