2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1, Page #31[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Mack Trucks Had Junior Versions
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum has a restored 1912 Mack Jr. on display. It was made in the Mack factory, Allentown, Penn., and is reported to be one of only three left in existence.
In 1935, Mack Trucks made another attempt at reaching the small truck market. They contracted with REO (originally R.E. Olds Motor Car Company) to brand their basic pickup truck with the Mack Jr. name.
The newly named truck was built to Mack specifications based on the REO Speed Wagon. Mack sold Mack Jr. trucks from 1936 until 1938 in 1/2-ton, 1-ton, 2-ton and 3-ton models.
Eilers Brothers Trucking & Excavating has one of the few remaining of the 4,974 Mack Jr. chassis built during this period. The 1/2-ton model is a 1937 version and one of three older Macks the company owns, according to Raymond Eilers.
“My dad was at an antique truck show in 1994 when he bumped into a guy who asked him if he was interested in a Mack Jr.,” says Eilers. “It was stored nearby, and after looking at it, Dad bought it on the spot.”
Eilers’ dad had the Mack Jr restored, as it was in poor condition at the time. In 2008, it underwent a second restoration.
“The building it was stored in collapsed and damaged the truck,” says Eilers. “We had it completely restored after finding a lot of imperfections from the earlier restoration.”
This past season Eilers took it to its first antique truck show since 2020. He drove it 14 miles to and from the show.
“It drives excellent,” says Eilers. “It’s a pretty light-duty truck.”
The Eilers brothers also own a 1941 Mack ED and a 1952 L2L semi-tractor with a Cummins 290 motor.
The ‘41 ED isn’t quite as rare as the Mack Jr. It’s one of only 2,686 EDs built between 1938 and 1944. Unlike the Mack Jr., it was actually built by Mack as part of their E-series of trucks. Less than 50 are thought to still exist. It was rated at 1 1/2 to 2 tons but could carry more.
At one time, the Eilers had two EDs, however, one was not all original and it was sold. The one remaining was damaged in the same building collapse as the Mack Jr. but didn’t require as much restoration.
While he is unsure of how many Mack Jr. pickups from the 1930’s remain, he knows they are few and far between. He has heard of some reproductions showing up. He has loaned parts to collectors needing a sample when fabricating a part. Interest remains high.
“The Mack Jr. and the ED attract a lot of interest,” says Eilers. “People really gather around.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Eilers Brothers Trucking & Excavating, Inc., P.O. Box 216, Readsboro, Vt. 05350 (ph 802-423-5413 or 802-430-2417); or Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, 505 Sterling Dr, Walcott, Iowa 52773 (ph 563-468-5500; www.iowa80truckingmuseum.com).
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