1960 Mack B-61T is big enough

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This handsome B-61T Mack was first sold to the Marietta Transport Company in Atlanta, Ga., on August 26, 1960; the current owner, Harry Scott, purchased it in 2006.

Scott wasn’t looking for a Mack truck as he scrolled through a list of vehicles for sale on the Internet. That’s when he stumbled across this 1960 Mack. The seller was only 25 miles away.

It took but a quick phone call for the two to agree upon a suitable transaction price. Scott bought the Mack without even hearing the Thermodyne 672-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine run. He was confident, however, because it had recently been rebuilt and the odometer had been reset to zero miles.

The previous owner evidently had spent years collecting Mack parts and trim pieces. All of those parts were still in their original boxes when Scott took delivery of the Mack, which was rolling on six new 10.00×20-inch commercial tires. Among some of the other new parts that remained in the original boxes were a replacement headliner, grille shell, heat shield, outrigger mirrors, quarter rear fenders, seven new windows, five clearance lights, four chrome hub caps, and four chrome bulldog ornaments.

Inside the grille shell are 11 vertical shutters that close when the engine is first started. As the operating temperature rises, the shutters automatically open. A total of 48 quarts of water keep the cooling system under control. The electrical system has four six-volt batteries, two in boxes on each side of the frame behind the cab.

Diesel fuel is what the Mack likes to drink: A 50-gallon tank is located on the driver’s side with a conveniently placed indentation for a step, while the passenger side tank, also with a built-in step, holds 40 gallons. (The right-side exhaust stack necessitates the smaller tank.) Also on the outside of the right side of the cab is an oil bath air cleaner.

The truck has a dual range five-speed gearbox. Double clutching is, of course, required, says Scott, though he advises, “It takes a while to get your timing right so you don’t grind the gears.”

The 11,200-pound weight of the Mack is carried on the 146.5-inch wheelbase. Air pressure is abundant and operates the brakes, the grille shutters, the wipers that clean the two-piece windshield, and the rooftop-mounted air horns that blast away whenever Scott — seated behind the three-spoke steering wheel — tugs on the lanyard above the driver’s door.

The relatively compact cab was designed to tow longer trailers. Even so, the 6-foot-tall Scott says, “It’s pretty comfortable.”

The exterior is painted an eye-stopping yellow, while the inside of the cab is painted a metallic green.

With his Mack finally reassembled, Scott is beginning to enjoy the fruits of his labor. “I’ve driven it 536 miles,” he says. He reports mileage of 11 miles per gallon of diesel fuel — but who’s counting?

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