This last weekend Bill W put a few Model T's together for the opening of the Britt Festival in Jacksonville Oregon. A group from the Horseless Carriage Club out of California surprised us with a visit as well.
Here is one of the vehicles Bill got for the opening. One of twenty two made! Hurts the eyes to look at...It's that nice.
Thanks that was very interesting!
Wes Melo has several beautiful fire rigs. I only hope ours turns out half as nice !
Very nice Fire Truck and how special to know the history. I wonder if the fork mounted electric lamps are also visible on any of the early photos of the truck?
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All of the early ALF/Fords had the fork mounted headlights. It appears that Ford was supplying the bare chassis, at that time, without any lights on it. It looks like they sold it with just the forks for the headlights. I know they did this well into the 1916 model year.
Thank you so much for the information about the headlamps. At your posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/218921.html?1308631738 you asked if the bare chassis sold by Ford included the headlights or not. If there was a later posting that described that more or if you have some additional information about that -- please let us (I would like to know) know. You can post the information or if you would prefer you may click on my name, bring up my profile and the third line down is my e-mail address.
You also shared that your Chief's car was the fist ALF Chief's car and was number 108. I would assume that #107 the chemical truck above was produced before your car [that may or may not be correct – if you can clarify that it would be appreciated]. From your posting it appears your chassis has engine serial number 603,6XX which is listed on the engine assembly log for Oct 16, 1915 ref Bruce’s (R.I.P.) “Model T Ford” page 510 also his CD. [If the engine was assembled at Highland Park, that was the date the engine was assembled. A later date if assembled as a different Ford Branch Plant. The chassis may have been assembled the same day or a little later than the engine was assembled.] Your engine casting date on the block is 10/3/14 . Which leads me to believe the chassis is probably a 1914 chassis rather than a 1915 chassis. In your research were you able to discover the sales date and/or delivery date for your #108 or is there a known delivery date for #107 or others close to that number?
Again thank you for posting that the ALF fire chief’s and chemical cars came with the fork mounted headlamps initially and even into 1916.
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I just read the history of this truck. Must be the world's first "pumper truck"
Sorry for the delayed reply but I am self employed and a one man shop to boot. To add to that, I had to help move my youngest daughter this weekend. Work and family tends to come first and what I really want to do, second.
A previous discussion about the headlights was discussed at http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/218921.html?1308631738
After looking at that post again I found that at the end of it, Keith Townsend had posted a reply and some questions for me. Let me start then with a public apology to Keith for not replying back to him. I didn’t know he had posted and the error certainly wasn’t intentional.
Most of your questions are answered in that post, but it is a lengthy post to read through so let me try to some it up.
By the end of that post, I had removed the original headlight switch and found the hole in the dash to be on the crude side. Definitely not made by Ford. Also, under the switch was the original paint from ALF. So the switch was installed by ALF after the dash was painted. It does not seem very likely that Ford would supply the chassis with lights but without a switch to turn them on. To add to this, the side lamps are spade mounted on the 1914 style brackets, which was not typical Ford. Also, none of the lamps on any of the ALF vehicles with fork mounted headlights, that I have been able to inspect, have Ford script on them. So based on the evidence to date, it is clear to me that the chassis, at this time, was supplied to ALF with forks for the headlights but without the electric lights (and probably without any type of lights).
ALF started with the registration number F101 for the Ford chassis ALF fire trucks. The number sequence included all the different body configurations and chassis designs (Auto chassis, Smith Form-a-Truck conversion and TT Truck). F106 is the oldest one I know of that still survives.
The first 7 units ALF made on the Ford chassis, were two tank chemicals, known as “Type A’s”. The next 5 registration numbers were for Chiefs Cars. A total of 6 Chiefs cars were listed in 1915 with two more built in 1917.
The original registration plate on my Chiefs Car is blank, it was never stamped. I am quite certain the vehicle is F108 based on all the information and evidence I have. Also, the process of elimination of the other possibilities supports it, but I am lacking that piece of absolute proof I would like to find, at this point.
Comparing Wes’s F107 and my F108 is very interesting. Here are the stats.
Reg # .... Engine # .... Casting Date .... Engine Date .... Car # ........ Pedal Types
F107 ..... 608,5XX .... 10/10/14 ........ 10/21/14 ....... 646,699 .... C is lettered, R & B are ribbed
F108 ..... 603,6XX .... 10/03/14 ........ 10/16/14 ....... 646,694 .... C & R are lettered, B is ribbed
So F108’s engine was produced about 5,000 engines before F107’s but the Car numbers are only 5 apart. It appears that ALF ordered a group of chassis from Ford and used them in indiscriminate order (just like Ford was doing with the engines).
According to John Peckham’s research in the ALF archives, back when it was accessible, it appears that ALF called these early Ford units 1915’s even though they would have been completed in late calendar year 1914. Later units seem to be dated by when they were ordered or completed. I have Sales Order numbers for these rigs but no hard dates.
Actually these rigs did not have any pumps. The two tanks on the back were big soda acid fire extinguishers. Removing a pin and rotating the tank, started the chemical reaction. You would play off of one tank while you filled and recharged the other. In that way you could have a continuous stream of water to fight the fire.
Larger trucks with pumps had been available for over ten years by this point but they were slower, more expensive and took a lot longer to get set up at the fire scene. There are many stories of the Fords getting to the scene, putting out the fire and heading back before the big pumpers got there. The Fords had their weaknesses also of course. At a big blaze they would almost be useless as they didn’t have the volume of the big pumper trucks. They both had their purpose at the time.
Thank you for taking/making the time to post. And yes -- the family, work, etc. has to come first. If not, there probably won't be a family or work. And without the work -- there wouldn't be any Ts at my house very long.
Have you looked at the book "Firefighting with Henry's Model T" [Lang's: http://www.modeltford.com/item/FIRE1.aspx ] and does it add much information about the ALF equipment of that era? I've been thinking about putting that on my Christmas "wish list" and wondered if you had looked at it yet?
Again thank you for your help and good job on keeping the work, family, and old car time balanced.
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Great story and as Lance said, "eye candy."
I’m not sure this is a LaFrance, but my mind tells me it is. (How’s that for confidence ).
This one looks great, has eportedly been owned since new, and has basically been kept new by a local fire company. (so the story goes).
Technically it is still listed as active fire apparatus on their roster even though it is only used for static shows anymore.
Sorry for the passenger side quality, I had to pull that one off of their web page and thats all it is.
That photo book was put together by Bill Killen. Bill is a good friend of mine and I supplied a bunch of information and photos for that book. The proceeds go to a variety of fire fighters funds and to the MTFCA. If you are interested at all in Model T fire trucks, I would recommend getting it. Just be cautious about the descriptions for the photos. Bill was on a tight deadline for that book and he knows there are a few errors.
Bill is working on a second photo book and he is not under the gun for this one. I have offered to help proof it and I hope he takes me up on that offer. I certainly don't know it all but I could help.
You are correct, that is a ALF Type A. It is ALF Registration #F133 and is a 1916. My notes have that it was ordered on 2/23/16 and was delivered about 30 days later. Notice it also has fork mounted head lights.
It is also one of the nicest ones out there but I will still take Wes's in a heart beat.
The story of these being owned by the original fire company, is repeated for about half of the Type A's that still survive.
Thought you might like to see some photos of Wes's with the correct painted wheels and white tires installed.
Wes does first class restorations on all of his trucks. I was at that meet in CA and that is my girl friend winding the siren up!