The 1957 Mack Named Lili C - From A Working Truck To My Everyday Ride In Honor Of My Daughter Lili C

Eddie Crock
August 2021

This stunning Mack started life at Cincinnati Mack and was purchased new by Haines Marathon.  Pat Kelly purchased in 1977 from Haines Marathon who had it fitted with a wrecker body.  To better accommodate Pats blacktop business, he refitted it with a flat bed.  The truck was used to haul materials and equipment to the job site and pull a triaxle trailer.

The year 1991 Pat left the paving business to start a port-a-john rental business called ‘Got-a-Go”.  Removing the flat bed, a 3000-gal tank was installed to haul septic waste.  Receiving a contract to haul sewage from the newly built Kentucky Speedway in 2000 this Mack was put to good use.  On the first trip out with the truck, Pat discovered that the truck did not have enough braking power.  The truck was sent to Liskie Mack to have jake brakes installed and back to the speedway haul.  Pat, being a single parent with custody of his daughter Lili, allowed him the option of her riding with him in the truck.  Lili was a great co-driver and she loved riding with Dad in the Mack.  She especially liked the sound of the twin stacks and the jake brakes.

Pat and Lili would make seven trips a day from the speedway to the unloading area.  When stopping at the office, Lili would jump out of the truck with the manifest paperwork and Pat would go to unload.  After she got the paperwork approved, she would bounce down to her Dad where he was unloading with all papers signed and ready for their next load. Everyone at the station fell in love with the little blonde 2-year-old with pigtails and the big endearing smile.  The truck is named in honor of Lili C.  For 5 years and 5 months Lili would ride in the truck with Pat chatting away on the daily trips.  Tragically, in 2003 Lili lost her life in a car accident on the same stretch of road she traveled with her Dad.  Pat retired the Mack Lili C. in 2008 and put it in storage, not willing to part with the truck that held memories of his daughter.

In 2018 on Lili’s  20th birthday Pat decided to pull the Mack out of storage and have it restored and updated in remembrance of his daughter.  Pat contacted Ed Crock of Crock Custom Trucks, a good friend to start the rebuild and design. 

Pat delivered the truck, and the process began by pulling the cab, fenders and hood off  the frame and removing the engine and transmission along with cutting off the rear end.  Next the frame and front axle was cleaned, and epoxy primed and painted.  Adding an air ride suspension on the front axle and a newer air pride rear end with a 290 gears.  The frame was then cut and welded extending to the right length. 

Engine and transmission overhauls with the engine voltage changed from 24 volt to 12 volts.  Power steering and air conditioning units were added for ease of driving and comfort.  No truck is complete without chrome and this truck shines.  All emblems including radiator shell and light covers were removed and sent to be re-chromed.  Metal panels received epoxy primer and paint along with the cab extended six inches for more leg room and more comfortable ride.  The cab extension being the most time consuming and tedious.  Matching the interior and the exterior to look uniform and stylish on a truck requires hours of measuring and fitting.  The GMC eight-foot bed was extended nineteen inches, again paying close attention to the overall look of the truck.  The trucks front fenders were recut and extended to be used on the dually bed of the truck.  New fenders were purchased to be used on the front of the truck. An 80-gallon fuel tank added to the trucks compacity and a steel box was built between the frame attached to the back bumper to add stability with 2000 lbs. of steel to add to the ride.

Starting the process of reassembling the truck began with new front fenders and new chrome radiator shell along with new chrome headlight panel.  The custom sun visor was fitted on the cab along with custom make chrome Mack bulldogs air cleaners.  Running boards along with 6-inch chrome exhaust stacks, chrome mirrors, cab lights added to the overall look.  With Pat’s love for things loud, train air horns were a must for his favored truck.  The completion of the exterior turned the focus to the interior. 

Painting the interior panels and the doors to match the exterior along with adding gauges and redesigning the dash gives a modern updated look.   The dash holds all controls for heat and air, radio and GPS, CB radio and air gauge for the front air ride suspension and engine hour gauge.  Red lights reflect from the floor, inside the cup holder and gauges.  Chrome rings around the gauges and toggle switches along with extenders and Id plates shine and reflect the overall beauty of the interior.  Looking inside the cab reveals a wood and chrome steering wheel, two toned leather seats with custom stitched Mack bulldogs and hardwood floor with a designed console between the seats complete with cup holders and a storage area with matching paint and leather. The leather headliner sports an embossed Mack logo behind the seats.

This truck would not be complete without a few touches by Darell Allen of Killer Designs pinstriping and artwork.  Both inside and out pinstriping along with logos of Kelly Green Farms and a tribute to Lili C compliment the look and the memories this truck represents.  Florence Kentucky is the home for this unique and sits alongside a collection of antique and unique vehicles owned by Pat Kelly.