The recurring comment went something like, “It’s not as bad as last year!”
A light rain fell and a leaden sky hung over the 27th annual All Mack truck show at Gerhart’s Machinery in Lititz, Pennsylvania last weekend. But it was nowhere near as soggy, as the 2015 show, so the vast front lawn of Roger Gerhart’s family farm was covered with Macks of all vintages and even a few non-Mack interlopers.
Most of the vendors moved inside one of Gerhart’s garages, but fans and owners of trucks were undeterred as they wandered the rows of trucks in the light rain Saturday. They came to appreciate and reconnect with what many consider the most iconic of all heavy-duty truck brands made in the U.S.
One of the folks at the show with a deep connection to Macks was Doug Maney. His family has been in the trucking business for 101 years, and today he’s the curator of Mack Historical Museum in Allentown.
At the show Saturday, Oct. 1, Maney commented on the brand’s longtime popularity: “I think the industry, the people within the industry are so loyal, dedicated and devoted to certain products that the Mack brand just became a mainstay for their families, for their companies, for their country. You look at trademark, you look at branding and there are very few brands that have been out there since 1900 that are as recognizable as the Mack Truck brand. That is one of the main factors why there is such a devoted following.
“The durability. The styling. What it comes down to is just the history that Mack has with people. So many people have been put through college on the back of a Mack truck. So many kids, so many families have been supported by Mack trucks over the years that it automatically just became a part of people’s lives.”
Maney, whose grandfather had a coal trucking business in central Pennsylvania starting in 1915, said the Gerhart’s show attracts numerous trucks that are representative of the the brand.
“There’s always a fantastic selection of (restored trucks) and many survivors, preserved trucks rather than restored,” he said.
Maney pointed out one truck in particular: a 1963 B-75 model owned by Daryl Emery, calling it “just a sweet driving machine. Just a classic-looking B model. A lot of people taking pictures of that truck.”
About 100 trucks — mostly Macks — were on display at the show.
See some of the trucks that showed up at Gerhart’s