Mack Truck - 1900-present - New York, New York


In 1900, the Mack brothers introduced their first successful vehicle --- a 40-horsepower, 20-passenger bus. The 1900 Mack bus, built for sightseeing concessionaire Harris and McGuire, operated in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for eight years before being converted into a truck. The vehicle racked up a million miles of service

Mack proudly claims that the first bus was a Mack, and the first Mack was a bus. Although Mack Trucks Inc. is currently a manufacturer of trucks only, buses were a major product line for 60 years of the company's early history. After building and delivering its first bus, the company rose to prominence in the bus building industry. During the era of the Mack bus, many diverse and varied products were produced including gasoline and diesel power, conventional, parlor, and transit types, and even electric trolley coaches. Although buses have not been produced since 1960, they remain a significant and prominent part of Mack's proud history.


(1) Mack Brothers Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. 1902-1905

(2) Mack Brothers Motor Car Co., Allentown, Pa. 1905­1911

(3) International Motor Co., Allentown, Pa. 1911-1916

(4) International Motor Truck Corp., Allentown, Pa. 1916­1922

(5) Mack Trucks Inc., Allentown, Pa. 1922 to date

(6) Mack Trucks Inc., Hayward, Calif. 1966 to date

The Mack brothers, Willie, Jack and Gus, had a success­ful wagon-building business in Brooklyn where they built their first motor vehicle. This was an 18-20 passenger sightseeing bus powered originally by a 24 hp horizon­tally-opposed 4-cylinder engine, soon replaced by a 36 hp

vertical unit. Final drive was by double chains and a top speed of 20 mph was possible, though 12 mph was a more normal cruising speed. The prototype was completed and sold in 1902, and a second bus ordered in 1903, but it was not until 1904 that the Mack sightseeing vehicles, now powered with their own make of 4-cylinder engine, were produced on a quantity basis. Carrying the name Manhattan, last used for Mack trucks in 1910, they were sold not only in the New York area, but as far afield as New Orleans, Boston and Havana, Cuba.

Only 15 vehicles were made at Brooklyn, and early in 1905 the Mack brothers acquired a plant at Allentown, Pa. This move brought another brother into the business, for J 6seph S. Mack, the youngest of the family, had a silk mill in Allentown, and became treasurer of the new company. At first production was concentrated on the Manhattan bus, joined by hotel buses and combination goods and passenger vehicles. Trucks were tested during the summer and autumn of 1905, and put on the market before the end of the year. These were a normal control 1 ½ / 2  tonner and forward control models of 3, 4 and 5 tons capacity. The original Brooklyn-built engines had been of the F-head layout, but at Allentown new T-head designs were introduced. The most widely used was a 50/60hp four, although there was also a 90hp six used in boats and railcars but not in trucks. The basic engine was made with little change until 1915. Another long-lived feature was the constant-mesh selective gearbox designed by Gus Mack in 1905. At first the heavier trucks, 3 tons and up, were all forward control, but in 1908 a parallel line of normal control models up to 5 tons was available. In 1909, in order to enter the important market for lighter trucks, a new line of 1, 1 1/2 and 2 tonners was introduced with 32hp engines and pressed steel frames in place of the rolled channel steel of the larger models. Later these became known as the Junior line, and the 3 to 7 1/2 tonners as the Senior line.

Up to 1911 production was modest, fewer than 100 per year, but then the figure rose to about 600. This expansion involved the Mack brothers in a search for increased capital, and in October 1911 the International Motor Company was formed. This was a holding company, backed by the Wall Street banking house of J.P. Morgan and Company, for both Mack and the newly-formed American Saurer company. Manufacturing continued separately, but sales of both makes of truck were combined. In March 1912 Hewitt joined the group and for a few years all three makes were often carried in the same advertisement. At this time the Mack range covered trucks from 1 to 7% tons, as well as buses and fire engines which had been introduced in 1911. The merging of the company into I.M.C. led to the departure of the Mack brothers themselves, though not all at once. Gus and Joe left the vehicle business altogether while Jack formed the Mac-Carr (later Maccar) company which made trucks under that name until 1935. Willie remained with I.M.C. until he retired during the 1920s, but in 1916 he formed a company of his own, Metropolitan Motors Inc., which made a few light trucks under the name Mackbilt.

In 1913 the smallest Mack yet made was introduced, the %-ton Model S with 4-cylinder monobloc engine, though still with chain drive, an unusual feature for so small a truck of this date. The S was supposed to be part of a whole new range of trucks from % to 6 tons, but apart from 98 of the S and one prototype Model T, this series was stillborn. However the years 1914 to 1916 saw the introduction of two new models which were to bring greater fame to Mack than anything that had appeared before. These were the AB and AC models, both designed by Edward R. Hewitt who had become chief engineer in 1914. The AB was a replacement for the Mack Junior line, although production of the latter continued up to 1916, and was listed in 1,1 Y2 and 2 ton forms. It was powered by a 30 hp 4-cylinder engine with pair-cast cylinders, and had a worm-drive rear axle, a new departure for Mack. The first series relied on a number of bought-out components such as Timken axles, Gemmer steering and Brown-Lipe transmissions, but from 1915 onwards these units were all made by Mack. Chain drive was offered as an alternative to worm from 1915. The AB remained in production until 1936, by which time a total of 51,613 had been made. Major changes of course took place during this period, including the substitution of double reduction for worm drive in 1920, chains remaining optional, while styling kept pace with the general changes in the truck industry. The AB was used as a basis for medium-sized fire engines, but more important was the AB bus chassis introduced in 1921, and improved in 1924 with drop frame and pneumatic tires. More than 3,800 AB buses, some with gasoline-electric drive, were made up to 1934. The bus chassis was also used by some truck operators for high speed work, these vehicles being known as Bus Commer­cials.

