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History The Frank Mack Roadster: Preserved Perfection

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 919

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    The Frank Mack Roadster: Preserved Perfection

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    brad2v, 63fdsnr, AHotRod and 4 others like this.
  2. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 5,957


    The Frank Mack roadster was here at the Gilmore Car Museum in the display organized by my friend Dennis Lesky a couple of years ago. I had the thrill of setting behind the wheel of this great little car, with Dennis in the shotgun seat, it fit me (and Dennis, who's also about my size) like a glove. Frank was about 5'4", he built the car to fit him. When I was recovering from a hip replacement, I walked every day at the museum all winter, so the car was a constant companion. I was going to build a similar T roadster, having always loved the lines of the '27, but things happened differently and I'm now almost finished with my '34. The Frank Mack care is still in my head though...
    Thanks for reminding me of it.
    Stogy and catdad49 like this.
  3. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 2,630

    from michigan

    Couldn't agree more. It's only too bad that greed got in the way and the car went to CA. It should have stayed in MI.
  4. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,432


    I am happy to see Frank get some notice for what I believe is one of best hotrods out there. There are others that get a lot of ink and they deserve kudos as well, but Frank seems to get mentioned as an afterthought. Frank worked in my grandfather’s restoration shop in the 50s where they restored mainly antique cars and I also got to visit with Frank and his wife at the annual Greenfield Village meet.

    In the 50s Frank restored my dad’s 1936 Cord Sportsman and I used to go with my dad to Frank’s house many nights after dinner. Since they would be discussing the issues and problems with the restoration I would wander about and enjoyed sitting in this car. I can still see the hot rod in my mind’s eye and it was my first encounter with a hot rod. Apparently it had an effect on me, as my grandfather was into stock restorations exclusively, which I appreciate, but I found myself crossing over into the hot rod realm as well.

    Later in the 1970s my dad was having his 1923 Stutz restored by Herb Brown (just down the street from my office) and Frank was working for Herb and I visited with Frank on occasion. Frank was talented for sure and he had a great sense of humor. A real character.

    I have told the story before but on one of our trips to Frank’s house in the 50s, there was a sleek sports car pushed up against the back of his house with a tarp. I do not know what make it was but it was pretty cool IMO (probably a European sportscar). I asked Frank what kind of car it was and he said “an Eversoran”. He told me he had rebuilt it (from an accident I believe) and when he was finished it ever so ran. I asked him if I could have a ride and he told me that he could not then because if it went over a railroad track the car would return to the damaged state. He and my dad broke out laughing and went back to their discussion. I never asked Frank about the car later-wish I had.

    Although I do not know Bruce Meyer personally I believe he is a good curator for iconic hot rods and people will be able to enjoy the car for ages (I hope).
    Stogy likes this.
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    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,433


    I'll disagree on the greed comment but it's always nice to keep em home. I too have seen it while it was at the Gilmore. It begs a question when I see this stuff, live or in photos, as to why they get left "too alone". What's the harm in rubbing it down with some Meguires and cleaning up the chrome? Perhaps hard to put into words correctly but I keep seeing more stuff left with it's scuffs and dirt as if that's the only thing that makes it the real deal. Long ago a guy had his grand dad's 38 Chevy pickup. He painted it, put a slip cover on the seat and chromed the bumper. When I was looking at how banged up the top of the box was (didn't say anything) he chimes in, "Grampa was a bee keeper and would lift stuff over the side. I painted over the original dents." It's as foolish and disingenuous today as it was back then but now he would call it "patina". Seems a shame to not clean things up and give em the love they had new. I think it's more impressive that paint from 65+ years ago will still carry an enviable shine but maybe that's just me. Then again I simply cleaned and cleared the handbrake lever in my 39 because it cleaned up so well and had a vibe that only 79 years can create. Does that seem like hypocrisy or preservation? I'd rub the Mack T down with #7 and get some Never-dull on the chrome and aluminum. I'll bet Fank did that a lot so why not follow suit.
  6. tjn
    Joined: Nov 4, 2006
    Posts: 8

