Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

Accident took Mack engineer, but his legacy lives on

| October 11, 2012
Mack’s current North American chief, Kevin Flaherty, poses with Mack the Bulldog.

Hood ornaments of many sorts have become popular with owner-operators in recent years, but it’s still hard to beat one of the originals. It’s the Mack Bulldog, which turns 80 years old today. For you sticklers who wonder what’s special about today, Mack Trucks notes that a patent for the hood ornament was granted Oct. 11, 1932.

The bulldog motif itself started much earlier. During World War I, British soldiers nicknamed the Mack AC models “Bulldog Macks” because they were tough enough to handle the rigors of the battlefield.

Then in 1932, Alfred Fellows Masury, a chief engineer at Mack Trucks, had surgery. To pass the time while recovering, he carved the first model of the Bulldog hood ornament out of a bar of soap. Once out of the hospital, he applied for the patent.

Masury was killed in the weather-related crash of U.S. Navy helium-filled airship Akron on April 4, 1933. That same year, the Bulldog hood ornament began adorning Mack trucks.

These sketches were part of Mack Trucks’ hood ornament patent application.

“For 80 years, the Bulldog hood ornament has been a symbol of the durability and reliability customers expect from Mack,” said Kevin Flaherty, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “We tip our hats to Alfred Masury for his contribution to our legacy.”