Museum Piece Mack: 1955 Mack B-30X

A lot of us, myself included, don’t really have what it takes to restore a minibike let alone a 1955 Mack B-30X, but someone has done just that. This truck, or tractor, as they say, can be found here on eBay in Penfield, New York. The current bid price is just over $10,000 but of course, the reserve isn’t met yet.

What a truck! Over 127,000 B-Series Macks were built between 1949 and 1965 and they are among the most beautiful and popular trucks with many of them still being in use today. We have a couple of truck experts among the Barn Finds family of commenters, hopefully they’ll chime in on this one.

The seller doesn’t give much info on this tractor other than it had a frame-off restoration and that every nut and bolt and everything else has been restored. There have been fewer than 500 miles put on it after the restoration. Period Mack literature says that the B-30X was made for “highway dumper operations” and I can still hear the Mack dump truck that delivered a load of Class 5 for our driveway back in the early-1980s, what a sound out of that diesel.

Wow, they aren’t lying when they say that this is a museum piece. The interior is incredible and some of you know that this is a gas-powered truck due to the somewhat sparse gauges shown here. There’s no automatic here, it’s a 5-speed transmission and buyers had a choice of single-reduction, dual-reduction, or two-speed rear axle and several different ratios depending on how the truck would be used.

Ten gasoline engines were offered on the B-Series Mack as well as several diesels. This appears to be a Magnadyne which I believe is a 331 cubic-inch inline-six with 122 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. I’m assuming that it runs as good as it looks. Can anyone fill in the blanks on this great looking Mack B-30X?

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Comments

  1. TimM

    I learned to drive trucks on one of these!! It was the yard truck for a pool water delivery company that I worked for!! It was even the same color!! Great truck!!

    Like 5
  2. NotSure

    This was a labor of love! You wouldn’t get any door dings at Home Depot with this. Just imagine the fun it would be to chase this bulldog over to your local Cars ‘n Coffee on Saturday morning. Or for that matter to the local Beers and Broads on Saturday night….

    Like 5
    • Karl

      I collect and restore both US and GERMAN military trucks, it takes a special buyer to buy anything that doesn’t fit in a regular garage. This truck looks beautiful and it should bring pretty good money when the right person comes along! That sure is a nice restoration!

  3. Tom Bell

    B Models are considered by many to be the last classic Mack series. This one seems fairly light as these go, 6-wheeler with a relatively small motor. More typical was the 707 c/i gas engine which I believe shared a block with a same size diesel version. Don’t know if that 5-speed would really be a Road Ranger.
    A beautiful truck!

    First fire department pumper I drove was a 1957 Mack B-85 750 gpm rig with 707 gas engine in 1975.

    Like 4
  4. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Would be a lot sweeter with a Thermodyne diesel. Nice looking truck though.

    Like 5
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    I always liked these old beasts. They were common out west, especially the B-61 models with the diesel engines. Over the past few years, I started getting the fuel systems in the shop for overhaul while the truck was being restored. Getting a little difficult to get parts for but not impossible. But I always stop and take a second look at an old Mack, and as often as possible, a picture…

    Like 8
    • Rich Nepon

      I come from Allentown PA where these were made. Drove a fire truck to alarms in one like this. Double clutch shifting.

      Like 5
  6. Rube Goldberg Member

    I’d like to thank Scotty for that more than accurate description. I happen to know, he doesn’t know a lot about old Mack trucks, and did a great job in research for us. Can’t add much, I believe the “X” was for extreme service, although, all Macks were for extreme service. While a diesel would be better for heavy loads back then, many still wanted gas jobs. I’d have to think it must have had some additional gears, a 2 speed axle at least, and may have been replaced during the restoration. It’s a lot more user friendly this way.
    The B model was a nice looking truck, but don’t be fooled, they had back killing rides, were noisy, hot, cramped, and after 14 hours, the novelty wears off, trust me. Trucks have come a long way, and for the better, but for a hobby truck, this is a lot of fun. Clearly, the seller doesn’t know much about the truck, I’d lose the “widow maker” 10×20 wheels, and with no power steering, let’s just say, you’ll wish it had. No girly men here. Nice try on the asking price, a very limited market here, and the mob has spoken for what it’s worth, but it’s great to see one again, although my back aches once again just looking at it. Thanks Scotty, best submission yet!

    Like 9
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      correction, swap the 9×20 tubes for tubeless, lousy tube type tires will drive you nuts, and not many shops do split rims anymore, unless you got the grapes to do them yourself,,,.

      Like 6
      • Steven Ligac

        “the grapes”, indeed.

        Like 7
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Pretty sure that is a 2 speed axel switch mounted to the shifter.

      Like 6
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Yep, thanks, it was kind of hidden by the shift knob. I see the 2 speed axle too now. A gas motor would have to have more than 5 speeds pulling a trailer. I did drive a Mack R model with a straight 5 speed, but was a Maxidyne diesel, with a power band from 1300 to 2200, a 5 speed was all you needed. And another thing, this truck has a 5th wheel, but no air lines or light cord or any air at all, and has juice brakes. Juice brakes only pulling a trailer? Good luck with that.