In 1916 came an even more famous Mack than the AB, the heavy-duty AC (3Y2, 5Y2, 7Y2-tons) soon christened Bulldog by British Army engineers. Like the AB, the AC had a 4-cylinder pair-cast engine with inspection ports in the crankcase and governor built into the camshaft timing gear. The engine was slightly smaller than that of the old Senior Macks (5 x 6 inches compared with 5Y2 x 6 inches) but developed 75 hp against the 50/60 hp of its prede­cessor. Like the lighter Macks from 1909 onwards the AC had a pressed-steel frame. Its best-known characteristic were the hood and dashboard-mounted radiator, though these were not unique to the AC. Chain drive was standardized and remained so until the model's disap­pearance in 1938. However a shaft-driven model of similar frontal appearance called the AK was made from 1927 to 1936. Other variants using the same hood and radiator were the AC 6-wheelers and the 6-cylinder AP made in 4­and 6-wheel versions. The latter had a capacity of 7 ½ tons as a 4-wheeler, 10 tons as a rigid 6 and 15 tons as an articu­lated 6-wheeler., From 1936 Buda and Cummins diesel engines were available in the AC and AP. The AC and its relatives were among the strongest trucks ever made, and solid-tired examples from the 1920s were still familiar sights in New York and other cities 30 and even 40 years after they were built. Among their most important contri­butions to the American economy were their widespread use in construction and road-building and in the Hoover Dam project. Both AC and AP chassis were used for fire engines, pumpers and rigid and articulated ladder trucks. Total production of the AC from 1915 to 1938 was 40,299, together with 2819 AKs and 285 APs.

The first Mack to use a 6-cylinder engine was a bus, the AL, which was introduced in 1926 and made until 1929. It had vacuum brakes (on the rear wheels only) and a 4-speed transmission. It was superseded by the BK which had an altogether new and more powerful engine as well as air brakes. Other front-engined models followed in response to specific needs; in all Mack built and sold about 6,000 buses of this type between 1921 and 1938. So-called streetcar-type bodies were supplied for front-engined chassis to meet the competition starting in 1931, but were not especially successful, and in 1934 they were replaced by a new line of streamlined rear-engined buses. The first of these was the 30-passenger CT. Mack installed its rear­-mounted engines transversely, and during the pre-war years the engines used were small enough for right-angle drive to be possible. The rear-engined Macks of the 1930s were widely sold to the number of over 7,000 in less than 10 years, the largest fleets being in Buffalo, Philadelphia, Portland and St. Louis. Two sizes of trolleybuses were,

also built, from 1935 to 1943. Diesel buses were offered starting in 1938, the engine being built by Mack on the Lanova pre-combustion chamber principle. Standardized school bus chassis based on the E-series truck were also listed, beginning in 1938.

Meanwhile truck production was being diversified into fields both smaller and larger than had hitherto been made. The smaller line was represented by the Mack Juniors (1936-1938) which were in fact Reos sold with Mack badges and minor trim changes. This resulted from an agreement to sell Reos through Mack agencies. Mack Juniors came in ½, 1-½ , 2 and 3-ton models as well as a bus chassis. The larger Macks were the F series, introduced in 1937. These were chain-drive 4x2 and 6x4 trucks of up to 100,0001bs GVW, the largest intended for off-road use in quarrying and mining. Gasoline and diesel engines were featured, the latter being at first of Buda or Cummins manufacture, though Mack's own diesel was launched in 1938 and soon supplanted the proprietary makes.

In addition to the heavy-duty models Mack made a comprehensive range of trucks in the medium category, the BJ was a 3-4 tonner with 126 hp 6-cylinder engine and front wheel brakes. Introduced in 1927, it was uprated to 5/8 tons in 1931 and was often used in tractor/trailer form with a 10 ton capacity. Other models in the B series ranged from the 1-ton BL with Lockheed hydraulic brakes to the 8 ton 6-wheeled BQ. An important step was the reintroduction in 1933 of a cab-over-engine range which Mack had not made since 1916. These were the 3/5 ton CH 4-wheelers and 3 ½ /6 ton CJ 6-wheelers, both of which became popular for work in crowded and narrow city streets, though the CH was also made as a tractor for long-distance hauling. Some of the first sleeper cabs on American trucks were seen on the CH tractor. In 1936 came the EC and EB small coe trucks in the 1½ to 4 ton range, and the following year the Cs were restyled to elimi­nate the snub-nosed hood of the earlier models. Others in the E range were the ½ ton ED, 2 ½ ton EE, 4 ton EH, 6 ton EM (shaft drive) and ER (chain drive) and 10/12 ton EQ tractor. These, together with the MR (Mack Retailer) 1 ton multi stop delivery van, the heavy duty F and L series, and the buses previously mentioned took Mack up to the eve of World War 2. Truck production was running at over 10,000 per annum, making Mack America's largest makers of heavy trucks.

Mack production of military trucks had begun two years before Pearl Harbor, several hundred 6x4 EXBU and NR4 trucks being supplied to the French and British forces in 1939 and 1940. The US Army also had 700 cab­-over-engine 4x4 Model NJU 5/6 tonners in 1941. The most important specifically military Mack was the NO, a 7Y2­ton 6x6 which could be used as a load carrier or tractor for the 155mm Long Tom field gun. A total of 2,053 NOs were built between 1940 and 1945.0ther aspects of war work included the production of 2,600 power trains for tanks in Mack's gear plant at Brunswick, N. J., and Vultee naval torpedo bombers at the bus plant at Allentown. Fire apparatus was built on Brockway and Kenworth chassis. Some experimental vehicles including a double-ended twin-engined tank transporter were also made.

