Mack Fire Apparatus
A Tribute to the Bulldog of All Fire Trucks
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By Britton W Crosby
Original Post March 2001 - Updated March 2005 - Re-launched April 2020
xx Mack photos on this page
The appreciation for Mack fire trucks is often based on their quality of workmanship
and the classic design of the many different fire trucks built by Mack over the years.
The "gold standard" of fire trucks is demonstrated by this classic and beautiful
highly polished chrome radiator and bull dog on a former Montreal, Quebec
"B" model Mack ladder truck.
This feature displays a collection of some of the many great Mack Fire Trucks that
have served over the years. Enjoy!
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Mack Fire Trucks
Possibly America's most famous manufacturer of fire apparatus,
Mack Trucks of Allentown, Pennsylvania began building fire trucks around 1911.
Over the years, these beautiful fire engines, bearing the trademark "Bull Dog",
proved to be as tough and reliable as the saying "Built like a Mack Truck" indicates.
Thousands of these classic apparatus served over the years.
Mack stopped making custom apparatus in 1990 to the dismay of Mack fans.
This is a tribute to some of the Macks I have admired had the pleasure of photographing.
TONS OF MACK PHOTOS IN THIS SPECIAL FEATURE!!
Mack Fire Trucks
The Famous Mack Bull Dog.
Mack trucks earned a reputation for being tenacious as a bull dog during WWI.
The bull dog began showing up on the side of Mack hoods around 1922.
| Mack Models and
Model "A" Series...................1914-1938
Model "AB" Series................1914-1936
Model "AC" Series................1916-1938
"Early" Model "B" Series....1927-1941
Model "E" Series...................1936-1950
Model "L" Series...................1940-1954
Model "A" Series...................1950-1953
Model "B" Series...................1954-1966
Model "C" Series...................1956-1967
Model "MB" Series................1963-1978
Model "MC" Series................1978-1987
Model "MR" Series................1978-1987
Model "R" Series....................1966-1990
Model "CF" Series..................1967-1990
Mid-Liner MS Series...............1979-
The Bulldog radiator cap of
an early 1930's Mack "Early B series" pumper.
Photo Springfield 1997
- MACK FIRE TRUCK HISTORY -
"BUILT LIKE A MACK TRUCK"
THE MACK BROTHERS
John "Jack" Mack
had begun working for a carriage and wagon manufacturing
In 1893 Jack and his brother Augustus "Gus" Mack bought that factory.
In 1894, a third
brother William, who had previously operated a
"THE FIRST MACK WAS
A BUS AND THE FIRST BUS WAS A MACK"
By 1900, the "Mack
Brothers Company" had
established a company set on building
One of the first successful vehicles they
built in 1900 was a bus.
The Manhattan name was
and after 1910,
The first Mack
fire truck was built in 1910.
Mack would continue to build
many types of fire trucks
between 1911 and 1990.
THE MACK BULLDOG
Model "A" Series
Mack Model "E" Series
Mack Model "C" Series
One of the busiest days in FDNY history, April 20,
1963, known as "Black Saturday"
In 1965, Mack Trucks, Inc. delivered the "Super
Pumper," a Mack "F" series tractor
The Pumper and Tender were housed in a firehouse in
The Super Pumper System was around for "The War Years"
Model "CF" Series
END OF AN ERA
By 1990 Mack
building its custom fire apparatus
This feature displays some of those great Macks and
what made them special
- AB -
- AC -
The Mack Model "AC" series was built between 1916 and
It was chain driven. These AC Mack trucks earned the company the
reputation for being reliable, durable, and tough as British "bull dogs"
while serving in Great Britain during WWI.
This Baltimore fire engine was in a parade 1990s.
The Mack AC hood grill was very distinctive.
This style Mack was built from 1916 to 1938.
- Early B -
The Mack "B" Model was built from 1927 until about 1941.
This 1931 Early Model B Mack pumper belonged to Easton, MA.
At Lynnfield June 2010
Mack was one of the first truck builders and they got
their name out there
in a variety of ways including on the radiators and hoods of their trucks.
Easton, MA 1931 early Mack.
Photo Lynnfield 2004.
The Easton, MA Mack
Note how the headlights are mounted in front of the radiator
on a bar bridging both front fenders.
Early Macks would not have the famous Bull Dog logo
The Mack radiator of the 1927 Edgartown Mack pumper.
Since the Bull Dog didn't become a Mack symbol until 1932,
this one was a later addition.
The Mack radiator of the 1927 Edgartown Mack pumper
with a more appropriate radiator.
- E -
Mack introduced its Model "E" series in 1936.
The Model E would be produced until about 1950.
Model E trucks had single piece glass windshields.
Headlights are mounted in the space between the rounded fenders and the hood.
The radiator grills of various styles of the Model E varied depending
on the year and series.
This "Little Mack" is about a 1940 Model E.
It radiator has several distinctive triple band cross members protecting
the grill of the radiator. The Mack name plate is also mounted on the radiator.
This"Little Mack" was often seen at the Lynnfield, Mass Muster held each June.
Mack built their Model E series vehicles from 1936 to
The Model E is identified best by the windshield which is a single piece
of glass. The grill of the E changed over the years quite a bit making
for some interesting and beautiful varieties of this Mack model.
The 1938 Model E of East Greenwich, RI.
