He saw a Mack truck (a semi), which had been customized and cut down to about half its original size. It was pulling a semitrailer, which was actually a fifth-wheel camper inside! He thought that was cool and decided to build a custom Mack truck for himself.
In 1990 a friend of Larry’s told him about a Mack B 30 body for sale in Fountain Square. Larry bought it and began his search for a wrecked Dodge pickup with a Cummins diesel engine so he could have a modern chassis with a diesel to put his Mack body on.
Even though he found many “wrecks” to choose from, they were still too expensive for his project. In 1996 he found a wrecked 1995 Ford F-350 Dually with an extended cab and a 7.3 Power Stroke turbo diesel.
Larry cut the back of his Mack cab and extended it to 16 inches to fit the chassis nicely and give him some extra room inside. By 2001 he had built a flat bed for the rear of the truck and had it on the road.
With a custom interior, air conditioning and cruise control, Larry was ready to roll. He drove the truck from 2001-10, when he found a new black Chevrolet Dually pickup bed for sale. He narrowed the bed by 6 inches for a perfect fit. He regularly drives the Old Mack B 30 to shows in Indiana.
Each year the American Historical Truck Society has a show somewhere in the country, and Larry just returned from this year’s event, which was held over the weekend Springfield, Mo. Other shows that he has driven to include Birmingham, Ala.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Fort Wayne and South Bend. Next year he will be taking it to the show in Oregon.
Larry says the Mack drives wonderfully with the modern chassis and gets 15 miles per gallon at 70 mph. He said the society’s shows often feature several other creations similar to his, but few have such a refined appearance.
While Larry did most of the work himself, he enlisted the expertise of his friend Mike Talbert for the body and paint work, and Larry had the custom interior done professionally.
This old Mack is a one-of-a-kind for sure, and I have invited him to bring it to our cruise-in at 6 p.m. Friday at 6025 Madison Ave. I hope he makes it so you can see this beautiful and RARE custom ride.
Until next week, keep on cruising!