        Like 2
    • Bob

      Could not agree more. Used to work for U.S. Steel. Trying to steer one of these would certainly build your arm and shoulder muscles. Fortunately we later switched to “U” and “R” models.

      Like 1
  7. KSwheatfarmer

    Hey Rube, got to say this is a good looking Mack,agree tubeless wheels – tires would be better just not period correct. I grew up with split rims and yes they can be killers if not handled properly. Rust in the snap ring itself and the grove it engages with on the rim causes all the trouble.I always grind these two areas clean of any build up to ensure a proper fit . Also bolt the wheel back on the axel before air is applied,use a clip on chuck and stay away as tube inflates,use a regulator in the line to get the proper pressure. Have never had one blow up using these methods and won’t be nearby if it does.

    Like 5
    • Rube Goldberg Member

      You can put 11×22.5 Dayton style tubeless on these hubs, and still retain that look, without going to a Budd wheel. I always wrapped a chain through the rim when inflating. Had one blow up in a rail yard one night a guy was working on. I bet it sent the ring 50 feet in the air.

      Like 1
  8. Don Keefe

    I have seen this truck in person multiple times and I can vouch for the fact that the condition in incredible. I cannot imagine that a better example could ever be found.

    Like 5
    • scottymac

      Don,
      Wish I could challenge you about a better example, but this is all I remember. My dad had a friend in Sandyville, Ohio, Lawes was his name IIRC. His was a tandem axle B series, said he got the last NOS cab Mack had. Bright red with tons of chrome, ring a bell with any Mack collectors? One last question, did every B series, regardless of exterior paint, have a green interior?

      Like 1
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        I have seen the B model interior painted in both green and red, but never any other color.

      • Don Keefe

        I don’t recall seeing any other color but green but I am hardly an expert on the subject. Nevertheless, I hope that this truck finds a proper home, a museum would be perfect.

  9. striperon

    My brother and I owned 37 BB and a 46 BX Macks. We used them in truck pulls and won many. My son is working in Allentown, PA installing engines in new Macks. He loves working there. Mack is a class operation as it always has been. A friend of mine in Orange, CT owned a fleet of collectibles. Don’t know if he still has them.

    Like 4
  10. moosie moosie

    Were Macks of this era the ones you needed to shift with 2 hands (obviously not this one), a triplex ? duplex ? Anyone know ?

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Yes they were, and it gets MIGHTY old, trust me. This kid knows what he’s doing,,and exactly how it’s done. He’s skipping a couple, but the dash decal indicates a 5×4. The 4 speed aux. is closest to him and the 5 speed main is the far stick. I don’t think he ever touched the clutch either, except from a stop, which is proper.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6pWCKY_qJo

      Like 5
      • Stu Preston Member

        We have a 1961 B-61 with a 5-speed main box and triplex auxiliary. As far as I know the auxiliary box choices from Mack were 2, 3, or 4 speeds. ATHS used to sell an excellent video of various truckers demonstrating how to shift them. Each had a slightly different technique. Shifting both sticks at the same time seems to me to give the most consistent shifts. Still, on the rare occasion when both boxes click into place at the same time it makes your whole day! One thing ALL the old drivers agreed on: If you miss a gear, you might as well begin pulling over to a stop and starting over. That’s about the only way to get the right ratios lined back up with engine and road speeds.

        And, yes, the young man in the video is doing an excellent job!!!

        P.S. Anyone got any extra parts for these trucks?

        Like 2
      • scottymac
      • Rube Goldberg Member

        Your best chance at parts is the classified in Wheels of Time, or Vintage Truck Magazine. Tractor Supply Co., I think has copies. I’ve seen all kinds of parts there for old trucks.

  11. Dan

    Been for sale for a while. Priced at $45000 or close to it puts it out of reach….gorgeous truck, spent at least double that on restoration Imho……

    Like 1
  12. Little_Cars

    Somehow this needs to be in the truck and tractor museum in Petersburg, Virginia. Unless, perhaps, it is priced out of the market. Anyone who wants to see a fabulous hoard of restored classic trucks, long distance haulers, tractors, and rarities would be well served at this museum.

  13. Stu Preston Member

    Thanks Scottymac and Rube–all good tips. We have a couple extra B-model cabs for parts. Between the two we could almost make one to put on a later 1-ton chassis and have a fun driver. BUT, we still lack a LF fender, the headlight panels and a few miscellaneous what-nots. I’ve advertised once in WoT years ago but all those who responded had whole trucks to sell.

  14. scottymac

    I donated a pair of headlight panels to a fellow that ran three B series tractors as grain haulers, don’t know if he ever used them. How would I get a hold of you if he still has them? If nothing else, they show up on e-Bay now and again, that’s where I found mine.

    • Stu Preston Member

      Scottymac, you can reach me directly at stu.preston@sbcglobal.net. 1-405-714-8725

      And Rube, the auctions are always a treat. We had one here in Oklahoma last year that included a B-42. There wasn’t much truck left but I was outbid by a guy who wanted the cab and sheet metal, same as I did.

      With Mack’s manufacturing in Allentown, PA it seems the northeast has a heavier concentration of old Macks than farther west. Still, we travel the country for antique motorcycle events and car meets, so could pick up anything big if not time sensitive.

      Thank you both for keeping your eyes open! Stu

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