- Written by webmin
We found members of the fire department in Billings, Montana, engaged in a fascinating project that they’re documenting through a photo page on Facebook. International Association of Fire Fighters Local 521 is restoring this nicely complete 1949 Seagrave canopy-cab pumper, a great-looking fire truck if there ever was one. Seagrave first introduced the all-steel open rear canopy design in 1937.
Gasoline engines were still the norm among American fire apparatus around 1950, but torque still ruled. Here’s an example of Seagrave’s own V-12 power. Its bigger engine, the J, displaced 906 cubic inches. It later sold a smaller V-12 named the E-66 (at first, produced by Pierce-Arrow) with 462 cubic inches.
Billings employs more than 90 firefighters and officers, who respond from six fire stations. Guys from Local 521 are here working to untangle the pumper’s original wiring. Can you tell they’re into cars?
Seagrave produced the bench-seat canopy pumper all the way through 1970. While this is a more common 1940s Seagrave open-cab pumper, it’s notable in that Firefighter Kevin Bentz photographed it in 2010 inside its station in Colon, Panama, on the eastern Caribbean coast, still in front-line service albeit a little banged up. This tapered-hood styling with a waterfall grille dated to 1935 at Seagrave until 1952, when the 70th Anniversary models, distinguished by the siren in the center of the hood, were introduced.