    from US

    I had the priveledge to see this car also at the Peterson in April last year. I spent over a half hour and kept coming back to it. The proportions are great, the stance is great. One thing, all of the descriptions/storyboards of the car says it has 15" tires, but looking at the car in person it has H78-14's on the rear. There is so much history to that car! I do give Bruce Meyer credit that he loans his vehicles to the museum so the public has the opportunity to view. Also, that day we went on the vault tour, and saw Bill Niekamp's 1929 roadster that won the AMBR in 1950. That night was the opening of the Ferrari 70 years exhibit. I know that is not what the HAMB stands for, but from a gearhead perspective, it was great also. The Peterson was the highlight of my trip, and recommend the visit if you can make it.
    eddie1 and Stogy like this.
  7. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,461

    a boner

    image.png Fantastic HOT ROD! And still in fantastic, and basically unrestored condition.
    Okie Pete, 63fdsnr and Stogy like this.
  8. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,679


    Man, this car has been on my mind quite a bit lately, so it's great seeing this post! Anyone have picture of the interior or channelled floor?
  9. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,005


    little one found in google search..

    Okie Pete, 63fdsnr and Jkustom like this.
  10. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 2,630

    from michigan

    The greed comment is very accurate. The guys who got it from Frank talked him out of it for peanuts, and within days, had flipped it for big money at the time, to Meyer. Nothing against Bruce, it's in a good home, but should have stayed here in the area.
    Stogy likes this.
  11. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,679


    Ah, the google machine. Thanks Paul.
  12. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,090


    Totally agree that the 'flipper' is the greedy guy here, not Bruce Meyer, and that guy didn't care who bought it obviously. The good part of this story is that no one that I know will protect, share, display or allow access more to his collection than Bruce... That's a win for everyone.
  13. Just because a TJJ Blog / H.A.M.B. thread can never have enough pics ...

    Here's some circa 1992 photos of the Frank Mack T:

    1 - Frank Mack T with top up - front view (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    2 - Frank Mack T with top up - overhead view (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    3 - Frank Mack T with top up - rear view (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    4 - Frank Mack T - maroon leather interior by Jack Stanley (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    5 - Frank Mack T - cockpit (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    6 - Frank Mack T - '37 Ford instrumentation (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    7 - Frank Mack T - front suspension (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    8 - Frank Mack T - E&J headlights (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    9 - Frank Mack T - friction shocks (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    10 - Frank Mack T - wheel covers (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    11 - Frank Mack T - 255ci '50 Merc falthead, Edelbrock heads, 2bbl Rochester (Dain Gingerelli).JPG
    all images by Dain Gingerelli
    Okie Pete, T-roaster, 63fdsnr and 5 others like this.
  14. ... and some pics from Gray Baskerville's "E-Mack-Ulate Conception" (February '96) HOT ROD magazine article:

    Okie Pete, T-roaster, 63fdsnr and 6 others like this.
  15. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,427

    from wareham,ma

    I swear , that car talks to me.
  16. I love that car. We visited the Petersen in September and I spotted the nerf bar from across the room. My wife thought I had lost my mind as I exclaimed " Holy shit there's the Frank Mack T!"
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,719


    So, a guy buys a car cheap, flips it for a profit and that's greedy? How so? Was the owner somehow "tricked" into selling it? How was frank, "talked out of it"?

    It's a sweet Hot Rod, but those headlights are buggin' the hell out of me.
  18. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,140


    I saw the car at the Pete a few years back. It's something you have to see in person. Everything is
    so right about it, you just want to jump in, and take it for a spin down Sunset Boulevard. It's a H.A.M.B.
    mind blower.....
    cactus1 likes this.
  19. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 2,630

    from michigan

    Yeah, it's greed when you take advantage of someone older and who does not realize the true value. AND, he was on a fixed income and not wealthy by any means. How could you not call that greedy and underhanded. Maybe you think those practices are okay, but not me. NUFF SAID!
    rob-redm, craig b blue and Stogy like this.
  20. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 2,630

    from michigan

    Wanted to add that I've seen this car several times, and on the road years ago when Frank owned it. He often drove it to area swap meets /shows in the 70's and into the 80's. Love it with the top!!
    rob-redm and Stogy like this.
  21. I've never seen the car with a top. VERY nice. Thanks for that. IMO, the Mack T is the only car that looks good with those headlights.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  22. eaglebeak
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 999


    I also liked the Frank Rose roadster...
  23. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,719


    Okay. That's why I asked. Thanks for the clarification.
  24. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,733

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Imagine 1951-52, This Car was going together in Frank’s Garage. You’re standing there looking over the progress saying to yourself, “This one is something!!!”