After the war the E, F, and L series of medium and heavy trucks were reintroduced but the lighter models of up to 3 tons were not. In addition the first truck built specifically for West Coast needs was announced, although there was to be no actual West Coast plant until 1966. These LTSW models had longer wheelbases and more powerful engines of up to 306 hp, and 10 speed Mack Duplex transmissions. Another aspect of post-war production was the increasing importance of off-road dump trucks. Mack had got into this market with the AC

and AP trucks built for the Hd'6ver Dam construction in 1931, followed by the larger F series and the LMSW-M 6x6 model of 1944. This was used in mining, logging and oilfield work, and featured power steering and an offset cab, the latter to find its way to on-highway Macks in the 1960s. From 1940 to 1960 Mack catered for the off­-highway market with a variety of 2- and 3-axle trucks in the L series. Largest of these was the LRVSW of 1952, a 3­axle 34 ton dump truck powered by a 400 hp Cummins V­12 engine. In 1960 the L series was replaced by the even larger M series, 2- and 3-axle trucks of 30 and 45 tons respectively. These were developed into the 1962 M70SX, a 60 ton 2-axle dumper, the 1965 M70X, a 70-ton 3-axle truck, and in 1970 the 75 ton M75SX, powered by 700 hp Cummins or Detroit Diesel engines. These were the top end of a wide range of off-highway trucks, catering for the same market as Caterpillar, Terex and Wabco.

When bus production was resumed in 1945 only a single 41-passenger bus, the C41, was marketed. This was an integral bus with welded subframes assembled in jigs. It was supplied with a larger engine than had previously been used, requiring an angle drives haft between the transmission and the rear axle. In 1947 a Spicer torque converter became standard equipment in place of the 3­speed gearbox and air-operated clutch, and all buses delivered with the older equipment were converted in the field.

A 45-passenger bus, the C-45, joined the line in 1947, and later in that year an adaptation of the 672 cu in gasoline engine with pre-combustion chambers produced a diesel engine just in time to catch the growing trend to diesel power among the large transit systems which constituted Mack's most likely market. A few hundred small 33-and 37-passenger buses were produced between 1948 and 1951, and a 50-passenger diesel requested by the City of New York was put into production in 1950. Initially this bus, the C-50, was all-hydraulic, but later ones had air brakes. One of these was built with left hand doors and exported to Sweden where it became the basis for a long series of Scania-Vabis buses used in Stockholm and elsewhere. By comparison with GM which was by far the largest selling postwar US bus, Mack had the reputa­tion of building heavy, durable buses that cost too much to run. An effort to lighten the superstructure led to the introduction of new models in 1954, which had the same basic appearance as the old ones but incorporated a direct-­injection diesel engine derived from a Scania-Vabis design. Sales picked up slightly, but a significant share of Mack's bus business from 1955 to 1959 was made up of a 450-unit lease to the San Francisco Municipal Railway. In September 1956 Mack acquired the C.D. Beck Company of Sidney, Ohio which built intercity buses and fire engines, and in 1958 a single production run of 25 Mack parlor buses was constructed at Sidney. In spite of a new­-look front end paid for by a customer and subsequently offered as an extra-cost option, Mack bus sales slumped to 200 in 1959. The decision was made to utilize the large plant for other, more profitable work, and bus production ended with a group of 75 for San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 1960.

A curiosity among the on-highway Macks of the post­war period were the FT and FW models which retained chain drive as late as 1950. With GVWs of 35,000 and 50,OOOlbs respectively, they had a rugged old-fashioned appearance and did not even offer side windows in their cabs. In 1950 came the A series which replaced a number of earlier lines and catered for a wide range of trucks from 17,000 to 40,000 lbs GVW, In addition tractor/trailer units were made. They were replaced in 1953 by the B series which was made in a very wide range up to the mid-1960s. These were the staples of Mack's conventional trucks and tractors and were supplemented by the cab-over-engine rigid 6 W71 for the West Coast market and the H series COE tractors, nicknamed 'cherry pickers' because of their very high cabs. These were powered by the new Mack END673 Thermodyne diesel engine, gasoline engines being also available in many models. A return to the short­-wheelbase COE city truck came with the D series of 1955, with vertical-lifting cabs, followed in 1958 by the N series with Budd tilt cabs, and the MB series with Mack-built tilt cabs in 1962.

Fire engines had been a small but important aspect of Mack production since the earliest days. In the 1930s Mack had pioneered the limousine fire engine in which all the firemen were enclosed instead of being perched preca­riously on the vehicle's sides. However most of the Macks of the 1940s and 1950s were of the older, open pattern, probably to keep costs down. Ladder trucks and pumpers were made, including a 2,000 gpm pumper for Minneapolis which was the largest single-pump engine of its time.

Mack's acquisition of Beck in 1956 led to a new line of forward-cab fire engines similar to the last Becks. Known as the C series they came in pump sizes of 500 to 1,250 gpm, and as ladder trucks, both rigid and articulated, of 65 to 100 feet. Cabs were either open or closed, and automatic transmission was optional. These were made alongside the conventional R series and the forward-cab CF series. These had lower cabs and many other new features including power steering. An exceptional Mack fire engine was the articulated Super Pumper built in 1965 for New York Fire Department. This was pulled by a 6x4 F series tractor, the trailer containing an 18-cylinder 2­stroke Napier Deltic turbocharged diesel engine of 2,400 hp, connected to an 8,800 gpm DeLaval centrifugal pump. In addition there was another articulated unit called the Super Tender whose trailer carried 2,000 ft. of hose and a 10,000 gpm water cannon.

