Originally purchased by the city of San Diego, this engine was a product of the post-war years.
The bells are still available but run about $1,500. The sound is apparently patented or copyrighted to Seagrave. They are cast and then hand turned to produce the correct tone. It took a while to find one, but they managed to secure it for considerably less that $500.
There were no doors on it when they got it and Tony thinks there may have been no doors on it when it was delivered. The Chief of SDFD may have ordered it as a "deleted" option. It has a panel on both ends of the seat like the one on the right side of my `42. In conversations with a retired San Diego Chief I learned that their Fire Chief got very concerned when he started losing fire fighters. As the rig would go around a corner the frame would flex and the doors, a relatively new addition to fire engines, would fly open and the Captain would fall out.
"We didn't lose any men before we had doors and I'm not going to lose any more. Take the doors off!" the Chief ordered. The bench seats were provided with a split-pipe-and panel affair that served as a gaurd against sliding off the end of the seat. The seat-backs on older fire engines curved around and created a low brace that held the fire fighters in their seats. This feature was removed when doors were added.
Additional equipment includes brass cellar nozzles and hard suction hoses and some miscelaneous "contradictory" stuff have been acquired and are in storage.
The laddrs are from L.A. Ladder company, including an original style "box" attic ladder. The two beams are enclosed in oak "boxes" that separate just like modern attic ladders do. They also have a roof and an extension ladder.
The `47 has a 500 cid engine. The Seagrave's also came with a smaller 400 cid power plant. The dash is shot and I provided them with photos of the original gauges for reproduction. The engine runs well and they have had it up to 55 miles per hour. They have experienced a front-end wobble that appears to be a common problem with these engines. They considering putting a front-end stabilizer on it.
The Seagrave emblem (called a cloisonne) for the front cowling is available from a company back east as a replica. Additional information is available from the Seagrave Registry in Ohio (the source of their invoice) and a book by Matthew Lee of Seagrave engines starting from "day-1" has been printed, but is not currently available. I got my information and photos through the FWD Seagrave Company. They are on the Internet at http://www.seagrave.com.
Capt. Tony Sepich of Carlsbad F.D. and Capt. Michael Singer of L.A. County F.D., swap Seagrave stories. Sepich is assigned to FS 5 at the Palomar Airport and has been quite active in the restoration program.
Mike Van Bebber is the "research enthusiast" and he works at Carlsbad Station 3. They have some documentation (about 30 pages) showing wiring diagrams, pump information and engine data. They also have the names of some of the retired San Diego City F.D. personnel who actually worked on these rigs.
Todd Correl, the upholsterer, re-did the seats in an attractive 4" verticle pleat. He also increased the padding from about 2" to about 6" (which puts tony a little too close to the steering wheel!). Todd is also the resident computer guru. Todd works at Station 5 on the "A" shift.
The '47 has two 10 or 12 inch diameter lamps that were salvaged from an old L.A. City truck.The vehicle was lime green when first procured from a 70 year old vehicle restorer in El Cajon. He had done some mechanical restoration but that was about all. The wiring needs work. The brake system vacuum booster assistance was inoperative when I drove it around the lot. Its drivable, but it takes a strong right leg!
The vehicle is owned by the Carlsbad Fireman's Association and their logo is etched on the face of the large spotlights. The seats and body work have been re-done and new paint has been applied. They have a copy of the origninal invoice showing the delivery of the vehicle to SDFD including the paint specifications.
They had the color re-mixed and it came out to be close to the same color that Jim Page's "L.A. County Rescue 11" is painted. They used an acrylic urethane for a tough finish that will stand up to kids' busy hands. Their intent is to have a vehicle that can "give rides" and perform basic parade-duty.
The tank was a double wall construction and the inner lining was completely shot. They have removed it and fabricated a heavy-duty sheet metal cover for the tank area complete with knurled aluminum knobs.
They plan to put a poly tank into it at some point in the future if they need to run the pump. They also moved the hose reel forward to a position just behind the bench seat. This gave them more room in the hose bed for riders. The seats in the hose bed were placed on top of sheet-metal "boxes" that were part of the original hose bed. This engine has lots of chrome which is quite a contrast to the '42, which had virtually none.
Links: 1942 Seagrave