June 2014 in RI
The Mack nameplate displayed on both sides of the hood of this
1938 Mack "E" model Type 75 of the East Greenwich, RI
RI Muster June 2011
The "E" Model Mack hood and grill had a
slight backward slant to
1938 Mack "E" 600 gpm / 100 gals Pumper
Patchogue, LI, NY
June 2016 Long Island.
1941 Mack Model 55
A different look to the grill, without the cross members.
Long Island June 2016
The Mack "E" series had a variety of grill styles.
This 1948 Mack "E" pumper was from Northport, NY.
It had a 750 gpm pump and 200 gallon water tank.
- L -
The Mack Model "L" series was produced from 1940 until
The "L" series features a 2 piece windshield, a substantial radiator grill,
and front wheel fenders with a defined dip towards the hood.
Headlights are mounted in the area between the hood and the front fenders.
Centerport, LI 1944 Mack "L" model pumper
750 gpm/100 gallons
Centerport, Long Island
The Mack "L" double glass windshield.
The hood could be folded up on the "L" to enable better cooling
of the motor while pumping.
At Rhode Island 2014
A Mack "L" on display at the 2019 Muster in Wilmington, MA
The pump of the Mack "L" pumper.
1950's Mack "L" Model hood of a Boston Engine.
Classic Mack "L" Pumper.
Parade in Baltimore 2007.
- B -
The Mack "B" Model was introduced in 1953 to replace the long serving "L"
The Model "B" would be used for many fire apparatus until 1966.
The B also has the 2 piece glass windshield but with a less prominent divider.
The most recognized difference is how the larger fenders now meet the hood
and the headlights are mounted within the fenders. The radiator and grill are
substantial and often chromed with the Bull Dog sitting centered atop the radiator.
Mack "B" of Peabody, MA
Lynnfield June 2010
Framingham Mack B Engine 1
At Wilmington 2019
Mack B-85 Thermodyne Pumper
- R -
The Mack "R" chassis was introduced in 1966 to replace
the Model "B".
The Brewster Fire Department on Cape Cod bought this "R" in 1974.
It had a 1250 gpm pump and 500 gallons of water.
It was a work horse for many years.
The more traditional Mack "R" chassis kept the engine
ahead of cab style.
This 1983 Mack "R" belongs to Mastic Beach, Long
- C -
The Mack "C" Model cab forward style pumper was introduced in 1956.
Mack purchased the rights to this style cab from Ahrens Fox.
The cab allowed crew members to ride seated facing backwards within
the cab on either side of the engine box.
The classic looking Mack C would be built until 1967.
Mack C - Parade in Linhurst, NJ 1997
Mack "C" Pumper
The Mack logo on the front of the Model "C"
The Mack Model C was produced with open cabs as well as closed cabs.
Many departments, still used to the open cabs continued to buy them in the
more powerful, more modern, and larger apparatus.
The Mack cab forward "C" model.
Engine 13 at Harrisburg, PA Muster 2002
Diesel motors allowed for more powerful pumps.
A Mack C pump panel.
- MB / MC -
Mack came out with a cab over chassis known as the "MB"
Series in 1963.
The "MB" was built until about 1978.
An updated version known as the Mack "MC" was introduced
an continued to be built until about 1987.
Brewster bought this 1979 Mack MB Heavy Rescue
built by Saulsbury. The Heavy Rescue served Brewster from 1995 - 2005.
The "MB" cab style.
Cape May, NJ
Mack "MC" Heavy Rescue
- CF -
Mack introduced the "CF" Model cab in 1967.
The Mack CF has a more squared off cab than it's "C" predicessor.
The distinct style cab would be used by thousands of fire apparatus
of all types until about 1990.
Access to the Mack CF "Jump Seat" was easy and allowed
quick deployment of personnel dressed and wearing SCBA
ready to go to work.
The Mack CF
Walpole, MA Engine 3
The Mack "CF" could be made as fancy as a department wanted.
Taking the basic cab and adding some chrome or lighting or paint
can make a truck unique to its community.
Long Island June 2016
The history of Mack custom fire apparatus is long and
by thousands of classic looking and hard working custom fire trucks built
over 9 decades, and beyond.
This feature illustrates some of these apparatus over the years.
Liberty Hose Company 1
is located in Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY.
Some of the historical facts and information
referenced in this feature
came from a wonderful book called...
Mack Fire Apparatus
A Pictorial History
Harvey Eckart 1990
01 - Mack Fire Truck History
02 - Mack Name & Logos
03 - Mack Bulldog
04 - Mack Style
05 - Early Macks 1911-1930s
06 - Mack E Series 1936-1950
07 - Mack L Series 1940-1954
08 - Mack L Series 1940-1954
09 - Mack B Series 1953-1966
10 - Mack B Series 1953-1966
11 - Mack C Series 1956-1967
12 - Mack C Series 1956-1967
13 - Mack CF Series 1967-1990
14 - Mack CF Series 1967-1990
15 - Mack R Series 1966-1990
16 - Mack MB/MC Series 1972-1987
17 - Mack Other Chassis
18 - Mack Ladder Trucks
19 - Mack Aerial Scopes
20 - FDNY Macks
21 - Providence Macks
22 - Cape Cod Area Macks 1
23 - Cape Cod Area Macks 2
24 - Cape Cod Area Macks 3
25 - Macks in Action
26 - Mixed Macks
27 - Mack Favorites
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- Mack Fire Apparatus -