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1960 MACK B42 T: Ready To Work

right front

This B Series is a classic of the big truck world. They were used for everything from fire trucks to construction. A lot of us older guys got our start on some version of a Mac B. These had big flathead six cylinder gasoline engines, like this one’s 401 CID, without power steering, AC, cruise control or any amenities except for a heater. Double clutching was necessary and clutches were heavy. At least they had air brakes. This one has a ten speed dual range tranny. It’s been stored inside for the last 35 years covered with a tarp.  This old Mac only has 168,000 miles on it and looks like it’s ready to go right back to work. It’s listed here on eBay and on Jingletruck with an asking price of $17,000. Wouldn’t it be great to see this on the road again?


  1. Wayne

    Gorgeous old Mack. My former father-in-law (almost…phew!) has a B61 he’s run for decades. I lost contact about a dozen years ago, so I don’t know it’s current status, but it was still working when I last saw it.
    There’s a little video here on Youtube from 2011:

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Wayne, well, I’ll tell ya’, B model Macks never looked like that when I was trucking. I thought I may have seen this truck, until I saw where the show was. Never been “down-under. I was trucking down I-55 in Illinois years ago, and 2, B model Macks passed me up ( with the hammer down) and the 1st one was a yellow one very similar to this. It didn’t have any gas motor, that’s for sure.

      • Wayne

        Hi Howard, T
        Olddog didn’t run a gas motor, that’s for sure. I don’t know when it got a more modern diesel but it was well before I met the man. He worked hard though. He never did anything less than a 12 hour day in the seat (not including the hour drive to and from work in his ute) and it wasn’t a highway cruiser. This thing hauled dangerous chemicals around the city of Melbourne, 5 days a week, thru winter and summer. And that was right into the late 90s.
        Cheers, Wayne.

  2. Dave Wright

    Nice old truck but not very useful. Probably one of the reasons it was stored and kept so nice. This is from the last throws of the truly industrial gas engines. Soon, everything was Diesel. It might get 1 1/2 MPG with 1/2 the horsepower of the comparable diesel of its time. Great old girl that is mostly a parade truck. I had a similar IHC with tandem drive and the great old 549 V8. It would use 100 gallons of fuel A day towing hay trailers out of the field to meet the diesels.

  3. Howard A Member

    Thank-you, David. Great way to start my day. ( as long as I don’t actually have get in one 1st thing) As stated, the B model Mack, (or “Beepers”, we called them) are probably the most iconic truck, when someone thinks of a Mack truck. Truth be known, they were miserable trucks to drive. They were hot (or cold), cramped, rode like a lumber wagon,(although, I never actually rode in a lumber wagon) noisy, underpowered, and generally a bear to drive. (especially with no power steering, “Armstrong” steering, we called it) In 1960, diesels really were just coming of age, in trucks, anyway, and many drivers still wanted gas jobs, even though, a diesel was far better. This one has the “duplex” transmissions, a 5 and 2, ( closer stick is the main 5 speed, and the other stick is the 2 speed) I never drove a B model, a tad before my time, as I started on R models, the B’s replacement, but knew many older timers (than me) that did. My 1st heavy duty truck I drove was a 1963 IH R-190, with a gas motor, Mack’s competition back then, and know all about gas motors in trucks.
    This is a great example, although, 17 sounds a little steep, but they are rare. What to do with it? Good question. Certainly not for any road use, but many antique tractor and truck collectors use these to pull a flatbed with their toys on the back. Sitting 30 years, will not be kind to this, but it’s a great start. Neat truck. BTW, the white colored truck next to it appears to be an older, late 40’s Mack EH. Another really cool truck. Thanks again, made my day, BF wise, that is. :)

    • Ed P

      Howard, You are not the first trucker I’ve heard complain about the discomfort of Macks in this era. I can only imagine the mighty effort required to steer. Was power steering available on these trucks?

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Ed, you know, I’d have to pull out the big guns and ask my good friend Geomechs on that. In the old days, they didn’t have power steering, or if they did, it was not for road trucks. Back then, this was a man’s job, a STRONG man’s job. ( sorry ladies) I don’t think power steering became wide spread until the 60’s. The ’63 IH I drove had it. I drove a Mack R model with no power steering. It was a spare tractor while our regular trucks were being serviced, and I got “charley horses ” in my arms trying to steer it. The boss said, “drive that truck for 2 weeks, and you could arm wrestle anyone”. You HAD to be moving to turn the steering wheel. I feel that one feature, power steering, opened up a whole new chapter for who drove trucks. I’m not so sure I’d want to meet a woman that could steer a manual steering truck. :)

      • Dave Wright

        All of these type and vintage trucks were uncomfortable. It wasn’t until the advent of air seats that comfort started improving. The power steering part is true…….but you learn pretty quickly not to try to steer it until it is moving. In the transition years many drivers did not like power steering because they thought it didn’t go down the road as straight. With a set of joints…..they were probably right. They did ride better loaded than empty. In my old IHC, if you didn’t slow to a crawl over most railroad tracks you would bang your head so hard on the roof…….you would see stars. As far as the engine being ok…….I would not doubt that it would start right up as long as the fuel pump diaphragm is good you get a spark and clean fuel to it. These are true industrial engines

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi guys. I’ve seen trucks that age with Power steering–sort of. It was power assist with a ram on the frame that pushed and pulled on the drag link. I think it was available as an add-on. Back in the day a lot of truckers avoided it because they claimed they couldn’t feel the road. A lot of them became confirmed users after experiencing a blowout on a front tire though. That never happened to me but my cousin had one. He got the truck stopped somewhat safely but the muscles in his arms and back took months to heal.

  4. jim s

    the seller has 6 listings on ebay. including this one, a mack EQ, that you can see in the background of this listing, for $10000, and an oshkosh m911 for $9900. i would put a pickup truck bed on the back of this, cancel my gym membership, and have a fun workout driving this once a week. might get best of show at the bigbox lumber yard or a car show. great finds.

  5. Fred

    My first reaction was, “hasn’t been started in years and they expect it to fire right up?”. Yet they say the engine is free…just can’t imagine there won’t be repercussions from sitting that long.
    I’ve never driven anything larger than a U-haul truck, but my arms ache just thinking of turning this one.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, I agree. I think the driveline would be ok, but things like seals, air brakes, fuel system, and cooling, don’t do well with sitting. Been my experience, if it turns over, it will run. How well, is anybody’s guess. Actually, with no trailer on, or a trailer with a light load, wasn’t too bad, but heavily loaded was a different story.

  6. Mr. Ed Member

    Lol. I’m sitting in a 2014 Mack reading Barnfinds. A/C, power steering, automatic transmission. Truck driving sure has changed since I started in 1992.

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