In 1959 came a new series of COE highway tractors which were direct ancestors of the 1978 models. The first was the G series designed for West Coast operators, followed by the F series in 1962. Both of these had very short cabs with BBC (bumper to back-of-cab) measurements of as little as 50 in., or 80 in. with deluxe sleeper cab. Engines were Mack or Cummins diesels, normally aspirated or turbocharged, with a maximum output of 335 hp. Alongside these were the conventional C series of tractors, replaced in 1965 by the U series with offset cabs, and the B series conventional rigid trucks which were replaced by the R series in 1966 and a new line of heavy duty trucks especially intended for the construc­tion industry, known as the DM series. 1966 saw the opening of the West Coast plant at Hayward, California, which built the RL conventional and FL cab-over series for Western operators.

The opening of the Hayward plant was only part of Mack's expansion during the 1960s. In 1963 assembly plants were set up in Australia, Venezuela and Pakistan, followed by a Canadian plant at Oakville, Ontario in 1964. These have mostly built trucks of the US Mack type, although there have been local variants such as the rigid 8-and 10-wheelers built in Australia for transport of cattle and sheep. Mack also acquired a number of other truck builders including Brockway in 1956, Bernard in 1963 and Hayes in 1969. For several years Macks were sold in France by Bernard alongside that company's own trucks.

In 1973 came a new type of bottom dump off-highway truck called the Mack-Pack. This had a 475 hp Detroit Diesel V-12 or Cummins engine mounted at the rear, driving forward to both rear and front axles. The Mack-Pack is articulated just behind the front axle, ahead of which is a one-man cab, Load capacity is 35 tons. 1975 saw the introduction of a new COE highway tractor, the W series Cruiseliner; more roomy, luxurious and powerful than the F series which it supplements. Cabs are only slightly longer, with BBC measurements of 54 to 90 in. There are 31 engine options in the Cruiseliner, from a 235 hp Mack six to a 430 hp Detroit Diesel V-8. Other models in the 1978 range include the conventional R series full­-cab and U series offset cab models with Mack, Mack-­Scania, Cummins or Detroit engines, Western conven­tional RL and RS models with Mack, Cummins, Cater­pillar and Detroit engines, and the DM rigid 3- and 4-axle trucks. There is also the HMM 8x6 front-discharge cement mixer with Mack Maxidyne Six engine, and a range of off-highway dump trucks, the M series. These run from 15 to 75 tons capacity in rigid 2-axle trucks, with the top of the line being a 120 ton articulated 3-axle bottom dumper. They use engines varying from the 180 hp Mack END673E to the Detroit 16V71TI 800 hp V-16. GNG/MBS


Mack stopped building buses in 1960


John M. Mack 1864 - 1924

John M. "Jack" Mack takes a job at the carriage and wagon firm of Fallesen & Berry in Brooklyn, NY.

Jack Mack and brother Augustus F. Mack purchase the Fallesen & Berry factory.

William C. Mack, who had operated a wagon-building plant in Scranton, PA, joins his brothers in the business.

Carriage-making is phased-out, and the brothers focus on wagons. At about this time, the Mack brothers begin experimenting with steam and electric motor cars.

The early years of this century were years full of invention, the revolutionary effects of which we're still feeling today. In 1902, Willis Carrier introduced air conditioning; in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first successful airplane at Kitty Hawk; and in 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T.

During this same time, John Mack and his brothers were hard at work setting the pace for an entirely new mode of commercial transportation. In the spirit of these other great pioneers, John Mack had a vision -- to produce the most durable and powerful heavy-duty trucks and engines in the world. The innovative designs and products he created began a tradition of innovation that has continued to this day.

John Mack had already spent years researching and experimenting with his own design for a motorized wagon by the time he and his brothers opened their first bus manufacturing plant in 1900. The work paid off the same year, when the brothers introduced their first successful vehicle -- a 40-horsepower, 20-passenger bus. The Mack bus, built for sightseeing concessionaire Harris and McGuire, operated in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for eight years before being converted into a truck. The vehicle racked up a million miles of service, the first in a long line of Mack vehicles to do so. The success and acceptance of "Old No. 1" initiated a history of truck development unparalleled in the industry, and established a company whose reputation for tough, high-quality products has since become "part of the language."

The brothers were also doing automotive repairs at this time.

Mack used a slogan in advertisements for many years, especially when we produced buses..."The first Mack was a bus and the first bus was a Mack."

The actual inspiration for building a large commercial motor vehicle truck is reported to have occurred when Jack Mack was invited for a ride in a neighbor's new 2-cylinder Winton automobile. The neighbor was Theodore Heilbron, captain of William Randolph Hearst's private yacht, who lived at 33 Third Avenue, a block from the Mack shop on Atlantic Avenue. The ride most likely took place in the fall, when the new 1902 Winton touring car was introduced. The superior performance of the new Winton soon had the two automobilists in an enthusiastic mood. And it was not long before their conversation centered on the future developments of gasoline engines and motor vehicles.

Mack Brothers Company is incorporated in New York with John M., Augustus F., and William C. Mack as the directors.

1900 -1960
Mack produced many different types and models of buses from the first Mack produce in 1900 until 1960. Over 22,000 units were built as school, transit, suburban, or intercity buses. Buses were also used as mobile post offices, sheriff's units, or medical x-ray vehicles, both for hospital type x-rays or track x-rays in subway systems.

