FireTruck Diary

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

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   Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Ironic Justice...
Having recently turned 40, with a four year old kid and an 11 year old, amazingly stable marriage, it is my just deserves that I should some into possession of a true babe magnet.

Yes, when it comes to DeTruck, it's official. Chicks Dig It.

It's true that in my wild oats days I had a couple of great motorcycles that certainly added an allure that I did not natively enjoy. And a couple of my art cars elicited interest from various 'alternative' women (including my future wife.) But, prior to becoming a fire engine owner, no vehicle in my possession has ever drawn women to leave their cars, come out from behind their counters and generally go out of their way to talk to me. Now, when I am at a time in my life when it's the least useful but perhaps most appropriate, I am in possession of the king of the mid-life crises cars. (I feel so sorry for those pathetic toupee wearing, Miata driving wannabees.)

The experience was driven home to me while I filled the gas tank the other day. I went to the nearest gas station that I felt confident that I could pull in and out of (a serious consideration in my case.) This turned out to be the RaceTrack megastation about a half mile away.

The RaceTrack gas station is the BIGGEST BRIGHTEST thing for miles. It was the subject of a lot of neighborhood council grief when it arrived due to the fact that it was SO BIG and BRIGHT. The towering structure over the rows and rows of gas pumps can be seen for quite some ways, customers are recommended to wear at least an SPF 15 sunblock while pumping to avoid a burn from the glowing lights. There are nearly twenty pumps. In a bizarre attempt to personalize this vast pay-at-the-pump wasteland the owners have created a tape loop of a bored droning voice that systematically greets customers. "...PUMP 11, welcome to RaceTrack, PUMP 12, welcome to RaceTrack, PUMP 13, welcome to RaceTrack,..." and so on through all the pumps ad infinitum. Mind you, this has nothing to do with wether there is anyone at Pump 11 or Pump 12. Every pump gets greeted in rotation. If you're the only customer, there is a hypnotic dread as the sequence approaches your pump.

As Patrick and I were filling the truck, listening to the recitation with half an ear and trying to figure out how full the tank was (dead gauge) we were both startled to hear "PUMP 2, excuse me" booming out in place of the litany of greeting. It took us a moment to realize that we were at Pump 2 and that we should just talk back to the pump. "Yes?" I tentatively replied. The disembodied nature of the conversation was a bit creepy and other customers are anticipating some kind of scene. The voice changes to a syrupy sweet female voice and croons "What year is your fire truck?" I venture a solid "1960". "It's sooooo cute!" booms the flirty voice across the tarmac. It is a surreal moment. But, as each of the other female customers drives away from their pumps, they smile and wave and I think one even winked. The guy in the BMW convertible never had a chance.

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