Back in 1923 our Volunteer Fire Company purchased an nice shiney new Ahrens Fox triple combination pumper which we still own and operate. Several years ago we spent a few nickles and had the truck completely restored from the pump to the pike poles and then some. Offically the truck is still in service but if you see it come to a fire there are bigger issues to worry about. Good use of hard earned money? Yes or No? I think yes. This truck serves as a step in history and a step in time and every member walks by this truck every time they walk in to the firehouse. I know several companies in the surrounding counties own and operate these timeless pieces. Would like to know the particulars on any companies who own and maintain one or some of their antiques.
Doylestown Fire Co. #1
Bucks County Pa.
My great grandfather designed a studebaker fire engine for a now defunct apparatus company in 1929. I Have a picture of him in front of it on the day it was delivered to it's home department. I tracked down the chief of the department inquiring about its condition and if they'd be willing to sell it. It has been neglected and is sitting in a transportation department garage. They said they were not interested in selling it though. I would love to get it from them and restore it to the condition my great grandfather built it to.
I think it's a great morale booster for crews to see how things used to be and to think about those that came before them.
These are our 2 oldest and origanal rigs over here in Belmar NJ
Mineola Volunteer Fire Department(New York) maintains a Diamond T Ford Floodlight Truck from 1926, completly operational and special call only I believe.
ChiefEng19- I own one from not too far from you- Bryn Athyn's (Montgomery County Company 11) old 1958 F.W.D. model F-725 750/500 Pumper. It was purchased new by Bryn Athyn in '58, and sold to a company in Gloucester County, NJ in 1978. I purchased it from them in 2001.
Aside from being a very rare piece of apparatus (which is what I wanted) I also got a sentimentally valuable piece- The first firetruck I ever rode on, when I was three and a half. My father, (who rode on it when he was 18, and learned to drive firetrucks on it) took me to a parade in Bridgeport, Pa circa August of 1977. Also, there is a dent in the truck, courtesy of the Uncle that I am named for, who died before I was born. My first son went to his first parade, Quakertown's 150th anniversary back in May I think it was....With me and my dad! 3 generations of my family on one truck!
An Extremely Rare Antique Firetruck= Lotzza Money
In Good Condition upon purchase with lots of work to make excellent condition= More Money
The SENTIMENTAL FAMILY ATTACHMENT: PRICELESS!!!!!
As for spending the money on antiques, I am one that is all for it! As long as your operating budget does not suffer- does everyone have good bunker gear? Everyone have good training? Responding Apparatus in top-notch shape?
By the way- the boys from Abington say their Fox is shinier than yours!