You don't want to get hit by one of these.
April 1, 2008 10:53 PM   Subscribe

My dad used to drive a Mack (B-group, but that's all I know; was already quite well-seasoned by 1983) and I went almost an entire school year being taken to school in it whenever he wasn't on a run.

Most kids would have been embarrassed. I was, too, but I pretended to think it was the coolest way to get to school. Soon enough, it was. I made more acquaintances than I thought possible because of that truck.

Good thing, as this countered the mesh-back Mack hat I wore for most of that year (6th grade), and I would have told you it was a small blessing when it was irrevocably lost after I left it in my desk on the last day of school until a few years ago.

Now I curse not having been able to sell my completely unironic, authentic, Mack trucker hat worn-in-a-Mack-truck-by-a-genuine-feral-nerd-at-an inner-city-math-&-science-academy (and during much classic quad roller-skating)--complete with bull dog--to some pretentious hipster with more money than (fashion) sense. Damnit.

Thanks for the FPP, Effigy2000 - this brought back good memories :)
posted by batmonkey at 11:12 PM on April 1, 2008

Looks like we got ourselves a convoy!
posted by loquacious at 11:12 PM on April 1, 2008

Most big-rig makers are assemblers... they make their own frame and body, but they buy their suspension, axles, tranny and powerplant from different vendors. Mack is unique in that they design and build their trucks from the ground up... or they did, until Volvo bought them. Engine, axles, tranny - all Mack parts. This made spare parts expensive, but Mack made up for it by making sure you didn't need to order too many of them. (Unlike, say, a Freightshaker with a Detroit Diesel).

If you want to buy a vintage Mack, try here.

One of these days... as soon as I can find a reasonable justification for owning a half-century old commercial vehicle... maybe if I say I'm going to use it to tow a boat...
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:57 PM on April 1, 2008

Is this in honor of the strike?

And batmonkey, one of my favorite t-shirts ever belonged to a kid in a second grade class photo (a friend's little brother was in the class at the time). It said, "My Mama Drives a Mack Truck". I'm pretty sure they had it made at a t-shirt shop.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:00 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Drove a Mac cab-over in the 80' was a good rig, all things considered.

But really not much to distinguish it from other machines I drove, including
International Harvesters, Peterbilts, Kenworths, and even an old beater Autocar.

But it was cool to have that bulldog mascot riding out front.
posted by rmmcclay at 2:05 AM on April 2, 2008

Monsta Mack
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:51 AM on April 2, 2008

B model mack is right up there with the GG1 as the pinnacle of industrial design.
posted by fixedgear at 3:59 AM on April 2, 2008

Amen about the B-models, fixedgear. I love the fact that the body style remained the same for 16 years.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 5:44 AM on April 2, 2008

You can also find a wealth of material on the Mack Truck Company, pre-1950's, at the Henry Ford Museum& Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI (now hideously known as "The Henry Ford" ... sorry, Hank, I don't idolize you THAT much!). They may not have may images online, but they do have upwards of 60,000 photographs that came out of the Mack Truck advertising division that had been located out on Long Island.

Through the generosity of a donor, the Museum Archives (the Benson Ford Research Center) received two tractor-trailer loads of materials, including glass plate negatives dating back to the founding of the company in the 1890s. They were originally heavy wagon builders ...

If you want to see any material, you'll probably have to go there in person, sadly. Everything online seems to be JUST about Ford and the Ford MOtor Company, despite their collection being a premier one on the development of the automobile in the US.
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:01 AM on April 2, 2008

Oh, wow ... that link to the Mack Truck website ... some of the photos that they are using of the early years (pre-WWII) are COPY photos of the very ones I worked with ...great to see them out in the public and good to see that Mack is in the 21st century.
posted by aldus_manutius at 6:13 AM on April 2, 2008

If you chance by Allentown and there are five of you, it seems you can get a tour of the Mack Truck factory there.
posted by parudox at 5:04 PM on April 2, 2008

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