Tom Gannaway of Vinton, Ohio, gives fair warning to drivers who see him coming in their rearview mirrors. His 1956 Mack B-61T comes equipped with a “Large SUV” sign on the front printed backwards so it reads correctly in the other driver’s mirrors. Tom bought the truck in 2001 from Fritts Towing in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It was originally a truck-tractor in Virginia, but Fritts installed a Holmes 600 wrecker bed in 1980 and ran it for five years as a tow truck. They started to freshen it up a bit, but lost interest in the project, and by the time Tom got it, the truck had deteriorated considerably. After extensive mechanical work, Tom has the B-61 running smoothly. He added a 3-speed auxiliary so the truck now has 30 gears instead of 10, and can run 78 mph on flat terrain. The Mack still has its original 170 hp END673 engine, and Tom has a great time driving it to antique truck shows. One of Tom’s projects in recent years has been to compile a B-Model Mack registry to help people who are rebuilding or restoring an old Mack. Tom’s website (www.oldmacksrus.com) not only has the Mack registry, but it also features information, links and photos of old Mack trucks – especially B-Model Macks. Be sure to check it out the next time you are surfing the internet. And if you see Tom’s “Large SUV” bearing down on you in your rearview mirror, kindly move over and let him fly on by!
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.