Mack Brothers Company begins using "Manhattan" as the trade name for their motorized vehicles, probably to distinguish them from the company's horse-drawn product line.

The acceptance of Mack as a rugged, heavy-duty truck led to the selection in 1905 of Allentown, Pennsylvania as the home of the main manufacturing operations of the new Mack Brothers Motor Car Company.

Mack Brothers Motor Car Company is incorporated in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Brother Joseph Mack becomes a stockholder.

Mack was one of the first manufacturers to mount a cab directly over the engine, which increased driver visibility and maneuverability, particularly on crowded city streets. The "Manhattan" cab-over-engine model was introduced in 1905.

Gus Mack patented a constant mesh feature that protected gears from being damaged or stripped by inexperienced drivers. His brother, Jack Mack, patented the selective feature that allowed drivers to immediately shift from high to low, and vice versa, without going through intermediate speeds. Other manufacturers incorporated these patented Mack designs into their vehicles for several years.

Mack built rail cars and locomotives from 1905 until 1930. In the period 1951 through 1954, the company built 40 forward control diesel rail cars. 

Mack Brothers Manufacturing Company is set up to continue the operation of the Brooklyn plant, which is still manufacturing wagons, and repairing automobiles.

Mack introduces the Junior model, a light-weight 1-1/2 ton truck.

The Mack Senior truck was right-hand steer and chain drive. The Junior was left-hand steer and chain drive.

The "Manhattan" trade name is dropped, and trucks begin carrying "Mack" nameplate.

The Manhattan Motor Truck Company incorporated in Massachusetts to operate several dealerships in that state.

Mack produced the first motorized hook-and-ladder fire truck for the city of Morristown, NJ.

Charles Mack, the fifth brother, joins Mack Bros. Mother Car Co.

In August of 1911, the brothers sold the company, and the new owners continued operation as the International Motor Company - a holding company for the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company and the Saurer Motor Company, another truck manufacturer which had a plant in Plainfield, New Jersey. The two truck manufacturing companies continue as distinct organizations, but the selling and servicing of Mack and Saurer trucks is combined as a distinct function of the holding company.

1911 - 1990
Mack produced many types of Fire Apparatus. Some of the larger cities involved were Allentown, PA, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, and New York, NY, as well as hundreds of smaller fire departments throughout the world.

The International Motor Company's size increases with the addition of the Hewitt Motor Company, a New York City based builder of highly engineered motor trucks..

John and Joseph Mack, who'd been directors of the International Motor Company, leave.

The Hewitt nameplate is discontinued.

The Manhattan Motor Truck Company (which ran the Mack branches in New England) becomes the Mack Motor Truck Company.

The Mack AB was the company's first standardized, high volume model series, introduced in 1914. The first ABs had chain drive or worm drive. In 1920, a dual reduction drive replaced worm drive as an option. The AB filled the medium-duty role and incorporated many innovations particularly adapted to the times. Its simple, classic styling and overwhelming customer acceptance endured continuous modification and a production run extending through 1937, for a total of over 55,000 units.

The famous AC model was introduced in 1916. With its chain drive rear axle, the AC model earned an unparalleled reputation for reliability and durability, and was called on to help accomplish nearly impossible military and civilian tasks. The AC model was manufactured continuously through 1939 -- a remarkable 24 years, and 40,299 were built. The AC is not only credited with giving Mack its famous Bulldog identity, but also with achieving a degree of success and international fame that has never been accomplished by any other motor truck in history.

Mack built a military armored car on an AB Chassis for the New York National Guard. During World War I, Mack delivered approximately 4,500 AC model trucks of 3-1/2, 5-1/2, and 7-1/2 ton capacity to the US government. During that same period, Mack delivered over 2,000 units to Great Britain. These trucks did an outstanding job under very difficult conditions.

The story goes that the British soldiers ("Tommies") would call out when facing a difficult truck problem, "Aye, send in the Mack Bulldogs!" The primary, and generally universal, story is that the British engineers testing AC's and the Tommys in France said that "the Mack AC's have the tenacity of a bulldog." At that time, the symbol of Great Britain was the bulldog, and this was high praise for the trucks. American "Doughboys" expressed the same opinion of the truck.

A new holding company, the International Motor Truck Corporation, is formed; it assumes the notes payable obligations of the International Motor Company and owns 98 percent of its stock. The International Motor Company, through its ownership of the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company, the Saurer Motor Company, and the Hewitt Motor Company, becomes the operating organization, with its main plants in Allentown, PA (Mack), Plainfield, NJ (Saurer), and Brooklyn, NY (Hewitt).

The International Motor Company also owns the International Mack Motor Corporation, which had been set up in December 1915 to run most of the company-owned branches. However, by the end of World War I, the title of this company is changed to the Mack-International Motor Truck Corporation.

The Saurer nameplate is discontinued in the United States.

Mack became the first truck manufacturer to apply air cleaners and oil filters to trucks after Mack engineers discovered the fuel and maintenance savings these products offered customers.

In 1920, Mack pioneered the use of power brakes on trucks by using a vacuum-booster system.

Mack pioneered the use of rubber isolators as cushions in mounting chassis components to improve shock resistance in 1921. The applicability of this technology to automobiles was so great that the Rubber Shock Insulator Company was formed to handle license agreements with other automotive firms.

Mack played a major role in a trans-continental convoy conducted by the US Army. This project underscored the need for a national highway system.

The title of the parent company is changed from International Motor Truck Corporation to Mack Trucks, Incorporated. This change in title was basically made to identify the corporate name more closely with the company's product and lessen any misidentification of Mack products with those of a competitor, the International Harvester Company. The International Motor Company continues as the manufacturing subsidiary of Mack Trucks, Inc. until 1936.

