Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A visit to the Mahan truck collection

Do you like big trucks? Of course you do!

I had the pleasure over the weekend of visiting an incredible collection of antique trucks, all part of The Mahan Collection in Basking Ridge, NJ. I was quite fortunate actually, because the collection isn’t open to the public. The open house was via invitation only, and as they say in New Jersey, “I know a guy who knows a guy.”

The trucks have largely been restored by Gary Mahan, I understand through his own efforts, and via the acquisition of another collector’s trucks. Most of them are Mack, though there are a number of other trucks from other manufacturers as well as antique construction equipment on the collection grounds. The trucks are housed in a half-dozen warehouses, most with informative placards similar to what I’ve seen at The Museum of the United States Air Force, right down to the provenance of each truck.

Here’s a handful of the trucks and other interesting things I saw. If you’re in the NJ/PA area you’re likely to see some of Gary Mahan's collection at truck shows sponsored by the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS). 

A big thank you to my friend Randy for the invitation.

The beautiful property of the Mahan collection.

One of the many buildings housing the trucks.

1943 Mack FC, the world’s largest chain-driven truck. This dump was used moving over-burden, rock, coal, copper, nickel, and iron ore.

Unusual 1927 Mack AB that features a Caterpillar engine. This particular truck was used in Scranton, PA.

You’ll probably never see the Mack bulldog perched atop the Caterpillar logo anywhere like this.

1934 Mack CH.

One of the more contemporary trucks in the collection, a 1960 Ford F-1000 Super Duty. This particular truck was operated by a CT garage.

A modern Mack that Mahan uses to haul trucks to ATHS shows.

Not every truck in the collection has been restored. This cement mixer shows its age and character.

An unusual find in the Mahan back lot.

You want stencils? We got stencils!

I enjoyed seeing how many of these old trucks incorporated both steel and wood in their construction. Here wood supports the dump body of the Mack FC shown above.

Here wood is used for the windshield.

Here wood is used for the truck bed.

The Mahan man cave.

Most awesome table ever!

We've got tires!

We've got parts. Some of them primed even!

We have fiddly bits.

Gary has paint!

Gary has a sense of humor!


  1. I love going to places like this with anything old and mechanical, thank you for sharing.

    1. Wow, all that and not even officially open to the public. I do have a fondness for those old Mack trucks with the cab that looks like it came straight off a horse-drawn carriage. Have built two or three truck models as a break from aircraft too - come to think of it you're right, I do like big trucks!