Thursday, January 26, 2012

1956 LaFrance Firetruck

On my sixth birthday, one of our parishioners, a firefighter, offered to take me for a ride in a big, bright, yellow engine. For a six year-old who was obsessed with large mobile machinery, this was akin to a Trekkie being asked if he'd like to pilot the U.S.S. Enterprise out of spacedock.

It was glorious. I could feel the hyper-hydrating power of fire-quenching technology coursing under my feet, the mighty machine tearing through the roads of rural Ontario with little regard to wahtever obstructed its path. As my brain split open with the sound of the pulsating siren, I knew from then on that my calling in life was to command and control such magnificence. Must. Have. Firetruck.

I suppose the easiest way to attain this goal would have been to train as a firefighter. There are, however, two problems with that. First of all, firefighting looks dangerous. I burned myself with a soldering-gun once, and I don't wish to repeat that incidence in so greater a scale. Second, I'm a string bean, and most likely would not make the cut for the annual calendar.

So forget that noise, I'm just going to buy this instead:

Up for sale by what I'm sure is an eccentric and enterprising fellow is a genuine 1956 LaFrance Type 700 Pumper. After doing a bit of a background check, I discovered that LaFrance is one of the oldest emergency vehicle manufacturers in North America, having been founded in 1873. It's based in the states but had a Canadian plant in Toronto, where I expect this model came from. 

It's a few thousand pounds of nostalgia, hearkening back to a time when all vehicles, even fire trucks and ambulances, were made with style and character. It's big; it's commanding; it's formidable; yet it's also cute as a ladybug. It reminds me of my favourite childhood TV series, Fireman Sam, which I watched only for the fire engine (skip to 0:30).

For only $5,000, I could easily be persuaded to sell my Miata, run out to Vineland and charge back (if it's running; the description doesn't say) in 1950's emergency response glory. Just looking over the pictures makes me feel like I'm six years old again.

Amazing. Full ad


Claire Petch said...

I can't believe someone is selling this! If I had the funds, I would buy it and use it as a limo service. Now I have a new goal to work towards, thanks Andrew!

Valleyboy said...

lol Claire, awesome idea. My neighbour once had an old WWII army truck for sale in NOTL. My dad and I were >this< close to buying it and starting a 'Manly Wine Tour' service.