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01 May 2016
# 3131

 
  Owned by
Don King
"2-Ton"
Bolter # 1432
Missouri

 

1967 GMC 9500 Ladder Pumper Fire Truck

"The Flag Pole"

 

More pictures of my old truck

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From Don :

After some strong urging from Peggy, I'm finally doing a write up, on a few toys we have. (I really wanted to get our moderators' trucks in here, so I picked on Don first, since he is such a nice guy ~ Peggy )

First up is the 1967 GMC fire ladder truck. Here are it's specifics:

  • 1967 GMC 9500
  • GVR 31,000
  • 14,000 miles miles and 880 hours
  • The biggest GMC V-8 gas engine GM ever produced
  • 637 CI with a two barrel carb and five speed tranny
  • No two speed rearend
  • Body is American Fire Apparatus, Battle Creek Mi
  • Equipped with a two-stage mid frame Hale pump, rated at 500 GPM
  • 500 gal. water holding tank
  • Grove hydraulic aerial ladder with outriggers -- 65 foot reach (you need to look at the series of pictures with the ladder extended - impressive - scary maybe??)
  • With me in it, no water and a half tank of gas, it weighed in last summer, at 25,800 pounds

How I acquired it was kind of a accident. A friend at work found it in the local Craigslist and jokingly showed it to me. I laughed it off and said "That's all I need is another truck."

It was a sealed bid by the Vienna, MO. Volunteer Fire Department. It was an in-service truck. The biding closure was almost two months away.

The next week after seeing the truck on Craigslist, I went in for some knee surgery. So I was laid up at home for several weeks. As I was able to get around, but not able to go back to work, that fire truck was still in the back of my mind.

I called the number and talked to the Chief. He talked me into at least coming and see it. We set a time and date.

Vienna, MO is about 60 miles from our house. I met the Chief at the appointed time and he had it pulled out of the station with the ladder up some just to show it works. All hoses, siren, side ladders, hardware in the side boxes and lights on it. Shined up and looking good. He started it and it ran smooth.

We talked a while and I told him, if by some small chance I would put a bid in on it, and the small chance I would get it, It would stay original and be used for parades and shows.

I went home and thought about it some more and decided I would put in at least a scrap value bid -- to keep it from going to the scrappers. I really did not expect to win the bid and had not told the wife anything about it.

I sent an email to them with the bid and explaining what I would do with it. I also mailed them a hard copy. The bid had to go before the City Council to be approved.

Well, about a month went by and I got a call on a Thursday -- they accepted the bid! Called them back and set a date and time to make the payment the next week. There is no backing out now.

The wife was at our lake house setting up for her family reunion that weekend. Remember, I did not tell her anything yet. Went to the reunion, not knowing how to tell her. I had a picture I secretly showed to some of her family. I started by just telling her I bought another truck. She said "Okay" and went on about entertaining her family.

Ten minutes later: "Honey, the truck is red." She said "Okay" and went on.

Ten more minutes passed and I knew it was time to drop the bomb. "Honey, it's a fire truck." She paused this time, looked at me and said "Okay" and went on doing what she was doing.

About a half hour later, I showed her a picture and asked, "You're not mad that I bought a fire truck?" She looked at me and said "No, I trust your judgement." How can you not love a woman like that!

One other thing, when I went to pay for it, there were about six other Firefighters there and the hometown newspaper. Took our picture of the Chief handing the title to me. The story of the sale was on the front page of the next paper.

This fire truck has been a Hoot. I think the wife has had more fun with it than I have. We live rural and she grew up in this area, a long time emplyee at the local Walmart, and knows everyone. When she went to work the week after we got the truck home, she was constantly being stopped and asked, "Why is there a fire truck in your yard?" I bet she just blamed it on her crazy husband. It's gotten to be kind of a local landmark, for the neighbors to give directions to their houses.

 

Don

 

Don does have quite a few "toys" (1946 2-Ton grain truck, 1948 3/4-ton grain truck, 1948 1-1/2-ton flatbed, 1950 2-ton flatbed, 1954 Pontiac Straight Eight, 1954 Plymouth Belvedere, 1967 GMC 9500 Fire Ladder Truck "The Flag Pole", 1976 TR-6, 1982 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, a 1970 American La France pumper fire truck). We hope to get more and more of those stories in here. He is also the Moderator for the Kansas City Stovebolt Reunion forum. He's "come East" a few times now to meet the Bolters on the rusty side of the continent. ~ Editor

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