Monthly awards, truck photos inspired careers

February 18, 2011  | by: Lucinda Coulter

The B61 Mack tractor featured in Overdrive’s April 1971 issue as Wrecker of the Month is one of hundreds that must have thrilled Patrick Montgomery, then in his early teens. Montgomery, now a tow-company owner in Buhl, Idaho, says that seeing the monthly wreckers inspired his career choice. He describes that career in Readers Remember here on OverdriveRetro.

During the 1960s and ’70s , the magazine featured, nearly every month, Class 8 tractors as Tractors of the Month, along with comparable awards for small fleets, wreckers, dumps and tiny replicas.

The Mack in the April 1971 issue was owned by Expert Wrecker Service of Willow Grove, Pa., and its cab had been reconstructed in the company’s body shop “and built from many sections of wrecked Macks,” according to the article. The rig featured 12-foot split telescopic booms. Specs on the rig included threee-play laminated chassic, nin-speed overdrive duplex transmission and 80,000-pound Mack Bogie.

While some readers were devoted to a wrecker’s power, others were enthused by precision of detail. Tim Ahlborn, a longtime truck model maker who resides in St. Ignace, Mich., says he used Overdrive to hone his craft and enjoyed seeing the monthly models of big trucks. His displays of Peterbilt tractor replicas may be familiar to truck model enthusiasts across the nation. Ahlborn’s scans of covers, ads and trucks from back issues of Overdrive comprise some of the photos in OverdriveRetro’s photo galleries.

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One Response to “Monthly awards, truck photos inspired careers”

  1. Patrick says:

    I remember model of the month. I rebuilt a snap together kit, of the KW-K100 that was on BJ & the Bear, into a tow truck. Then I kep trying to find a small doll to pose with it, just like I saw on the pages of Overdrive. I never could find a Barbie Doll that matched scale to photograph with a 1/19th scale replica.

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