Hall of Flame

Museum of Firefighting

Motorized Apparatus

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The listing below contains information on seven of the museum's major holdings of motorized apparatus.  Return to the listing of all motorized pieces by clicking here.

Page 7

Stutz / New Stutz
"Baby Stutz" 350 gpm engine modified in 1930 by the New Stutz Fire Apparatus Company.


The famous auto maker and racer also built fire engines.  Stutz began his fire engine business in Indianapolis in 1919 and built engines and ladder trucks until the Crash of 1929.  This rig was his smallest model.

The town of Havre de Grace, Maryland bought it in 1924.  In 1935  they traded it to the New Stutz Fire Engine Company, successor to the original Stutz firm.  (This engine has also survived and is now on display at the Fire Museum of  Maryland).

The New Stutz people replaced the original hose bed with a combined hose bed and 350 gallon booster tank and sold it to the Indiana town of Farmland, which used it until 1950.  In 1982 Mr. John Allen of Indianapolis donated the rig to the Hall of Flame. 

It was in very bad shape, and lacked a motor. It has been refurbished to its 1935 appearance with a  1933 Continental drive train from a REO fire engine.  In 2001 the Farmland Fire Department donated the rig’s original bell, allowing us to bring the engine back to its 1924 appearance.  


American La France
Type 400 Senior fire engine used in Burlington, IA



The earliest motorized American fire engines, which appeared around 1910, used an engine called the T-Head:  a single row of four to six pistons  were cast in sets of two in the shape of a large “T”.  One side of the T contained valves for the fuel intake, and the other side had valves for the exhaust.  It was a simple matter to remove the valves, and the twin cylinders could also be disconnected from the engine’s crank case.  

T-heads were easy to repair but operated at a fairly low RPM, which made it difficult to match to the speed of a centrifugal pump. They were also expensive to build because of the difficulty of casting the pairs of cylinders without flaws. 

During the late 1920s and early 30s new engine designs appeared—the L-Head and the V-Head.  L heads were more compact and employed less expensive cylinder heads.  V’s arranged their cylinders in two banks which greatly reduced the length of the crank shaft.  This engine uses a V-12 engine which was designed in 1931.  

The American La France Type 400 Senior appeared in 1934 as the nation’s most advanced fire engine, with powerful pumps and the huge, powerful V-12 motor. 

Of equal impact was the engine’s design, which was based on the styling of the elegant Packard, Cadillac and Duisenberg automobiles of the 30s. Less than 200 of the pricy rigs were built between 1934 and 1938, when La France introduced a new model.

This engine was used in Burlington, Iowa and was completely restored by Mr. Bernie Lowe.  Bernie donated the rig to the Hall of Flame in May of 2009.  


1948 U.S. Mack Model 45S "District" fire engine from Pierre, SD






During the 1930s many cities couldn't afford Mack’s pricey line of first class fire engines.  In 1938 Mack introduced a new line of affordable “District” fire engines.  Although based on a rugged Mack chassis, the Model 45 used a competent but lower priced Continental six cylinder engine and drive train, as well as a 500 gpm centrifugal pump.  The 45S was smaller than other Macks, but easily met the needs of small and medium sized departments.  It was built to compete with engines built on Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge chassis. Its dual ignition  (battery and magneto) made it a first class engine, but its price tag competed with commercial chassis apparatus.  Mack sold a lot of District pumpers.  This rig was  built in 1948 for the volunteer fire department of Pierre, South Dakota.  In 2003 an Arizona businessman donated it to the museum.  Don Hale restored it to its original appearance and excellent mechanical condition.


1955 U.S. American La France  Type 700 rigid frame 75 ft. Aerial Truck


The volunteers of Baldwin, New York put this Model 700 aerial truck into service in their Long Island town in 1955.  Twenty years later they sold it to the town of Lynnfield, Massachusetts.  In 2000 the town of Lynnfield donated the truck to the Hall of Flame.  Its 45 years of front line service is a testimony to the quality of its design and construction. 

The truck was designed for a volunteer department, so it has a number of compartments for each firefighter’s helmet and equipment.  The truck would often be driven to a fire with just a few of its crew, with the remainder joining the truck at the scene, donning their turnouts, and going into action. 

Its 75 foot aerial extension ladder could be put into action very quickly.  The ladder, or “stick” could be used to gain access to upper stories or a roof for ventilation and rescue.  It’s “ladder pipe” could also be connected to a 2 ˝” hose and used to play large quantities of water from high above the ground.

It carried a wide range of accessories, including a generator to provide electricity for power saws and a positive pressure fan/smoke ejector, and a wide variety of extrication tools, axes, and  pike poles.  It had a compartment for the canister equipped breathing masks that were popular until the 1960s, when the far more capable self contained breathing apparatus took their place.

