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BJ and The Bear K100
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By sag4spd - Thursday, June 02, 2011 7:00 AM
Hi guys--

  I have a vested interest in the 1st truck from the hit show BJ and the Bear.  I was wondering how much the tractor might have cost new back in '78? 

K100----Areodyne----400 Big Cam 1-----VIT package- 13spd....

I am not sure if you need any more specifics on it.  I heard new ones cost 30k but people have also said it cost 90k.

Just wondering what it cost back in the day.

By 359er - Thursday, June 02, 2011 7:09 AM
Sag, I ran a new 1974 KW 325 cat 13 speed single bunk tandem that was all aluminum and it cost $28,000 brand new if that gives you some ideas.
By sag4spd - Thursday, June 02, 2011 7:10 AM
Thanks 359er...  Maybe that one guy wasn't too far off with the 30k price. 
By newfie-trucker - Thursday, June 02, 2011 1:47 PM
Paul he first BJ & the Bear truck was in the series pilot was not a aerodyne but a double bunk flattop.. i dont know what happened to it though
By Robby359 - Thursday, June 02, 2011 2:56 PM
Actually the pilot truck was a 86" flattop.
By deguitars - Thursday, June 02, 2011 5:58 PM
There were at least two Aerodynes used in the first season plus the "Pilot" truck (an 86" flat top as Robbie pointed out) and also a yellow 86" flat top which was used when BJ had to paint the rig to disguise it. 

In July of '77 Overdrive Magazine tested a new K100 Aerodyne that tipped the pricing scales at the mid-$50K range. By the time BJ & the Bear was on the air ('78-'80) I would imagine prices had climbed a bit so $80-90K probably wouldn't have been out of the question by the end of the show's run.

By sag4spd - Friday, June 03, 2011 1:52 AM
I know the pilot truck was different (not an areodyne).  I was just curious about the 1st season truck.  I know it has the leather interior, double bunk, air cond, AC inverter, and fridge.  I also know it was sold at the raffle for 50k.  That leads me to believe the truck sold for more than that brand new.  It had about 20-25k miles on it when it was raffled off.

It now has 1,600,000 on it.
By AT64F - Friday, June 03, 2011 3:18 AM
I seem to keep everything truck related and when I was a kid, a relative used to get the Ohio Truck Trader and he gave them to me when he was done with them. I remember they were printed on yellow paper for some reason. They were from around that time frame ('77/'78) based on my age at the time. Those are packed away in a closet at my Mom's somewhere. I'm probably going up there tomorrow to take her home to visit and I'll see if I can find any of them and see if there's any ads in them for new KWs.

By deguitars - Friday, June 03, 2011 6:52 AM
Sag, all of the Aerodyne COEs had the double bunks (both the 86" & 108" versions) as that was sort of the dealeo with them, and I'm pretty sure the VIT package was "standard on the 108" version. However, the 86" cab Aerodyne was available with the standard "Splendor" interior. The BJ trucks had "parchment" vinyl interiors.

Pricing would be largely dependent on how the truck was spec'd but the BJ trucks were pretty standard, besides the AirGlide suspension I don't recall any serious options other than the 110 V outlet and the fridge you mentioned.


By tomchristopher71 - Friday, June 03, 2011 2:25 PM
In the early 80s, my dad's friend bought a new K100 Aerodyne with two single bunk beds. My dad said it cost about $100,000. I don't remember the specifications other than it had a fancy paint job and aluminum rims. I got to sit inside of it when I was a kid but never rode in it. I also remember reading in Overdrive magazine back then about a contest where you could win a BJ and the Bear version of the Aerodyne. My father said he entered my brother and I in the contest but if we won it, he would have to drive it. LOL
By rickknox - Friday, June 03, 2011 5:44 PM
In 1981 I speced a 104" cab, V.I.T. interior. 3406 Cat, 14 speed Spicer, 370 rears, 204 w.b. air ride, tall rubber, power steering, twin stacks, 188 gallon fuel tanks, chrome fuel tank straps, chrome air bonnet, air operated right window, right hand motor mirror. The price was $84000.00 and some change.

I got STUPID and bought a Peterbilt with the same specs with 150 gallon fuel tanks for $81000.00 and some change. Man do I wish I had stayed true to Kenworth.

By Eddy Lucast - Saturday, June 04, 2011 2:57 AM
Inquiring minds what to know why?
By rickknox - Saturday, June 04, 2011 11:25 AM

I guess the Pete came down the line on a Monday or a Friday. I always called it my $81,000.00 rattle. l would stick a tooth pick in the door lock knob to stop it from rattling. It had rattles under the dash. They had the windshield in and out so many times I lost track, they never did stop it from leaking. I would keep a paper towel waded up and stuck above the visor, when running in the rain when it started to allow the water to run down right in front of me, I would throw it out and stick another one up there. It had less storage than the KW, no cabinets in the sleeper. It had less head room, no TV shelf, But I bought it for $3000.00 less than the KW.

The best part about the Pete is I was getting 150,000 on a set of steer tires and it got 6.2 mpg right out of the dealership.

As you know I went back to a KW in 84 but bought a flat top.

By AT64F - Saturday, June 04, 2011 3:59 PM
Ok..took Mom home today to visit. I found my old Ohio Truck Trader magazines...and found lots of Kenworth dealer ads. Only problem was most did not advertise a price. I did find the one ad in the June 1978 edition that had a price. Not exactly the specs of the BJ and the Bear Aerodyne, but fairly close. 1978 KW Aerodyne, 3406 Cat (instead of the Cummins), 13 speed, $51,977. I've always heard a Cat was a little more expensive than a Cummins so that may have made the price a little higher, but at the same time this one also had steel rear wheels instead of aluminum. Otherwise it's pretty loaded up. I'd say the $50k range would be very close.

A couple of pictures down is a single bunk with 8V92T Detroit for $45,910 (plus tax) so for $6k more you could get a double bunk Aerodyne!

Very cool looking through those old books and seeing the 'then' new trucks and late model used trucks common in the books that are now long since antiques. Found an ad for a 1974 HAYES conventional with 350 Cummins/13speed, AND a walk in sleeper (very neat) for $16,750. Now that would be a neat truck to have if you could go back in time and get it! If anyone is interested in seeing any more of the old ads, I can scan a few and post them in a separate thread.

Also in the same book is a Strick flatbed 'kit'. You buy the flatbed assembly from them, then provide your own tandems. Thought that was kind of interesting.