Brian Buckley of Strathbogie, Va., began to restore his vintage Mack truck years before a cancer diagnosis in 2014. Now, his family is living out his legacy by continuing the restoration in his honor.
Brian, an owner-operator for the majority of his career, drove a fuel truck for construction sites. Passionate about Mack trucks, he always wanted to restore an older logger truck he used to drive. When he received his diagnosis, he bought an excavator along with four R-model to use for parts.
Brian asked his two friends, Mario Grosso and Emil Barbic, to join him. Unfortunately, Brian died six weeks later.
As an ode to Brian’s life, however, his family and friends continue his work on the truck. Gillian Buckley, Brian’s widow, told that the truck was “in a million pieces,” but she knew she had to continue with the restoration. Mario and Emil finished as much of the work as they could themselves in Oakland Junction, VA, before outsourcing the final touches to a nearby shop.
“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 told the magazine. “The bull bar is original. The wheels are original – no chrome on the wheels. The fuel tanks are all original, and the single exhaust.”
Neil Lemen, a family friend, drove the finished vehicle to the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial this past June. For now, the R-Model is on the Buckley family’s farm.