1953 Chevrolet 6400 Fire Truck
From Don :
My 1953 Chevrolet 6400 Fire Truck was originally delivered to a dealer in Langdon, North Dakota as a Stake truck. From what I have learned in talking to different people, the truck ended up in Ashland, Wisconsin and was purchased by the Marengo Valley Fire Department in 1955.
The fire truck was fitted with a Darley Fire apparatus with a 250 gpm pump.
The truck is a very bare bones unit. The pump is PTO driven. The truck has two hose reels -- one on each side towards the front. The controls for the pump are on the driver's side of the truck.
The fire truck was taken out of service in December of 2007. I purchased it in January 2008.
The firemen told me that the truck was always very reliable and never left them hanging. They did say that they always got teased about the truck being so slow, especially in later years. It was known as the basement truck, because all that was gong to be left was the basement by the time the truck got to the fire. In all fairness they said that it never had to live up to the nickname "Basement Truck."
The pump on the truck was rebuilt in 1964 and again in 1978. Other than normal service, the truck has not had any other repairs done to it. [ View from driver's side ]
I think that the truck had about 3,000 miles on it when it was built as a fire truck. From what I have learned, it sat on the dealer's lot as a stake and when it was purchased in 1955 for a fire truck, the stake bed was taken off.
I had a couple old timers tell me that they probably bought it really right in 1955. By this time the 1954 and 1955 trucks were out. With the engine improvements in them, not many people were interested in the trucks with the old low pressure engines in them.