Kenworth – Leader in Heavy Duty Trucks
Kenworth was established in 1912 as Gerlinger Motor Car Works by George T. and Louis Gerlinger Jr. The company started as a car and truck dealership in Portland, Oregon until 1914 when the brothers decided to build their first commercial truck, one with a more powerful inline six-cylinder engine. This innovative truck came to be known as “The Gersix” in 1915 and became the ideal logging truck that can traverse the harsh, rugged terrain of the Northwest with its structural steel frame and powerful engine. The company moved to Tacoma Washington in 1916 where the brothers met Seattle businessman Edgar K. Worthington. The commercial success of the Gersix in the Northwest piqued Worthington’s interest, and in 1917, he bought the Gerlinger Motor Car works together with his business partner Captain Frederick Kent, renaming it into the Gersix Motor Company.
The Gersix Motor Company continued manufacturing trucks until 1922, creating 53 trucks in their factory on Fairview Avenue at Valley Street. The company soon moved to Mercer Street and continued assembling trucks and motor coaches in individual bays instead of conventional assembly lines. Kent and Worthington eventually renamed the business as the Kenworth Motor Truck Company in 1923, using a combination of their last names. They ventured into bus manufacturing in 1926 and became the first American company to release trucks with diesel engines from their assembly lines. In 1945, Kenworth was eventually bought by the Pacific Car and Foundry Company, or PACCAR as it is known today, and continued its legacy as a top-notch manufacturer of trucks, diesel engines, and truck spare parts.