In 1922, the company adopted the Bulldog as its corporate symbol. The first usage of the Bulldog as a symbol was on a sheet metal plate riveted to each side of the cab. It was first drawn on June 3, 1921 and was released, printed, and specified for the AB chain drive (CD) and dual reduction (DR) carrier drive trucks. The plate shows the Bulldog as two words, i.e., a bull dog chewing up a book entitled "Hauling Costs," "Mack" on his collar, and International Motor Co. of New York. This plate was used much later on M model off-highway trucks, except that the plate then showed Mack Trucks, Inc., Allentown, PA.

In the early afternoon of March 14, Jack Mack was enroute to a business meeting in Weatherly, Pennsylvania in his Chandler coupe. His car became involved in an accident with a trolley car of the Lehigh Valley Transit Company, which was crossing the road diagonally. Jack was killed almost instantly when his light car, being pushed off the road ahead of the trolley, was caught against a heavy pole and crushed like an egg shell. His body was interred in Fairview Cemetery in Allentown, just above the former Mack plant on 10th Street.

Over the years there have been few Mack models as famous as the AC model. The Mack BJ and BB models, the first of the "early B Series" introduced in 1927, represented the company's first trucks developed in response to the demand for larger capacity, higher speed haulage. The growing acceptance of trucking as a transport mode required the application of new design and engineering principles, and a variation of sizes and weights to satisfy emerging state regulations. More than 15,000 units were built through 1941.

During the years from 1929 until 1944, Mack produced 2,601 semi- or full trailers.

Full trailers were of two styles, non-reversible or reversible. Non-reversible trailers had a solidly fastened rear axle arrangement with a draw bar on the front end so that the trailer could be drawn in one direction.

A reversible trailer has axle arrangements similar at each end. Either end could be fastened in a stationary position while the draw bar could be fastened to the other end of the trailer. In this way, either end could be the front of the unit.

Early in 1932, Alfred Fellows Masury, Mack's Chief Engineer, was admitted to the hospital for an operation. Masury was one of those individuals who wasn't used to his hands being idle for any period of time. During his recuperation in the hospital, Masury decided to carve a bulldog. (Some rumors indicate that he carved the first bulldog from a bar of soap; other rumors indicate the first was carved from wood.)

Whether the first bulldog hood ornament was soap or wood, we do know that shortly after his release from the hospital, he did in fact carve a bulldog in wood.

Masury applied for and received a patent for his design; that Bulldog design has adorned Mack trucks ever since!

A year of growth and building in America, and Mack Trucks, Inc. played a major role, including the building of Boulder Dam!

The name of the International Motor Company is changed to the Mack Manufacturing Corporation.

The Mack E series, introduced in 1936, were streamlined, medium-duty trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings ranging up to 23,000 lbs. The E models were available in both conventional and cab-over-engine configurations and proved themselves among the most versatile products ever offered by Mack. Over 78,000 were produced through 1951.

Mack was one of the first truck manufacturers to apply four-wheel brakes to heavy-duty trucks, increasing braking ability and safety, particularly with heavier loads. In 1938, Mack became the first truck manufacturer to design and build its own heavy-duty diesel engines, establishing the tradition of "balanced design" (in which the integration of the powertrain and vehicle design maximize performance) that continues today.

Mack was a major military contractor on a much larger scale in World War II, with more specialized products. Mack trucks served the Allied forces 35,000 strong in that second conflict, in the form of prime movers, personnel carriers, wrecker trucks, tank transporters, and more.

Mack merchandised a series of trucks under the name "Mack Jr." The vehicle was actually built by the Reo Truck Company in Lansing, Michigan. The vehicles were built according to Mack specifications and were sold through the Mack sales organization. In total, there were 4,974 chassis built during this time frame.

This was the second time in its history that Mack sold a Mack junior chassis. The 1936-1938 units should not be confused with the earlier Mack Junior; production on that version began in 1909.

During the 1938 to 1944 period, Mack built and sold a model called the "ED," which was essentially a three-quarter ton vehicle. Records indicate that a total of 2,686 ED model trucks were delivered.

Mack built off-highway or mine trucks from 1926 to 1972, from 15 to 100 ton capacity.

The Mack AP model was Mack's first off-highway vehicle. From 1926 through 1938, 285 of this units were built.

From 1943 through 1964, a total of 1,275 of the LR model truck was built. The next generation, the LV model, was built from 1948 through 1961; 515 of these units were built and sold. The M Series, rated from 15 to 100 tons, was produced from 1960 to 1979.

During the war years, Mack built heavy-duty trucks to support the Allied forces.

And, just like other companies, Mack had its own version of "Rosie the Riveter" to help in the effort!

Mack produced marine engines for many years. "The Mariner" engines were used in yachts, pilot and work boats. The ENDM 405 (FW) was produced from 1940-1941; a total of 16 engines were manufactured

The Mack L series heavy-duty trucks of the 1940-1956 era exhibited clean, timeless styling and proved extremely popular. Certain models in this series combined many aluminum components with the more powerful engines to satisfy the long distance hauling needs of West Coast operators. Some 35,000 Mack L models graced the highways in their day.

The 1950s brought significant product advancements from Mack, including the G, H and B models. The G series featured an all-aluminum cab for light weight and the ability to haul big payloads, especially in West Coast applications. The H series, dubbed the "Cherry Pickers" for their very high cabs were designed with a short bumper-to-back of cab dimension to accommodate 35 foot trailers within 45 overall legal limits.

