Thalia Fire Department's

1951 Chevy 6400 / Oren Fire Engine

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18 May 2005

From Bill: 

      I would like to submit the following for the Stovebolt Gallery: Model Year: 1951 Chevy 6400/Oren Fire Engine.

      The truck is the original purchase for the Thalia Civic Club Volunteer Fire Department in 1951 when the volunteer fire department was formed. Kline Chevrolet in Norfolk, VA sold the 6400 truck (assembled in November 1951 in Baltimore, MD) and it was sent to Roanoke, VA to have the Oren fire body / equipment added to the frame. Total cost was about $6,250. It arrived in the fire house in the May 1952 where it remained in operation until 1970 when it was sold to the Pantego, North Carolina Volunteer Fire Department.

      While in Pantego, it was converted with a larger water tank and used as a water tanker. It remained in Pantego until 2002 when I brought it back to the Thalia Fire Station in the condition shown in the photos.

      It starts and runs well with 13,435 miles on the original odometer. It has the original 235 motor, fire pump and dual speed rear end which all operates like new.

      It is currently in the shop undergoing a full restoration to the original appearance shown in the black and white photo. The other photos were taken in 2002 photos and the truck has since had the old 1970's rusted out water tank removed and parts are being sandblasted to bring it back to new condition.

      It is located in Virginia Beach, VA where it will be the center piece of the Thalia Fire History Museum in the coming years. Our fire station has been selected as a city historical site located at 407 Thalia Road which is also the home to 12 of our career firefighters. The old Stovebolt will forever be used for shows, parades and always on display in the fire museum for all Stovebolters to see!

      I'll update the photos when I get more.

Bill Bailey
Virginia Beach, VA

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