I felt like I had the keys to the kingdom this past Saturday at Trucktoberfest. I was able to wander through the Mack Museum and Customer Center as if I owned the place. If a door was open I went through it. If a truck was unlocked I checked out the cab. Nearly every corner of this building is jammed with historical bits and pieces relating the the Mack truck 115 year legacy and it’s all open for close inspection. The 1,000,000th engine manufactured by the Hagerstown plant? Touched it. Turbine powered Cruise Liner? Saw it. Anechoic chamber? Screamed in it. It’s hard to find one thing that impressed me the most during the visit but if I had to choose one item it would be the Dyno/Environmental testing chamber. Like I said before, if a door was opened I went through it. In this case the entry way resembled an old meat locker door. On the other side was the control room seemingly intact from when Mack still used this building as a test and research center.
I can only imagine the trucks this room played host to back in the day. Superliners in their earliest form, R-models of all types, the vertigo inducing MH, special combinations and platforms of nearly every modern era Macks that never reached the public eye. While sitting on a ginormous dyno, trucks in this test chamber could be exposed to wind speeds of up to 60 mph while experiencing arctic temperatures or broiling desert sun. I was told that with a flick of a switch the room could be brought to near zero degrees in less than a minute.
This room now plays a part in the restoration of many old trucks found around the museum grounds. Right behind the control booth was large storage area jammed full of parts of nearly every sort including engines, mirrors, brackets, and even diecast trucks. There even were a few cutaway display engines.
Moving on I soon found myself in the anechoic chamber. Free from confusing echos, Mack engineers could test cab insulation methods, engine dynamics and even exhaust note circulation. Below is a video highlighting all the cool locals I have mentioned.
Along the perimeter of the museum lies a test track with banked turns and series of increasing inclines. At the end of the day many of the trucks in attendance join together for a parade of power. Full coverage of said event can be found below.
Below, a few more related shots. Tomorrow, even more old trucks. Plenty of new trucks. Mack military trucks and more, more more!