Curbside Classic Outtake: Mack B77

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
curbside classic outtake mack b77

Did this old Mack ever bring a smile to my face when it pulled up next to me in traffic at a light. Macks of this vintage were my favorite trucks during my east coast years, as they predominated the truckscape back in the day. This B77 has the bigger radiator. The more common and classic B61 had the more delicate curved radiator that would have looked right at home on a classic car (see below). But my smile got even bigger when the light changed to green and he took of in his utterly un-muffled, un-sanitized hard working Mack, belching the kind of black cloud that used to be ubiquitous in the good old days. Did you know Mack trucks could shoot flames too?

As a teen, I had a brief stint as a gardener’s helper for a former truck driver, who was a little worse for wear having abused his body for decades with bennies and and rough-riding noisy Macks like this one. He told me that under the right conditions, at night you could see flames coming out of a hard working Mack exhaust. Right.

A few years later, hitchhiking through mountainous western Pennsylvania at night on the Turnpike, I saw it: one or more old Macks laboring up the steep winding freeway at maybe twenty five or thirty, and a beautiful orange flame about a foot or two long sitting at the top of their exhaust stack, burning off the excess hydrocarbons that otherwise would have been seen as an extra-black smoke cloud. A catalytic converter without a catalyst.

Join the conversation
2 of 15 comments
  • Rudiger Rudiger on Apr 25, 2010

    While not as malevolent appearing as the 1956 Peterbilt 281 used in the made-for-tv movie Duel, I always thought one of these Macks would have been a good alternative due to their classic, period styling.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on Apr 26, 2010

    Maybe these guys can hook you up with something. They are just up I5 and one of their exhibits is a 3/4 size Freightliner made by Hyster and actually used for deliveries.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.