I have reason to suspect that my 1926 red Fordor may have been a fire chief's car. If a 1926 Fordor were painted and decaled with door emblems and gold pinstriping to look like a 1920's Fire chief's car, would the entire car be red, fenders and all or would the body be red with the fenders black? How about a bell? My car is currently equipped with a Bermuda bell mounted to the firewall. Would that have been proper for a fire chief's car? Jim Patrick
Why do you suspect it is a fire chiefs car?
I don't think the Bermuda bell would be used by a Fire Chief in 1926, it's not in your face enough sound wise. An electric siren would be more like it in my opinion. I have seen electric bells on some of the old fire vehicles. On the paint I have mostly seen all red used on chiefs cars.
Adam. No real evidence. Only the fact that it was red when I got it, with remnants of gold pinstripping around the doors and the 8" dia. Bermuda bell under the hood, but the fenders were black and I thought the whole thing would have been red including the fenders if it had been a fire chief's car. Hopefully, the opinions here will help me to determine if it may have been an original fire chief's car and if it wasn't, what would be needed to make it into one. I'd post a picture, but my photos will not post. Thank you. Jim Patrick
It was more common in the day to have black fenders, aprons, and running boards with a "colored" body.
If it was a conversion made by a fire truck manufacturer, it would likely be all red, but the lack of the "additional equipment" you would normally find on a fire car says that this is probably not the case.
Fire chief cars were generally built from roadsters. I have never seen or heard of one built from a Fordor, but that does not mean they didn't exist.
Gold leaf was used by sign painters for all sorts of businesses back in the day. Also, for general "fancy" pinstriping.
Jim- You need to get Ed Peterson's book "FIRST to the FLAMES" Strictly about fire chief rigs.
Attached is a photo of my "Fire Chief's Car," a 1911 Maxwell AB Roadster. The car was created in the 50's by Disney artist Ward Kimball. He researched the decoration of cars like this thoroughly before proceeding. BTW, there is a Bermuda Bell on the car.
Here is a picture of a Fire Dept car that was showed at the Frick Museum in Pittsburgh
I'm not sure of the year.
Here's an old shot of our 1912 Paddy wagon taken back in the early 1960's. It had quite a few bells, a siren, exhaust whistle, hand pump whistle, etc. It would be a great companion to these Fire cars.