The 'WayBack Machine' 1981 Mack Cruise-Liner

By: Greg Bush, Photography by: Greg Bush

IMGP2123 The 'WayBack Machine' 1981 Cruise-Liner on show during the Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show at Penrith's Museum of Fire. IMGP2123
IMGP2176 Truck owner Scott Montgomery is a Mack enthusiast. IMGP2176
IMGP2183 Getting behind the wheel of the Cruise-Liner takes you "way back". IMGP2183
IMGP2184 Love that dashboard layout, and the "air-con". IMGP2184
IMGP2186 A five and a half star energy rating? That should please the environmentalists. IMGP2186
IMGP2149 IMGP2149

Scott Montgomery reckons his 1981 Mack Cruise-Liner has the first emissions rating released in Australia – Euro Zero


Scott Montgomery owns a couple of not-so-young Macks – a 1994 Ultra-Liner and his latest showpiece, an ’81 Mack Cruise-Liner

It’s not all show for the Cruise-Liner however, even though he had it on display at this year’s Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show, which was held at Penrith's Museum of Fire on May 29.

The Cruise-Liner is on full rego, and runs local out of Banksmeadow wharf, subcontracting to Johnstons Transport.

However, the old cab-over Mack bears the nickname ‘The WayBack Machine’.

"That came from watching too much TV as a child — Mr Peabody and Sherman — because when you get in it, you go way back," Scott says.

Other peculiarities are the 5½ star energy rating sticker he transplanted from a fridge, and the ‘Euro Zero’ scroll on the side of the truck.

"It was a bit of a dig at having no electronics, but it doesn’t blow plumes of black smoke. We all know we can’t do that anymore, and I don’t want to attract any EPA attention," he laughs.

Scott bought the Cruise-Liner in October 2012 from Brian Taylor of Banana Coast Heavy Towing in Grafton.

After floating it back to Sydney, the Cat-powered Mack spent around three years in the workshop.

"The Cat motor was running, and when we brought it back home we were just going to freshen it, but we found that the crank had been machined beyond what we wanted.

"So the only other way to go was to put a runner motor in it, and the first runner died going to Alice Springs."

That was for last year’s Road Transport Reunion, and he made it as far as Marla in South Australia.

"We got 40km out of town, and luckily I’ve got a mate up there with a cattle property, so it was a good place to break down," says Scott, who made it to Alice in a ute and consigned the Mack down to Adelaide.

"I found a running engine in Victoria which I freighted over, and Doug Hampton Diesel swapped that over down there," he says.

"Then I went over with my other truck and my tipping trailer to cart grain over in South Australia, which I have done for the last six years. On the way back I called in and it was all finished, so I flew a mate over and we brought both of them back to Sydney."

In addition to the engine, now a 425 Cat with intercooler, Scott made a few alterations to the interior. Now it boasts an Isringhausen seat and a Red Dot rooftop air-conditioner.

"It had air bags already on it, Neway, Hyway Diffs — it was still pretty capable," Scott says.

"When I bought it, it had a massive four-post bull bar on it. I thought ‘I’m getting rid of that’. It took two men to lift it off."

Scott’s Cruise-Liner attracted plenty of attention at the Sydney Classic and Antique Truck Show.

These cab-over Macks are a rare breed these days, especially those with a Cat engine.



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