Antique Fire Engine

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Antique Fire Engine Black & WhiteThe City of Dunedin bought the 1922 American LaFrance fire engine in August of 1922 for $12,500.00. It was delivered to the City in February of 1923, to the railroad station downtown.

The truck was a front line Fire Engine until 1947. That's when a 1947 International KB5 was bought. It remained a reserve engine until 1966. It was moved out of the Fire Department in 1974 to the Parks building on San Christopher, where it was used as a storage bin for the City's Christmas decorations.

In 1978, Patrick Kroeger, a Lieutenant with the Fire Department, asked to work on the old truck. After getting the truck started and running again, Lt. Kroeger began to restore the truck little by little. It wasn't until 1980 that a funding source to do a full and complete restoration was found. A developer, who was going to build the Scottsdale subdivision offered $8,000.00 to restore the truck, in exchange for the Fire Department burning and clearing the property where Scottsdale is at present.

Lt. Kroeger dismantled the truck and took part of it to Classic Restorations in Clearwater to do the paint and body work. Chrome work and miscellaneous work was sent out to other vendors for completion. After two months, the truck was brought back to the City of Dunedin. Additional work was done, such as new tires, replacement of the electrical wiring, new hoses and detail work.

Antique & the BoysIn 1986, during routine maintenance, piston pieces were found in the oil pan. The decision at that point was to remove the engine for rebuilding. Thompson Machine Shop, in Pinellas Park, was selected to do the work. The engine was rebuilt in four months. The length of time was due to locating the parts necessary to finish the rebuild.

The LaFrance is a 1922 Type 75 Pumper. The Type 75's were a triple combination pumper, that is, they had a fire pump, carried fire hose in the rear and had a soda acid type extinguisher on board. It is powered by a 6-cylinder T-Head gas engine rated at 105 horsepower that was also manufactured by American LaFrance. The transmission is a three speed manual with a chain driven rear axle.

Today, the truck is housed at Fire Station 61 on Michigan Blvd.