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This Antique Firetruck May Save Your Existence

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Bob McMahon,

a retired College of Southern Maine economics professor dwelling within the Villages, Fla., on his 1928 Ahrens-Fox N-S-Four firetruck, as informed to A.J. Baime.

When my spouse, Linda, and I retired some years in the past, we joined the volunteer hearth division in Pownal, Maine. That’s once I were given into previous firetrucks. I’ve all the time liked mechanical issues. At one time, I owned a 65-foot steam tugboat. I accumulated previous sawmill equipment for some time, and my spouse and I as soon as had 5 firetrucks. The 1928 Ahrens-Fox is the remaining of the ones, and the most productive. [Ahrens-Fox firetrucks were built in Cincinnati, Ohio. A newer iteration of this company, HME Ahrens-Fox, still exists, headquartered in Wyoming, Mich.] As of late the previous ones are true classics, and essentially the most collectible of American firetrucks.

I were given this one in 2004. What came about used to be, there’s this fellow named Andy Swift in Maine, who owns an organization known as Firefly Recovery. He does museum-quality firetruck restorations. I handled him on every other truck, and in the future he known as me and stated, “I were given this truck you’ll have.” He focuses on Ahrens-Fox vans, and for some explanation why he didn’t need to take on this mission. The truck used to be lacking a large number of portions and it wasn’t working. I purchased it, poked at it for some time, and once we moved to Florida, I had it shipped right here so I may just proceed running on it.

Footage: The place’s the Hearth?

Ahrens-Fox vans are ‘essentially the most collectible of American hearth vans,’ says Bob McMahon, who did many of the recovery paintings in this 1928 N-S-Four himself. Above, Mr. McMahon and his spouse, Linda.

Betsy Hansen for the Wall Side road Magazine

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Through the years, some 30 other other people helped me repair this truck. It isn’t extraordinarily dear leisure as a result of I did many of the paintings myself, and I will sooner or later promote it. As of late, it runs superbly and it pumps water. It’s a great gadget. There are truly two sorts of previous firetrucks, the type that lift a large number of water as a result of they had been meant for rural spaces the place there have been no hydrants, and vans utilized in towns and cities that might hook up with hydrants. This one is a town truck. It has a four-piston pump forged out of bronze—a lovely casting—and it used to be constructed to pump one thousand gallons a minute.

Ahrens-Fox additionally constructed their very own engines. This one has a 998 cubic inch six-cylinder, with pistons as large as espresso cans. The engine has large torque, however I feel the truck handiest will get about Four miles consistent with gallon.

There are a large number of data bearing on Ahrens-Fox vans so I used to be ready to establish that this one used to be in the beginning bought by way of the fireplace division in Bloomington, Unwell. I feel they’d it there for some 30 years. I used to be ready to get involved with the historian at that fireplace division, and he used to be more than pleased to listen to from me. I stay him up-to-date at the truck with photos once in a while.

I’ve pushed the truck in parades, and it received the Highest In Display award on the Florida Vintage Bucket Brigade firetruck display two times. I wager it stored a large number of lives in its day, and it’s nonetheless going sturdy.

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