The B series, introduced in 1949, was surely one of Mack's most successful and popular products. Its pleasing, rounded appearance set a new styling standard for trucks, as did the wide range of model variations offered. There are B models still in active service today, part of the 127,786 built through 1965. The year 1953 also marked the introduction of the famous Thermodyne open chamber, direct-injection diesel engine, which established Mack's tradition of leadership in diesel performance and fuel efficiency.

"International" is dropped from the title of the main Mack sales organization; henceforth, the Mack Motor Truck Corporation handles the branch operations in the continental United States, except in New England, where the Mack Motor Truck Company operates as before.

Mack changes the titles of its manufacturing and sales subsidiaries to Mack Trucks, Inc.

The first diesel-power fire truck -- a Mack B85F model -- was sold to the city of Hamilton, Bermuda in 1960.

Mack Trucks, Inc. purchases Brockway Motor company. Brockway ceased production in 1977.

The F Model all-steel sleeper and non-sleeper, cab-over-engine trucks were introduced. This was the first model of the completely new family of COE and Conventional models to be introduced in the 60's. Following models included the R, U, and DM.

Mack Produced one Super Pumper System for the Fire Department of New York City. It was delivered in 1965 and its first fire was on August 12, 1965. It answered 2,200 alarms and was placed out of service in 1982.

The system included a Super Pumper, Super Tender, and three satellite tenders. The combinations of tender and/or satellites used at any particular fire depended on the situation.

The R series, which replaced the venerable B series in 1966, proved itself in the tradition of its predecessor as one of the worlds most popular heavy-duty diesel trucks. Shortly after introducing the R model, Macks revolutionary Maxidyne constant horsepower diesel engine debuted, along with the Maxitorque transmission.

RW model trucks were built at Mack Western in Hayward, CA from 1966 through 1981, when production was transferred to the Macungie plant.

Mack Trucks, Inc. becomes a member of the Signal Oil and Gas Company, a Los Angeles based petroleum company. In August 1967 Mack Trucks, Inc. officially became a member of a growing industrial family, The Signal Companies, Inc.

The Maxidyne engine was introduced in 1967, and provided maximum horsepower over a wider range of engine speeds than any other standard diesel engine of its day. The engines design leveled the horsepower curve and as a result, increased fuel efficiency and significantly reduced the need for shifting. It was such an improvement that a transmission with five speeds, rather than ten or more, could be used for most over-the-road applications.

The Maxitorque transmission (TRL 107 series), created in 1967, was the first triple countershaft, compact-length design for Class 8 trucks, featuring the highest torque capacity in the industry. The five-speed Maxitorque was only two-thirds as long as multi-speed transmissions, and its light weight made it a popular choice among operators concerned about gross vehicle weight.

In 1969, Mack pioneered and patented cab air suspension as a major truck ride and cab durability improvement.

Mack was the first heavy-duty diesel engine manufacturer of the day to produce its own engine compression brake -- the patented Dynatard engine brake in 1971. The Mack design was a customized, simpler brake system that was integral and compatible with the engine for top performance.

New Mack World Headquarters opens in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Cruise-Liner, produced from 1975-1983, served as Macks premium offering in a cabover configuration. Macungie plant opens for business.

The Super-Liner, a boldly-styled conventional designed for heavy hauling with the ultimate in driver luxury and convenience, was introduced in 1977. Its 15-year production run ended in 1993.

The MC/MR series, introduced in 1978, are the industrys most advanced low-cab-forward trucks with exceptional maneuverability and visibility for refuse, construction, and urban delivery applications.

Renault takes a 10 percent share in Mack Trucks, Inc.

Renault increases its holdings to 20 percent.
Signal reduces its holdings in Mack by 10 percent.

Mack introduces the MH Ultra-Liner model, featuring the industry's first successful all-fiberglass, metal cage-reinforced cab. The new design resulted in industry-leading advancements in cab-weight reduction and corrosion resistance.

When Mack Trucks, Inc. again became a public corporation in 1983 with a public offering of 15.7 million shares of Mack Trucks, Inc. common stock, closer ties had been established with Renault. These ties originated when the two organizations negotiated in 1977 regarding the distribution of a medium-duty diesel truck series in North America and parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Renault and Mack forged a working partnership with the successful introduction of the Mack Mid-Liner series in 1979, studying many of the key issues facing both companies on a global basis.

Renault increases holdings to 40 percent.
Signal holdings reduced to 10.3 percent.

The commercial vehicle division of Renault -- Renault V.I. -- undergoes a financial reorganization, and buys out the Mack shares from its parent company.

 Mack introduced the E7 series of 12-liter engines in 1988. Today, the line includes 16 different engines with horsepower ratings ranging from 250 to 454. The E7 boasts the industry's best horsepower-to-weight ratios for customers concerned with achieving maximum productivity.

Mack introduces the CH series for highway applications.

Mack Trucks, Inc. becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renault V.I. The company became one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty diesel trucks, in addition to major product components, and is an integral member of the worldwide Renault Group.

When coupled with the V-MAC Electronic Engine Control System - introduced in 1990 - the company's current engine line offers customers an unprecedented level of control in tailoring performance options to their specific requirements. The V-MAC system has led the industry with such innovations as cruise auto-resume and dual-PTO capability.

Mack patented a unique, electronically controlled, variable-injection timing system for exclusive use with its E7 engines. The Econovance Variable Injection Timing system optimizes fuel efficiency and lowers emissions.

