HomePick of the DayMack brothers built trucks as tenacious as a bulldog

Mack brothers built trucks as tenacious as a bulldog


Although the private seller of the Pick of the Day is asking $111,000 in the vehicle’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com, that seller admits it is “tough to price the truck so I am accepting realistic offers and serious inquiries.”

So what truck is the Pick of the Day? It’s a 1923 Mack Model AB with a C-style cab. 

“I grew up working in a Mack truck dealership,” the seller says. “I had to buy the truck and get it running.”

There’s a video in the advertisement that shows the engine running. The seller adds that the truck has a rust-free body and uncut frame and that it runs and drives.

“Very clean older restoration. Starts on first crank and drives,” the seller notes. “Runs cool and has good oil pressure. Good tires. Good wood on bed. Stored indoors. Incredibly well-preserved.”

John “Jack” Mack went to work for carriage maker Fallesen & Berry in Brooklyn, New York, in 1890, and three years later he and his brother, Augustus, bought the company. A year later, another brother, William, who had his own wagon-building business in Scranton, Pennsylvania, joined his brothers in Brooklyn.

The Mack Brothers Company experimented with electric- and steam-powered motorcars, and unveiled a 17-seat “big car” at Madison Square Garden. They produced “Manhattan” vehicles seating 10 to 30 people in wagonette, tonneau or tally-ho styles. Around 1905, however, they moved the business to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and began building trucks under the Manhattan brand name until 1911, when they applied their family name to their trucks. They also built rail cars and locomotives until 1930.

Among innovations the Mack brothers introduced were Gus Mack’s constant mesh system that protected gears from being damaged by inexperienced drivers, and Jack Mack’s selective feature that enabled drivers to shift from high to low and vice versa without going through all the intermedia speeds.

Because of their design and tenacious qualities, British soldiers nicknamed the Mack AC model trucks they used in World War I as the Bulldog Macks. 

Mack first used the Bulldog as its corporate emblem in 1921 with a metal plate riveted to each side of each truck’s cabin. The plates showed a bull dog wearing the word “Mack” on its collar was illustrated chewing on a book titled Hauling Costs.

The 1923 Mack AB truck on offer is located in North Phoenix, Arizona. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. From your advertisement it’s hard to tell if you are selling an original or a replicar. Which is it?

  2. Thank you for writing this article, as it helped me to find the first truck my family owned in 1920/1! Before that we only had horse and wagon teams. I’m researching our family business called “Bianco Bros”, where I started working when I was 12 in 1944, as my who ran it wanted all males in the family to be part of it. The most interesting thing is now, the Mack Company uses land my son owns to store 100’s of their new vehicles awaiting the finishing process in Macungie Pa.


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