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Western Valueliner curiosity...

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Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and in spite of the Kenworth plant on East Marge next to Boeing’s plant 2, I wasn’t really ever overly smitten with the KW. They just looked, well, “unfinished” to me ~ at the drawing board level. If PACCAR anything, it was an old, needle-nose Pete with shutters of the mid-60’s or today’s 388 as dressed out by Merlino Contruction with their order of a few dozen prior to the T-880 a year or two ago.

Greg Merlino (Gary’s son) was a good friend in high school (late ‘79-‘83). He sadly passed away around twelve years ago. Merlino still runs their gorgeous 388’s all over Seattle but I’m guessing those aluminum cabs will long be corroded before I’ll ever afford one on the second, or third hand market.

No matter. I have my R model and while I apologize to the proud fellas in Denton, TX For building such a beautiful truck in the 388, well it just ain’t no R model MACK.

There’s a guy here, locally, who was the parts manager at the Mack dealer in Seattle when I was a kid, in the early 70’s. It is his current partner, in fact, from which I purchased this most recent R I’ve got. Although I’m born & raised in Seattle, I spent twenty years back East (my ol’ man, from Connecticut, was recruited from Brooklyn to work at Boeing in the late-40s). I am very interested to learn more about the genesis of the Western R model having had a few.

The one I now have is certainly the nicest, most original so far. In talking with member Alex G. about Dayton spokes in the last day or so, I am really fascinated by the fact most all R models West of the Beltway and deep into New England are typically fitted with Budds; it’s the preference back East (and mine, also, incidentally) to stay with the open spokes. With exception to real early U, F and R models here, in the Northwest, the typical setup would be Budd wheels and later, Alcoas (both standard and super single). I recall R models in heavy-spec, vocational use pretty much everywhere out here in the 70’s & 80’s. Just didn’t see many without steelies.

and That Valueliner grille...

...punched from a sheet of anodized aluminum and affixed directly to the hood instead of the beautiful RD grille with polished, vertical strips, attached to the charge air cooler. Along with the grille and the cab ~ standing a bit higher on the Western, will there ever be any intrinsic value (increasing appreciation) for a Western Valueliner or will I always be longing for the real deal - an East Coast RD?







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For the longest time everything here seemed to have spokes. The odd truck would have bud wheels on the steer axle. There were trucks with bud wheels all around but not that common. I'm talking 25-30 years ago. Almost everything has bud wheels now

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My guess is the West coast manufacturers were all about "lightweight" and budds were lighter then spokes.  Budds were also more prone to cracking so I would say off road work would be rough on them early on.  Maybe not so much with todays technology and machining of rims.  


I like Budds all polished up.  But a nice painted spoke with some chrome nut covers sure does look pretty "truckly".  I've kept my eyes peeled for hubs for the front of my B to convert over to alum wheels.  I have the parts for the rearend.  



1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"


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