The Fire Truck, which was donated to the Museum in April 2009 by Steve Owen of Pell City, Alabama, will be restored as an Army fire engine and repainted green in its original likeness. Owen purchased the Truck from Dallas-Selfville Volunteer Fire Department in Trafford, Alabama, in 1985. The Truck’s engine is a Ford flathead V8, specifically a 239-cubic-inch displacement engine. The flathead V8 was one of the first V8 engines produced for the mass market, and is still popular today for use in hot rods.
Museum Senior Curator and Restoration Manager Tom Czekanski, who is leading the restoration effort, said the LaFrance was the most common fire truck used on the Home Front during the war and was intended to put out structural fires. Once restored, it will be displayed on the Museum’s main campus to help visitors interpret the broad range of occupations and tasks on the Home Front needed to win the war.
Czekanski has already acquired many parts for the Truck’s restoration from all over the country. The efforts are fully underway—and the action will start at Drafts for Crafts on March 16.