Diesel mechanics Emil Barbic and Mario Grosso met during their apprenticeships with Mack at Melbourne. And now they enjoy collaborating on restoration and mechanical work from Oaklands Junction, Victoria.
Mario remembers when Brian Buckley took the 1978 R Model Mack to Oaklands Junction in March 2017.
“It was hard for Brian to tell us where his health was in his life, but he wanted us to understand so that we could help him achieve what he wanted.”
Brian wanted the truck finished by August 2017 so he could drive it to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame Reunion in Alice Springs. To save time, Emil and Mario outsourced the panel and paint work to Litz & Transcolour and assigned trimming and auto electricals to contractors.
But Brian passed away only six weeks after the restoration began. Saddened by the news, they put the restoration on hold until Brian’s family was sure they wanted to proceed. When the work resumed, Emil completed most of the restoration. Mario helped when his truck-driving commitments allowed.
In keeping with Brian’s wishes, there were a few minor customisations to the interior. But Brian wanted the exterior to look authentic.
“We replicated it the way it would have been when it came out of the assembly line of Mack in Brisbane when it was brand new,” Mario says. “The bull bar is original. The wheels are original – no chrome on the wheels. The fuel tanks are all original, and the single exhaust.”
Below L to R: Mario Grosso is pleased to see the restored Mack back home with the Buckley family; Emil Barbic did most of the work on the restoration