Thursday, August 6, 2009
Fire Trucks & Hot Rods
I have loved old cars from my earliest memories. When I was born my dad was a second generation hot rodder who had already had a bunch of nice cars at 18 years old. One of my earliest memories is playing in the pair of '29 Model A bodies my dad had in our garage. I also have the memory of my first automotive heart break when I was only 5 and a truck came and took both Model A's away. What I didn't know was my dad sold them to buy something he wanted more. I remember that day all too well when we went to the Auto Club tow yard and there was his new treasure- a 1919 American La France fire engine. It was pretty forlorn, but it was still red and a lot more complete than the Model A bodies. We followed the tow truck home and they left the old fire fighter in our yard. After a few days of tinkering my dad fired up the old beast from a 15 year slumber and drove the fire truck 100 feet to the patio for a full tear down. That was almost 40 years ago, but the 1919 fire truck that was the first motorized fire engine in Inglewood California is still in the garage awaiting final paint I reassembly. Since that time my dad has collected 30 more antique cars we love, but that firetruck will always be NUMBER ONE in the collection. When it is eventually finished (all the rare original parts were collected over the years, the mechanicals and 2000 pieces of chrome are done) it will look like the rig in the photo. The truck shares space in the garage with a similar rig that was the first fire engine on Santa Catalina Island.