It’s common in the world of custom big rigs to see classics that were long forgotten and rusting away pristinely restored, saved for generations of truck lovers to admire.
But to see a restoration that is instantly recognized by millions around the world just by the person it carried is altogether different. So it is with Big Red, the Mack truck and trailer combo that carried daredevil Evel Knievel into the hearts of millions.
The truck saw red carpet treatment last week at the premiere of the the documentary Being Evel. The fully restored 1974 Mack FS786LST was hauled to Southern California for a night in Hollywood by a modern day Mack Pinnacle 70-inch high-rise sleeper model. It will also be on display this week in Dallas at the Great American Trucking Show.
the Butte, Montana, native was patriotic to the bone. He loved the American-built iron of the Harley-Davidson dirt track bikes he used to carry him through the air. And he was passionate about the icon of American trucks: Mack Trucks.
Near the peak of his career, in 1974, Mack build a custom FS model to be his transport and office/dressing room at the shows, with a trailer to match. The truck was affectionately called “Big Red,” because it was … big and red.
CCJ sister site Overdrive has more on the premier and Big Red at this link. Here are photos by Bruce W. Smith from the restored truck’s debut in Hollywood: