The September/October 2018 issue of Vintage Truck magazine will be available in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands soon. Our cover story about a 1936 Mack Jr was written by Candace Brown, with photos by Al Rogers.
Mack Trucks Inc. enjoys a well-deserved reputation in the trucking industry for building tough, heavy-duty products. Its roots go back to 1900 when brothers Jack and Gus Mack founded Mack Bros. Co. in Brooklyn, New York, which operated under that name until 1922. The introduction of the Model AC in 1916 was a hit, and the appearance of the AP series in 1927 established Mack as a leader in the heavy truck market. Within the Mack family of trucks, an obscure, smaller cousin to those beefy road warriors earned its own distinction thanks to its lack of success, at least in terms of sales.
The “Mack Jr” offered top-quality engineering and handsome styling but could not compete with lower-priced makes from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and a dozen other brands. Today, the few survivors in existence rank among the rarest and most expensive collectible trucks around. The Mack Jr story is one of rebadging and risk taking during the Great Depression. It also illustrates how two companies joined forces in an effort to survive, though only one would.
An especially handsome example of a 1936 Mack Jr pickup belongs to the Stahls Automotive Foundation in Chesterfield, Michigan. Ted Stahl formed this 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005 to restore, preserve, and exhibit the early American automobiles he buys and donates to the foundation.
John Lauter was serving as curator of the Stahls Automotive Foundation when we began to research the history of this rare relic. During an interview in 2017, Lauter described Stahls’ Mack Jr as, “… probably the nicest one that still exists.”
“We got it from a noted collector in the area, the late Phil Bray,” he said. “Phil bought the car in unrestored condition and fully restored it. He was an engineer and manager for Chrysler, a human dynamo of restoration who restored about one car a year.”
The Mack Jr line of vehicles included various ratings and wheelbases, ranging from the half-ton pickup to a three-ton cab and chassis, and included a school bus and a panel truck. The total production of 4,794 occurred only between mid-1936 into early 1938. (The name “Mack Jr” has no relation to a 1-1/2-ton, primarily wooden truck that Mack introduced in 1909 and called the “Junior.”) The half-ton model in the Stahls collection was designated the 1MA. According to Bray, only about 200 were built in 1936.
To read more about our featured 1936 Mack Jr, pick up a copy of the September/October 2018 issue of Vintage Truck magazine!
Other articles in this issue include:
National Drive Your Old Truck Day 2018
Destined to Lead: Phil Miller’s 1940 Chevrolet Light Delivery Pickup By Candace Brown
Big Little Truck: The 1936 Mack Jr was a REO Speedwagon dressed like a bulldog! By Candace Brown, Photos by Al Rogers
The Family Thing: Danny Glover’s 1964 IH Scout 80 By Robert Gabrick, Photos by Brad Bowling
Missing Link: What happened to the Jeep CJ-4? By Patrick Foster
Dodge Garage: 1946 Dodge WC (Rick Davis)
Delivery Designs: Terra Traveler (Pete Costisick)
The Road Less Traveled: Keller's Super Chief Wagon (B. Mitchell Carlson)
Books in the Bed: Reviews by Jim Hinckley
Hey Loren!: Q&A
Aid for the Anxious Amateur: Disc Brake Replacement (Brad Bowling)
Granny Gear: Golden Hour (Ted Kalvitis)