Isn’t that a handsome beast? At first, I thought I didn’t know Mack built vans. But I quickly realized that this isn’t really a van as we think of it nowadays; it’s just a unitized truck, where elements of the cab are incorporated into the body. That was kind of a big thing in the 1930s, as part of the new streamlined look, to make trucks look more modern and less like horseless wagons. This fad lasted into the early ’50s, but was mostly pretty short-lived, as it had its limitations.
But looks was not one of those.
And here’s a look at some other Mack CJ/CH trucks; before and after streamlining:
The Mack CJ/CH line of COE trucks was developed specifically in response to the new length regulations taking effect at this time, and arrived in 1933 with this much more traditional boxy look. But that cargo body in the back is very much in the Streamline Moderne mode, and really deserves something better suited up front.
Here’s a semi truck version, with a sleeper cab. Werner was a significant pioneer in refrigerated express truck service, hauling produce from the Twin Cities to Chicago and…probably meat from Chicago back to the Twin Cities.
There’s even a van with the original cab style.
The new streamlined cab arrived just two years later, in 1935. Ironically, this boxy coal truck would be better suited to the old style cab.
That’s more like it. Gasoline tanker trucks were commonly styled extravagantly during this time, as a form of promotion for their respective brands of gas.
These are very handsome trucks!
Very nice looking trucks.
I love this style/era. A very attractive van, but quite hot and noisy inside I’d imagine, with engine access through the doors. Still a huge step forward from a horse-drawn van.
But the style! And the colour…..
Seeing a refrigerated truck with this style is unusual. I normally associate the unitary style body with moving vans and express service trucks. This style hung on in the UK well into the 70s since i have seen them in old TV shows.
Very neat looking trucks. I quests the “Dock” in Coal and Dock relates to ship delivery but how many small craft still used coal for fuel in the 1930’s?
Coal dock is somewhat common phrase I have heard it used both for ship docks used to load and unload coal as well as train terminals that did the same. My guess would be the company owned the facility and delivery service.
Quick google search shows an old address with an address on Clybourn place in Chicago which does not shown up on google but there is a clybourn ave near the ship channel and goose island which would be a likley place to unload coal barges.
That Mack CJ is just begging for a psychedelic paintjob a few extra windows and a big solar panel on top.
The Mack CJ truck appears to be parked in front of the old Mack Factory Sales building on University Ave. in Rochester NY. Geneva NY is about 40 miles east, so it makes sense that is where it was sold. The building still exists with the “Mack Sales Service” sign on it although the independent company who took over the dealership, while still in existence moved to larger facilities long ago.
Kind of odd that with the almost full width flattish front body style they kept the headlights stuck out in the air outside instead of sinking them into the body Airflow style.
The first photo could’ve been taken 85 years ago except for the LED turn signal.
Blimey! It had me fooled till you pointed that out.
Brave soul who pilots that in modern times with only those woman’s compact mirrors to see out back.
It was taken 85 years ago. It’s not an LED.
Looks like one to me
Looks can be deceiving.
This is a genuine vintage shot. It’s wearing dealer tags dated 1936, as it’s being photographed in front of the Mack dealer who sold it and is about to deliver it to the customer. It was colorized in 2020.
The Eureka coal truck looks like part of an architect’s line drawing for some streamlined thirties industrial building that has come to life and escaped off the drawing board. The severity and toy-like neatness is somehow quite compelling.
LOVE IT! Thanks – old truck guy that I am.
These seem like thunder trucks, as Peter Shultz (Cummins, Porsche) described in his autobiography.
He innovated with interior truck comforts and won cummins market share in heavy truck market before becoming CEO of Porsche.
These actual trucks could be made comfortable, but that was not important then.
The early ones seem worth emulating with modern build.