FireTruck Diary

My experiences restoring and playing with a 1960 Ford C-850 Fire Engine

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   Thursday, July 11, 2002
Risk and Reward
I want to step back for a minute and talk about the intensity of the experience with DeTruck.

The first notable intense experience was the excitement. Those of you who Ebay know the thrill of waiting, bidding and winning (yes, I sniped.) I love peak experiences and spend way too much effort seeking them. The happiness around actually buying a fire truck really qualified as peak moment. Partly because my wife was excited enough that I got to share the experience and that really helps.

The second intense experience began when it broke down. Not so much anger or frustration or sadness. More like fear. Here I was, responsible for over 14 tons of potential cop bait. I'd just spent more money than I should have (even though it was a bargain,) and I might have to spend that much all over again just to go through the actions that would lead up to the truck in a junk yard. As the days wore on, with the truck illegally sitting in the street in front of my house, I began to feel a pervasive sense of dread. The feeling of getting in over my head is not unfamiliar (it comes with seeking peak experiences,) but it is uncomfortable. My work was starting to suffer due to lack of concentration. I was on edge around my family. And yet, hope had not died. Part of me kept thinking, 'I might manage to pull this out. If I just keep trying, something good will happen.'

The third intense experience was when I managed to get it running by myself. The moment I felt the engagement arm seat firmly with a 'clunk', my brain starting pumping endorphins and other goodies into my bloodstream. When the truck started up and moved I felt ten feet tall.

Other experiences have been more diffused but nearly as powerful. I love how many folks stop their cars in the middle of the street to talk to me about the truck. I feel more connected to the neighborhood. (And I've always been very connected becuase of the church renovation we live in and the folks who want ot talk about that.)

The risk and fear I was feeling really made the triumph moments much more intense. It's a damn big toy, but I gotta say, I love playing with it.


Index of Post Titles:

Vital Statistics:
1960 Ford

534 cid
5-speed Gas
277 horsepower

27000 lbs. GVW

Young Fire Equip.

1000 gal. tank

500 GPM Hale
Midship Pump
Type QSHD-2,

Ferrell Fire Co.,
Ferrell, NJ

Buchanan VFD,
Buchanan, TX