Curbside Classic: Golden Era Mack R Series – Live From New York

This past Friday I looked out of the window of my sixth floor hotel room in Brooklyn, NY and what to my wondering eyes did appear?  This Mack R Series cement truck in fantastically paired colors.  I was instantly smitten.

The Mack R Series has long been my favorite big rig.  A close second would be a Kenworth K100 with a Detroit 12V71TA, but that’s a whole other wet dream.  Anyways, part of this goes back to childhood, spending summers in the back seat of Mom’s light blue on blue 1983 Plymouth Reliant wagon driving I-83 from our home in Towson, MD to Beaver Dam Swim Club in Hunt Valley and back five days a week.  The roads leaving The Dam going to 83 went right past the GENSTAR mine and 83 was the artery of disbursement of product and to additional locations in the area.

I remember watching those big white Mack cement trucks hauling down the road with their purple and blue GENSTAR logo on the door.  Plenty of matching Mack dump trucks too, my mom cursing their haphazard driving styles on occasion.  I also recall a lot of Mack R dump trucks painted a dark green and thinking they were army dump trucks, but they likely were working the mine too.  Of course, all of this was reinforced upon being exposed to Mad Max: The Road Warrior at a young age.  The R has been a favorite ever since.

Immediately recalling the incredible bad ass factor of Max’s R was part of the reason I was so smitten on Friday: the two tones of paint bore a striking resemblance for me (Max’s was black on an orange frame).  I also tried to recall when the last time I saw one of these pressed into daily service and could only come up with “It’s been quite a while.”  Over the past 5 years I have lived in Gloucester, VA, San Diego, CA, and now Charleston, SC and don’t recall seeing many, to the point where seeing one requires craning my neck to catch a glimpse.  I posted up on the hotel room window sill and sat there for a good five minutes watching this big rig work with the much newer concrete pumper truck at this site and admire its strength and the hard work it must have put in over its long life.  A true Curbside Classic.


My trance was broken when I had to leave to go somewhere with coworkers and when we got to the sidewalk I had to snap a couple of pictures of my favorite rig.  The name may be worse for wear but the lower jaw of that mascot never looked so good!  This Bull Dog is obviously one of the U or DM models with the offset cab.  I didn’t have the time to crawl under and see if that rear most axle is powered or not (likely is), but couldn’t help but wonder if it was a mighty straight six or burly V8 under that massive piece of fiberglass.  Perhaps someone here can call out the year, model, and engine type?  Having only a single stack to spew black smoke like a kid in a WRX blowing vape out of the window isn’t sufficient evidence to sway me either way.


If I had Jay Leno money I’d absolutely buy one of these blue collar Bull Dogs as a regular semi, orange frame and rear fenders much like Mad Max’s but with a dark green cab and orange stripe over the hood.  Imagine driving that big stick shift in a Spartan cab?  Now I’m going down one of Paul’s famous MM sessions…


Related bulldog reading:

Quarryside Classics: Mack R-Series – Rock Solid Since 1966

Curbside Classic: Mack RM-Series 4×4 – The Really Tough Mack

Curbside Classics: Dodge LCF And Mack U-Series Trucks – Two Big Gnarly Firefighters