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Questions about Antique Fire Engine


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I "inherited" an antique fire engine and would like some help identifying the year and possible history. Attached is a photo of the vehicle and the ID Plate.  Is somebody on this discussion board a fire engine expert?  I know it is a GMC chassis with Van Pelt fire equipment

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I was guessing early to mid 50's, so thanks for the confirmation that I am in the right range and appreciate the response!  Was hoping that somebody would have website or resource with definitive model information.

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Re' websites---just Google GMC/ Gen Mororstruck  forums, several that cover GMC should pop up--there's just old trucks and aths for general truck forums---Google antique fire trucks ans at least a couple should come up for info on the fire equipment....there's a wealth of help omline...

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Posted (edited)

I'm the Director of the ag department at a small community college; this has been stored in our Ag Shop.  We needed to move out of that shop before the new shop to be built, so it is currently setting outside.  I am reaching people around here for the history, and have searched for GMC/Van Pelt fire truck online but haven't found anything yet.  Did find another clue.  This plate is on the Fire Body and a person thinks the 51 in the serial number may be the year.  I'll be searching for a 1951 GMC Van Pelt and see if I get anything.

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Edited by TAllen (see edit history)
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The truck front end is confusing, has the mid 1950s front and the early 1950s side opening hood.  Could be 1951-52 or something around that.  This photo says 1951 in the description.

 

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It did go through a restoration process, based on the engine (definitely not original) and paint/chrome, just no idea of how much restoration.  Maybe they redid the grill work?

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You can join, SPAAMFAA, The Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America. Those guy's will know everything about your fire engine. Oh by the way, thank you for calling it what it is, a fire ENGINE and not a fire TRUCK.

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The larger GMC's can be a bit confusing. Styling sometimes lags a bit compared to the smaller trucks. Not a 1951 GMC. I suspect the first number in the serial number { 6 } is the year , so a 1956 GMC is likely. Perhaps the fire equipment is a few years earlier ? Transferred from an older truck ?

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All great information!   Thank you, 1912Staver for the suggestion of a fire equipment retrofit!  The Foundation Office is trying to track down when and how we got it.  I may have to present to the Board of Trustees with a recommendation, so joining the SPAAMFAA would be valuable at that point.

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I belonged to a volunteer fire department that had a 1956 GMC. When manufactured, GMC was on strike and an Oldsmobile engine was put in. There was no heater in the cab. Shifting was so clean, that no double clutching was needed. The fire engine manufacturer is no longer in business.

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I have attached a picture with information that is this truck.  Taken from page 55 of "Van Pelt Fire Apparatus, 1925-1987 Photo Archive" by Chuck Madderom.

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If someone knows how to rotate the picture that would be great...

Edited by lalautze (see edit history)
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That looks like it!  Taken from about the same angle:

 

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Some of the fire equipment looks slightly different, but this is extremely helpful for its history.  The District Office is now looking into who actually owns it. 

 

Thank you lalautze, macboy and all!

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