The second decade of the twentieth century was a critical one in many ways. The Great War (WWI) saw the introduction and development of technologies that were new to warfare – not just aircraft and armor, but also motorized transportation. It was also critical for automotive manufacturers, as they competed to take advantage of a rapidly growing market, though many would not survive the decade. Mack Trucks would emerge from a maze of corporate mergers and sales as a survivor, due to the success of their AB- and AC-series chain-driven trucks. Over 40,000 AC-series trucks would be built from 1916 through 1939, including 4000 for the U.S. Army and 2500 for Britain during WWI. The story goes that it was British “Tommies” who dubbed the Mack AC as the “Bulldog”, for its durability and tenacity, a nickname which the company has proudly carried ever since.
The heavy-duty Mack AC truck was a hard-tired, chain driven all purpose truck that was used by British, French and American troops during World War 1. The first AC model was introduced in 1916. There are a couple of stories surrounding the trucks’ “Bulldog” moniker. One says that British soldiers in France said the Mack truck had the tenacity of a bulldog. At that time, the bulldog was one of the symbols of Great Britain. Another says that whenever other trucks could not make it, British troops would yell, “Bring the Bulldogs in!” It may also be the snub-nosed appearance of the truck that gave it the well-known nickname. By 1922, Mack trucks had adopted the Bulldog as its symbol, using it in advertising and on truck name plates.