    You know right then and there that this Hot Rod going together where many of our Hot Rods originally came from-being MI. Is definitely gonna make a lasting impression!!!

    I had never seen this car in person till it showed up @ PC3g right around the same time the Spencer,Wineland & East Roadster showed up.

    45 yrs after it’s build it was “Still Something!!!!” The magazine coverage of it was one thing back in the day, but here it was right in front of me. This car along with the Neikamp Roadster just takes one in.

    Frank should be commended for being such a great builder and steward of the car that forever will resonate his build skill of “The Mack T”.

    Money can’t buy that type of passion. Frank held onto it as long as he could, for some reason I recall a guy by the name of Greg buying it from Frank, then offering it up to Bruce?

    Don’t fault Bruce for seeing it for its great build, perhaps say thanks to those who have the financial means to allow this and other historic Hot Rods to be shared with us all.

    There’s some shots above with “Yer Ol Dad” driving it, Bruce had him take it to the LARS from PC3g aka SO-CAL, he gets in the same line that we’re in and this car was turned away because of its “PATINA!!!!”

    We pretty much we’re all floored by that statement as Bruce had even had the seat back recovered in a close hue of leather so there wouldn’t be any ripped seats to speak of.
    It ended up near the SCTA Display with the race cars, not the show roadsters.....

    This car is as timeless as the day “The Mack’s” took their 1st ride in their T-Ster.
    HEMI32 and Stogy like this.
  25. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 8,529


    Thanks for the story and pics @J.Ukrop.

    Thats just a hotrod classically representing what we are here for. I feel it's even more special knowing that quite a number of you Hambers had personal connections to this fella and his awesome contributing to history.

    Sad to hear he was given a raw deal (guys get your stuff appraised no matter how old you are) but he would have felt comforted in the high regard it has been given by the current owner. Hope it gets a little use here and there.

    Love it wouldn't change a thing...period...well I wouldn't fit in it according to worries it'll remain a dream...

    Hey thanks also to all you others for sharing your pics and stories as well.

    Great stuff...;)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  26. Roger Roadster
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 14

    Roger Roadster

    Certainly one of the coolest hot rods I can remember!!
  27. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,153


    Best "T" ever......
  28. I saw Frank Mack T on Tuesday @ the Petersen. Awesome to see it up close & study the details.

    WP_20180130_16_02_29_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_02_39_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_03_31_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_04_22_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_06_29_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_06_41_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_06_50_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_26_23_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_26_42_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_26_50_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_27_00_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_27_08_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_28_04_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_30_17_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_30_36_Pro.jpg WP_20180130_16_31_18_Pro.jpg
    Okie Pete, T-roaster, Paul and 6 others like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,433


    Great car. Unless the "flipper" bought it for a really rude figure I still have to hold fast on my greed outlook. Suppose I find such a thing and the seller wants $xx,xxx for it. "If that's your number I'll take it." Too low you could say,"It's worth more, I'll give you $yy,yyy." or you could realize that the list of high zoot buyers for such a car are few and far between and no matter the price you're accepting the risk. Both realistic scenarios. I'll be even more direct, suppose anyone reading this bought this car, really like it, then another "Bruce"offers you a profit seldom seen in this game. "No Bruce I only paid $xx,xxx so you can have it for that." "I'm keeping it forever, sorry..." if you're that guy. Yeah, right. Unless you too are fat enough (phat?) to simply keep it forever it's going away, hopefully that person has the same feelings for it as you or perhaps he's of the means to dedicate the car to the hot rod world by way of museum tours, historic expos, etc. Win/Win. Render all of that down and ask that asshole over the top of your bathroom sink what he/she would do. Taking into account the gratuitous internet bravado I'd bet a good cup of coffee the majority would send it along. I would, so am I greedy or smart enough to recognize an opportunity? Or am I simply getting paid well to let the community enjoy it?
  30. eddie1
    Joined: Jul 27, 2006
    Posts: 540


    I too was there in September. I was so in awe of the place it to me a little while to notice this car but I could not stay away from it once I did & my girlfriend thought I too had lost my mind.
    cactus1 likes this.

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