Although White's Autocar brand did built trucks to owners' specs, they had the reputation as extra heavy duty and heavy weight trucks, built in the east for eastern operations. In the western US and Canada, where the weight limits were much lower, truckers wanted lighter construction. Freightliner's aluminum cab suited the bill, but they built only COEs.
To respond to the demand for more custom builds and lighter weight conventionals, White introduced the White Western Star model in 1967, and built a factory in Kelowna, BC to build the trucks. The trucks sported a weight saving fibreglass tilt hood and a variety of options. However they continued to use the famous Comfort Cab, acquired by White in 1953 when they bought Autocar.
There were many tax advantages to bringing in parts and assembling the trucks in Canada, so the Western Star proved popular with Canadian buyers.
White was still not prospering however, and finally became insolvent in 1980. The Western Star brand and factory were sold to Canadian investors Bow Valley Industries and Nova, both Alberta oil companies. The new owners simply removed the "White" name and continued to produce the popular trucks.
The White Motor Co was bought by Volvo in 1980 but there was still some sharing between the new White and Western Star. Western Star re-badged White COEs to ensure a complete product line, but the trucks were in all respects still Whites. And Western Star continued to use the Comfort Cab.
Delving into my slide collection I have found some late model White Western Stars and some early Western Stars.
The first non-White Western Stars were essentially the same aside from the handsome W logo in place of the White name.
They hoped the "Keep Off" signs would discourage over-eager window washers from breaking their plastic fenders.