During the 1990s the Lynnfield Fire Department replaced the rig’s original gasoline engine and manual transmission with a powerful diesel engine and automatic transmission.  This improvement made driving the rig much easier and increased its top speed from about 45 mph to well over 60 mph.


1958 U.S. Approved Fire Apparatus/ Ahrens-Fox Cab Forward fire engine. Ex - Oceanside NY and Chatfield, NY



Ahrens Fox engineers designed a cab forward engine late in 1957 to compete with those of the two other builders of this type of apparatus - Crown and American La France.  Ahrens Fox made only a few of this new design before being absorbed by Mack Trucks in 1958.  Mack managers were impressed by the quality of the Ahrens Fox engine and continued to manufacture it as the Mack Model C, which continued in production until 1967.

A former Ahrens Fox salesman who had received no commissions for his sales joined the Approved Fire Apparatus Company, a New York based firm with an excellent reputation for fire engines and squad trucks.  He gave the blueprints of the Ahrens Fox truck to Approved, and in 1958 and 1959 the New York firm built seven clones, which were sold to several nearby fire departments.  Our rig went to the Oceanside FD on Long Island.  Oceanside sold it to the volunteers of Chatham, New York, who used it until 2000, when it was sold to a private collector.  In 2008 a local collector donated it to the Hall of Flame.  Don Hale, assisted by the Hall of Flame volunteers, restored the engine in 2011.

In 1972 its original Waukesha gasoline engine was replaced by a Detroit Diesel motor and an automatic transmission.  It has a 1,000 gpm Hale pump and a 600 gallon booster tank.


1974 U.S. Oshkosh P-4 Crash Truck. Ex- Edwards AFB, CA


In November of 2011 The museum received a new addition in the form of a 1974 Oskkosh P-4 crash truck on loan from the Air Force Aviation Heritage Foundation. The Foundation is moving its headquarters from Atlanta, Georgia to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and does not yet have the storage space to house the truck. Until an adequate facility is available, the truck will be on loan at the Hall of Flame.  The truck is in excellent running condition and has been fully restored by the Air Force Aviation Heritage Foundation.

The truck was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California for about fifteen years, and was then sold to the Harrisburg, PA airport. In 2008 the Heritage Foundation acquired it and completed the restoration. About 500 P-4s were built for the Air Force and Navy between 1972 and 1980. It has a 1,000 gpm pump, a 1,500 gallon  water tank, a 200 gallon foam tank, and a single rear mounted Caterpillar diesel engine.

It can fight structural fires with standard 2 ˝ inch hose or it can pump and roll with its chin and roof turrets. Weighing only 15 tons without water, it can readily be loaded and flown in a C-130 transport plane anywhere in the world.


1972 U.S. Crown Coach Co. Fire Engine. Ex City of Orange, CA FD.



Mr. Dave Barron of Glendale Arizona donated this Crown Coach Fire Engine in early 2012.  It's a 1972 engine used for over 25 years by the fire department of Orange, California.  Dave's father, a long time member of the department, drove the rig for years.  The rig is in excellent mechanical condition and needs only paint to be restored to original shape.  It's powered by a Cummins diesel motor and has a 1250 gpm single stage pump.  It is awaiting restoration.

Crown Coach originally built school buses and branched out into fire engines in the 1950s as a way to keep its factory occupied in the off season of bus manufacturing. 

The company soon attained an almost legendary reputation for the durability and quality of its fire apparatus, and sold hundreds of engines, aerial trucks, and snorkels in the  western states in general, and southern California in particular.  New ownership in the late 1970s failed to maintain these standards, and the company went out of business in the 1980s.


1971 U.S. Maxim / Pierce  

Snorkel Fire Engine

Munster, IN and Riverdale, IL

 The Snorkel in 1971 in Munster

 The Snorkel in 2012 in Riverdale

The Munster Fire Department commissioned this 85 foot snorkel fire engine in 1971 and kept it in service until 2002, when it was transferred to the nearby fire department of Riverdale, Illinois.  Riverdale FD donated it to the Hall of Flame in 2013.  With very few additions the rig is entirely original.  It can pump over 1,000 gpm through its snorkel pipe, and also has discharges for four ground lines.  


Pierce pioneered the snorkel engine with an articulated boom, platform and piped discharge in the late 1950s, fitting custom chassis from makers like Maxim, Crown, and Macks with snorkels in a variety of sizes.  Pierce built on the success of its snorkels to build a complete line of fire apparatus by the 1980s Now part of the Oshkosh Corporation, Pierce is one of the leading manufacturers of fire apparatus in the United States.



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