Cohort Capsule: Mack B61 – Resting After Its Many Exertions

Impalamino has posted a truckload of fine finds at the Cohort. There’s several that must be written up, as soon as time permits. But let’s take a quick look at this handsome Mack B61, an iconic truck if ever there was one (unless perhaps you lived in the Western US).

Of course, this one is missing its bulldog hood ornament, but then these are very popular items to filch. The B-Series was built from 1953 through 1966, but it seems like it was forever. If you lived on the East Coast, well into the eighties these were still very common sights. During their heyday, they were just everywhere; undoubtedly the most common conventional (hood) truck of the era.

Unlike most truck companies, Mack built almost everything that went into its trucks, including the Thermodyne diesel engines. I have vivid memories of driving through the mountains of Western Pennsylvania on the Turnpike at night, and seeing Macks working hard up the grades with little orange flames on the tips of their exhaust stacks. That was one way to burn off the excess hydrocarbons, but not exactly the most efficient.