Summit Antique and Classic Car Show – 2

Chemical Engine No. 1 is up and running!

You may (or may not) recognize Summit’s Chemical Fire Engine No. 1 from last year, and you may (or may not) note that it is in fact RUNNING, which was NOT the case when I last saw the truck.

Look! It runs!

I’m not sure how stable the job is— apparently the carburetor floods if you don’t start it right (which apparently gave the fireguys a bit of fun to contend with this weekend)— but I’m told it’s running as well as it was in 1927, back when it was built.

When it’s not out for shows and parades, it’s still stuffed into a back corner of the firehouse, but the fire department and the Summit Historical Society are joining fundraising forces to build a garage-type house for the truck next to the Carter House.

This truck served from 1927 through the 1950s, which may seem like a long time to keep a car, but that’s pretty standard, even now. The fireman I spoke to said that a modern engine costs about $650,000, which is probably the modern equivalent of what Chemical Fire Engine No. 1 cost back in the ’20s. And when you buy something that expensive, you want to hold onto it for a while! Even nowadays, departments keep fire trucks for 25 years before they’re retired, which seems to be a pretty rigid guideline. (Summit has a truck that’s got only one more year before they have to get rid of it, so I guess they’re counting down the days.)

Yeah, so. FIRE TRUCKS.

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