Mack Attack | 1956 Mack B-73

This ’56 Mack B-73 Can Still Haul a Load

Tom Valente
Dec 1, 2012
Photographers: Carl Edwards
It all started when James Cotta wanted to modify the front fenders on his ’56 Mack B-73. He had learned how to drive a truck with this rig back on the ranch, moving trailers when he was just a kid. And later, when he was in high school, he delivered grapes to Almaden Vineyards in San Jose, California, every day after school during harvest.

Nearly 10 years later…yes, 10…the rig was done. Thankfully, James’ wife Debby loves the truck, too! They both wanted to build a one-off Class 8 vehicle that was like nothing else on the road—obviously, they succeeded.
Photo 2/19   |   mack Attack 1956 Mack B73 1956 Mack B73 On The Road
Photo 3/19   |   mack Attack 1956 Mack B73 1956 Mack B73 Delivers Grapes
“It all started when James Cotta wanted to modify the front fenders on his ’56 Mack B-73.”
Gene Wagner at Kustom K-Fab in Montrose, Colorado, did all the metal work. Yes, metal work. There’s no fiberglass on this Mack (save for the front bumper)—it’s all hand-formed aluminum and steel. The truck was finished back in 2001, and when it was done it hit the show circuit all over the western states. James and Debby still like to take it to local shows and sometimes throw a Caterpillar D7 tractor on the trailer just to prove it can still haul a load. This fact has been proven, as the truck still hauls grapes to Robert Mondavi every year.

Since Arc Audio was a sponsor of the truck, it is completely decked out with high-end audio equipment.
Photo 4/19   |   mack Attack 1956 Mack B73 james Cotta With His 1956 Mack B73
One thing that didn’t get the renovation treatment was the original Cummins 335 engine. A modern engine is on the list of things to do, though, and James would like an automatic transmission to go with it. He thinks he’s getting too old to mess with the dual shifters on the Spicer trans. And James is thinking about building an RV-type trailer for it: something to sleep in and carry the toys.

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