FireTruck Diary

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

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   Thursday, August 22, 2002
Oops, I bounced off again
Yet another attempt at getting my plates for DeTruck has bounced off the bureaucracy. Despite TXDOT telling me that the problem was resolved and that I could go to the Tax Assessor and pick up my plates, my visit to the Tax Assessor was unproductive. The luck of the draw saw me seated in front of the woman who had set up the title transfer in the first place. The title transfer that the license plate clerk had told me was incorrectly done. The title woman looked my paperwork over and pronounced everything fine. No I couldn't have my plates, but everything was fine.

She whacked the problem into the hands of TXDOT (much like a successful volley in a tennis match.) She was able to show me the screen on her computer that declared 'TITLE APPLICATION AWAITING RELEASE', meaning that TXDOT hadn't gotten off the ball. She informed me that when my title showed up in the mail I would be able to bring it to the Tax Assessor's office to apply for a different title (paying my title application fee again,) but until I had a different title I couldn't get plates. If I had the vehicle registered I could get the plates, but you can't register it without the title. She then went on to explain how lucky I was that everything had worked the way it did. Not only had she not made a mistake on my title application, but she had saved me hundreds of dollars! (Imagine me desperately searching my soul for gratitude at this point.)

I had already decided, before entering the building, that I would be jovial no matter what happened. So I smiled, laughed, begged her indulgence and asked for an explanation. As it turns out, I needed to get the title transferred to me without registering it, then get that title (costing $13 for the transfer fee.) If I registered it at that point, without having approval for antique plates, it would cost me about $300 to register due to its weight. If I got the title,. with no registration, then got approval for antique plates, then got a new title with the registration class as antique, I could do it for only the cost of the additional title transfer ($13.) She was kind enough to mention that TXDOT does not consider antique registrations a priority and used to take 6-8 weeks to process a title, their new system does away with this wait, except for some reason in may case. Bewildered, but jovial I thanked her and explained that I was trying to create a web page that explained all this for others attempting to buy an antique fire truck. This elicited a rather stark frown (which I have to say did not work well with her makeup. If you knew you worked at a job where you frowned all day, it might pay off to apply makeup while thinking about unpleasant people or something. Okay, that uses up my tacky ration for this week, sorry.) She stated, 'Well, you could document this, but we're likely to change the procedures at any time.' I recognized this as a great time to leave before she changed the procedure on me right then and there.

So, I'm waiting. How long I don't know. But she did take pity on me and gave me the 'Public Information Number' which goes to, as she described it, the 'basement'. I can call it regularly to determine when my title has moved beyond 'waiting release.' So it goes...

In other news, I got a really great fire coat and fire cape recently retired from the Wernersville Fire Dept. in Pennsylvania. Pix soon to follow. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a fire cape, but now I have one. So it goes... :-)


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