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New Here...some Help

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hey everyone. thanks in advance for the warm welcomes. im sean from dumont nj. im currently employed as a mechanic for the boro. volunteer fireman and everyday gearhead. looking for a b model project. just a few questions. alot of my buddys buy old 60's camaros, novas, darts, ect ect. i want a mack. im looking for a short single axle mack. running but not pretty. and also are parts redily available?

also, whats the deal with driving these on the street, do you need a cdl, historic plates, what the deal?

thanks alot!


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Anybody can buy a Camaro or a Mustang or whatever - no creativity required.

Now - a Mack, on the other hand - well that just separates the men from the wimps.

Anyway- what you are asking about the Mack - a single axle B model, H or F model or even an early R model will fill the bill nicely, depending on what you want.

Parts are pretty common for the B and R models, less so for the old cabover H & F trucks.

In New Jersey, there are a lot of old Macks. New Jersey truckers recognized Mack quality early on.

Probably the single biggest challenge with a heavy truck project is transporting it around prior to the restoration - it's very expensive. Generally $1.50 to $2.00 per mile, and you usually have to pay the truck both ways, because a return load seems to be a rare item. The lesson here - buy local if at all possible. Even a rotten old rusty local truck is better than trying to move a nicer truck from a couple thousand miles away. The sheet metal is pretty stout, and consequently, easily worked on. Any good sheet metal welder or decent body man can do magic with the sheet metal.

The diesel engines are the most popular today, although gasoline engines were pretty common in the 50's and 60's. Generally, the even model numbers designate an original gasoline engine equipped truck. (B-42, B-62 etc.) - not always the case, but a good general rule. And a lot of trucks were converted to diesels.

The Mack diesels were a little light on horsepower and made up for it with extensive use of gearing, both in transmissions and in rear ends. That's part of the reason that these trucks were so dependable. In today's world, especially in a "toy truck" role, more road speed is often desired, and rear ends are changed to a higher ratio, or power is increased with a variety of engine transplants. Unlike cars, that's been an acceptable practice in heavy trucks for a long time. Trucks are designed, and modified to perform a specific job. As the hobby is becoming more popular, the value of an original equipped truck is increasing steadily however, making the practice of random modifications a little less desireable to the collector.

Part of the attraction of heavy trucks is that there is no snobbery - you are welcome to bring whatever you have to any truck show. Unlike car shows - you are welcomed just the same as everyone else, it doesn't matter what your budget is. We've all been there at the beginning of a long term restoration project, and everybody is happy to help and offer advice.

I would suggest that you start looking for truck candidates, go to a few shows and study this forum. Everything you need to know, and then some, is right here.

It's a good hobby, a great place to hide some money and a unique way to kill any spare time you might have.

Have Fun!

Paul Van Scott

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You have come to the right place for helpand advise,a B-model is a real good choice for restoration,as you get into it,you'll find north jersey can be a treasure trove of parts if you know where to look. I'm originally from south jersey,moved to virginia about 2 years ago,and you will find its pretty easy to get involved in the old truck hobby up there....you will need a CDL (air brakes) and jersey is pretty lienient with classic/historic tags...the north jersey metro chapter of the ATHS is also an invaluable resource for parts,contacts and hands on experience...hope this of some help,and good luck with the project!.........Mark

Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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