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Tow Truck Find: 1962 Mack B30


What a neat looking truck, it almost looks like a toy truck! Thanks for the tip Joe C! This Mack tow rig is listed here on craigslist for $5,500. It’s in Rockaway Township, New Jersey. It looks complete and apparently it runs great and everything works!


The only rust issue is said to be along the bottom of the passenger door, although there are no pictures of the driver’s side. The big 6 is a 331 CID rated at 122 horsepower and 264 lb. feet of torque. What would you do with this rig? There are some who would do a restomod of some kind, but there must be uses for this truck, perhaps without the tow winch?


  1. Mark E

    Not quite as wide appeal as an ambulance or hearse but I’m sure there are truck collectors out there who’d love this. The original graphics make it one of a kind!

    Like 1
  2. Robert White

    I would use this truck as a workhorse in summer, and a snow plow for the laneway in the winter.

    Like 0
  3. Jason Houston

    In many states this could only be used as a museum piece or show car. Most insurance carriers won’t insure tow trucks for commercial use once they reach a certain age, usually 15 or twenty years.

    Like 0
  4. Donnie

    With only 122 horsepower and 265 torque what would the gearing be .

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  5. Terry J

    The 122 horsepower is not like the 122 horsepower in your old Honda. They are Clydesdales. :-) TLJ

    Like 1
  6. Donnie

    Thank you mr Terry. but that did not answer my guestion .

    Like 0
  7. Donnie

    Ino that the engines had to be built strong to last but the gearing had a lot to do with it

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  8. Ed P

    These engines were usually had a bias toward torque and sacrificed horse power. The 265 ft lbs was probably achieved at a very low rpm, and the engine redlined near 3000 rpm.

    Like 1
  9. Charles H.

    Don’t forget were talking about a gas engine and not a diesel, so it sounds to me like like this thing barely has enough horsepower and torque to pull it’s own weight, unless they made a mistake about the torque rating.

    Like 0
  10. jim s

    might be able to sell the tow truck box part of it and just keep the truck. put another bed on it then put the truck back to work on road or at worksite. nice find

    Like 0
  11. HoA Howard A Member

    Cool, a Mack “Beeper”. I read, the B model was one of the last trucks to offer gas engines. ( into 1966) This one is on the smaller end and Mack made some mombo gas i6 engines, a 540ci and 707ci ( I think those were OHV). They even offered a Chrysler industrial 413 V-8 for a spell. Gas engined trucks are pretty useless ( from experience) but many customers still wanted gas jobs. As said, it’s all about gearing, and the massive flywheels. I’m surprised this doesn’t have a 2 speed rear axle ( maybe it does) as most single axle trucks had those. Otherwise, the rear axle has probably a 5:50 or 6:00 something gears, making for a top speed of 45 mph, but could probably pull a stump out in 1st. This is in great condition, although, I was unaware of the tow truck insurance snafu, but would be a great hobby truck. Too bad it doesn’t have the chrome radiator shell. Those are hard to find, and I’ve heard of people buying B model fire engines ( that usually had chrome radiators) just for the grill. B models are getting scarce, totally worth it here.

    Like 0
    • Ed P

      Gas engines were cheaper to buy. Some buyers did not see the overall savings of spending more for a diesel.

      Like 0
  12. junkman Member

    I’ve never heard of insurance denial for an age issue with a commercial vehicle, as long as it passes inspection. That being said, you would never make it out the other side of a DOT stop with a truck like this- unless you gave it a total restoration.
    A nice novelty, just no longer a viable work truck. A DOT inspector can ALWAYS find something to shut you down for, It seems to be working as the amount of scary trucks has diminished greatly in the last 20 years.

    Like 0
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Hi junkman, while I agree, modern inspections have taken a lot of junk off the road ( although plenty still out there, like the Ohio truck that got 43 citations, including 13 Out Of Service violations), but I really don’t see much wrong with this, violation wise. As long as the brakes and lights work, tires good, and not leaking anything, it should pass.

      Like 0
      • Joe

        What a great looking truck. The QQ plates tell me it is retired and for driving and viewing pleasure. I can see this at a car or truck show. When I first saw it I thought “Very cool” and although I am constantly searching for a 1960’s muscle car, this truck caught my eye. I can see a miniature version of this in a Matchbox car collection, along side a 1964 T-bolt, and 63 Split window Vette.

        Like 0
  13. dave

    This is a 1934 Dodge 2 ton tow truck with a Holmes back end. 20.000lb capacity. I was a DOT inspector and owner operater of a 10 car hauler. The engine is a 217 cu with 95 horses. Torque is 245 with 5.88 gear. Not a trail blazer but at a wreck or recovery, I’ll put this against any modern truck and out perform it. This is all mechanical with no hydraulics. It also has a wheel lift and outriggers.
    Fleet is for sale. Blue p/u sold. 209-613-1199

    Like 0
  14. dave

    40 ton 1936 Autocar still in service today in CA.

    Like 0
  15. Rancho Bella

    What a man truck……….I be lovin’ it…….gas or diesel. It would be neat to install a Cummins inline with up graded driveline. You would never get your money back but oh’………….sorry, got carried away

    Thank you Dave for the pix. Reminds me of a fellow in San Diego into military trucks, the bigger the better

    Like 1
  16. Charles

    Classy! Love the old Mack B cab’s. Didn’t Mack also have a Tri-plex transmission that had three ranges in addition to the normal gears? If I remember correctly it had three shift levers?

    Like 1
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Hi Charles, perhaps the 3 shifters you are thinking of are from the early Jeeps. Mack usually had 2 sticks for the Duplex, Triplex and Quaduplex transmissions. The main stick was the 5 speed,( usually, the left one) and the auxiliary stick, was a 2, 3 or 4 speed. 10,15, or 20 gears, respectively. ( that was a lot of shifting) Back then, truck engines had very small power bands, usually just a few hundred rpm’s, so it was important to have all those gears to keep the engine humming ( believe me, I know all about that). 2 sticks fell out of favor in the 80’s ( some states, I hear, even outlawed them) for the “1 stick” 9,10,13,15,18 speeds of today. One thing for sure, driving a truck with a “set of clubs” will make you an expert in shifting non-synchro transmission’s in a hurry.

      Like 1
  17. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve seen a lot of good trucks pulled off the road because of some silly defect. I inspected (and passed) a truck that was over thirty years old only to have it fail because the DOT guy thought the air system leaked down too quickly; it held over 100 psi overnight. The same owner had his ten year old truck inspected and it passed. It had almost double the miles and the air system would be down to 50 psi in less than an hour. I inspected it after the fact and failed it. Sometimes I think that the feds just want to get the older stuff off the road.

    Like 2
    • Vito

      Did they say it dropped too much on the service or emergency side? The law in ct states it can’t lose any more than 2 psi on the emergency side in one minute. And that it can’t lose more than 3 psi in one minute on the service side with brakes fully applied, and parking brake off. I don’t know what state you’re in, so I’m not sure how different the laws are.

      Like 0
  18. Rob

    Those old Macks are the coolest looking trucks ever.

    Like 1

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