In 1991, Mack developed the High Swirl/Moderately High Injection Pressure Combustion System to optimize the mixing of diesel fuel and air in its E7 and E9 engines. The system increases combustion efficiency, and in the process, improves fuel economy, lowers emissions, maintains oil viscosity, and lengthens oil change intervals.

Mack introduces the LE (low entry) refuse vehicle.

In February, Mack introduced the Vision by Mack, a new premium highway tractor. The new Vision by Mack, with its sleek, aerodynamic styling and leading-edge technologies, was designed from the ground up to give drivers the power, handling, and comfort they want -- without compromising the low operating cost, efficiency and serviceability demanded by fleet managers in the competitive transportation industry.

On December 18, 2000 the United States Department of Justice approved the acquisition of Mack by AB Volvo, Sweden.

In June, 2001 Mack unveiled two new products.

The Granite series an exceptionally lightweight vocational vehicle delivers payload and productivity.

The Freedom series of medium range trucks are versatile enough to handle many applications, including retail/wholesale delivery, general freight, and construction applications.

The ASET (Application Specific Engine Technology) 12L engine family was introduced to meet the 2002 emission requirements while maintaining optimum performance. The VISION Day Cab chassis began production. This non-sleeper cab version of the Vision long-haul sleeper provided the Vision's comfort, styling, and durability to operators in more localized applications.

The production of Mack CH and VISION Model trucks was moved from the Mack Winnsboro, SC Plant to the VOLVO New River Valley Plant at Dublin, VA.


    For more information please read:

Thomas E. Warth - Mack Model AB Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack Model B 1953-1966. Volume 1 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack Model B 1953-1966 Volume 2 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack EB-EC-ED-EE-EF-EG-DE 1936-1951 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack FC-FCSW-NW 1936-1947 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack FG-FH-FJ-FK-FN-FP-FT-FW 1937-1950 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack LF-LH-LJ-LM-LT 1940-1956 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack EH-EJ-EM-EQ-ER-ES 1936-1950 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack AP Super-Duty Trucks 1926-1938 Photo Archive

Thomas E. Warth - Mack Trucks Photo Gallery

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses 1900-1960 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Fire Apparatus: A pictorial history

Harvey Eckart -  Mack Model B Fire Trucks 1954-1966 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Model C Fire Truck: 1957 Through 1967 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Model CF Fire Trucks 1967-1981 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Model L Fire Trucks 1940-1954 Photo Archive

John M. Malecky - Mack tilt cab fire apparatus

Walter M.P. McCall & George H. Dammann - American Fire Engines Since 1900

Fred W. Crismon - Fire Engines

Bob Dubbert - Encyclopedia of Canadian Fire Apparatus

Donal M. Baird - A Canadian History of Fire Engines

Phil DaCosta - One Hundred Years of America's Fire Fighting Apparatus

Bill Hass - History of the American Water Towers

Hans Halberstadt - The American Fire Engine

Hans Halberstadt - Fire Engines

T.A. Jacobs - A History of Fire Engines

Matthew Lee - A Pictorial History of the Fire Engine

M.W. Goodman MD - Inventing the American Fire Engine: An Illustrated History of Fire Engine Patents

Consumer's Guide - The Complete Book of Fire Engines: A colorful Review of Today's Fire Apparatus

Sheila Buff - Fire Engines in North America

Sheila Buff - Fire Engines: Motorized Apparatus Since 1900

Neil Wallington - World Encyclopedia of Fire Engines: an illustrated guide to fire trucks around the world

Keith Ryan & Neil Wallington - The Illustrated History of Fire Engines

Paul Barrett - Heavy Rescue Trucks: 1931 - 2000 Photo Gallery

Larry Shapiro - Aerial Fire Trucks

Larry Shapiro - Fighting Fire Trucks

Larry Shapiro - Hooks and Ladders

Larry Shapiro - Pumpers: Workhorse Fire Engines

Donald F. Wood - American Volunteer Fire Trucks

Donald F. Wood - Big City Fire Truck 1900-1950

Donald F. Wood & Wayne Sorensen - Big City Fire Trucks: 1951-1996

Donald F. Wood & Wayne Sorenson - Motorized Fire Apparatus of the West, 1900-1960

Donald F. Wood & Wayne Sorensen - New York City Fire Trucks

Donald F. Wood & Wayne Sorenson - Volunteer & Rural Fire Apparatus Photo Gallery

Kenneth Little - Chicago Fire Department engines: Sixty years of motorized pumpers, 1912-1972

Kenneth Little - Chicago Fire Department hook & ladder tractors, 1914-1971

Ron Jeffers - The apparatus of the Jersey City Fire Department: Yesterday and today

John Rieth - Jersey Shore Fire Apparatus: Classic Thru the 60's

Philip R. Lincoln - Massachusetts fire apparatus: A pictorial Collection

Charles Madderom - Los Angeles City Fire Apparatus: 1953 Through 1999 Photo Archive

George Klass - Fire apparatus: A pictorial history of the Los Angeles Fire Department

John A. Calderone - Wheels of the bravest: A history of FDNY fire apparatus, 1865-1992

Peter Aloisi - Apparatus and fires across America: Featuring former FDNY apparatus

Scott Schimpf - Fire Apparatus of Philadelphia

Harrold Shell - Past and present: A history of Phoenix fire trucks

Leo E. Duliba - Industrial & Private Fire Apparatus: 1925 Through 2001 Photo Archive

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

George W. Green - Special-Use Vehicles: An Illustrated History of Unconventional Cars and Trucks

William T. King - History of the American Steam Fire-Engine

John M. Peckham - Fighting fire with fire: A pictorial volume of steam fire-fighting apparatus

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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