How Not to Buy a Project!

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There are loads and loads of worthy restoration projects around, so why on earth buy somthing unseen, on an internet auction site, half way across the world?  I put it down to a rare disorder resulting from years and years of exposure to RustyTrucks.  Read on - and take heed! 


Some things are best kept to one self, others are better shared. This one is the latter. Just what goes into buying a project abroad and then shipping it back to Blighty?

The Mack as it appeared on the EBay advertisement


The Mack, I am delighted to say/ashamed to admit (please delete one or other of the alternatives depending upon your opinion of on-line auctions) was purchased off Ebay (the US version). I have no idea how I came to be surfing on the US motors bit that day (I think I may have been having a Dodge Power Wagon moment) but something caught my eye. It may have been the photo, it may have been the slightly obscure description, but there was something about the ad that made me click it open and have a look.


Another shot from the EBay entry. Handsome eh?


It was described as

 "1916 Other Makes Unknown Dump Bed"
Other Makes : Unknown,

so if you were searching specifically for a Mack it would probably not have come up on the list of items, but there it was.  There was something vaguely familiar about the picture, albeit that the truck had clearly seen better days. It was on its feet though, and even a momentary gaze showed chains and sprockets. A “C” cab with cowl mounted radiators was also a strong clue.

It was a Mack, and I like Macks.

It was chain drive, and I like chain drive.

It was old, and I like old.

It was on EBay so it was going to get sold, and when I first looked at it the price was reasonable.

The write-up in the ad confirmed the identification

Vehicle Description

  For your consideration, We have a 1916 to 1939, AC model??? not sure which, vintage Mack Chain Drive truck. This old Bulldog is in dire need of an owner that would like to restore it.

   A bit about them:

The famous AC model was introduced in 1916. With its chain drive rear axle, the AC model earned an unparalleled reputation for reliability and durability, and was called on to help accomplish nearly impossible military and civilian tasks. The AC model was manufactured continuously through 1939 -- a remarkable 24 years, and 40,299 were built. The AC is not only credited with giving Mack its famous Bulldog identity, but also with achieving a degree of success and international fame that has never been accomplished by any other motor truck in history.

   Please, someone out there give this old bulldog a new home :-)

    Thanks for looking and good luck bidding!!!




The view from the other side


It was, however, extremely derelict, it was going to cost money, I already had a big expensive project, there is little spare storage capacity on the RustyTrucks homestead and it was in the good old US of A, meaning lots of shipping and even more expenditure. I have even heard of folks in the US and elsewhere being reluctant to let heritage items (including historic vehicles) be exported abroad, although a quick electronic question to the seller confirmed that he had no difficulties on that score. The temptations and the difficulties all guaranteed a terrific struggle between head and heart.

Chain drive heaven


Under normal circumstances I think that head would have won, it would have not been followed up and someone else would by now have been the proud owner of the said Mack. But there were two other factors that need to be taken into account. The first was EBay. What harm can there be, a little voice said, in setting an upper price limit; if you win, great, if you don’t well then that is how it was meant to be. The second was the location – Bloomingburg in New York State. Which is on the East coast. Which means that in transportation terms it would not have to be trailed half way (or more) across a continent (as it happened it was just over 80 miles from its resting place to the docks in New Jersey). Oh – and at the time the exchange rate was about 2 dollars to the pound.

The engine is there - but of unknown condition


These things conspired to make me place an upper bid, much to the disgust of Mrs RustyTrucks – although it was (and still is) on the understanding that I might have to thin out the collection, such as it is. And blow me down if it didn’t go all the way to my upper limit. But those who came into the fight were too late, and when the virtual hammer went down, mine was the winning bid. By one single, solitary cent. Those given to such portents (I think in this respect I am) this had to be a sign. Whatever the sign though, I was now the owner of what looked, for all the world like the single biggest collection of ferrous oxide on the planet.

The cab needs a bit of work too..

The magneto and water pumps are missing..

But the oil filter tower is present

And the rear of the chassis appears to be in good shape

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