Bowers Beach DE Displays Restored Fire Apparatus

The Bowers Beach Fire Company (DE) recently finished restoring a 1953 GMC Oren fire truck that the company sold in the early 1980s and reacquired in 2009.

It was the first motorized fire truck the company ever owned. It even survived a fire itself, when the fire house was set on fire in 1979.

The fire truck was used by Bowers Beach from 1953 until 1984, when the truck was sold to a local farmer. The fire truck had three new homes, all with local farmers, before being left at a junk yard owned by John Macklin.

“Each time the truck was sold we had a chance to buy it back but the fire hall wasn’t big enough for it,” said Fire Chief Phil Pennington. “Then one of our guys saw it in the back field of the junk yard and some of our guys went over there and asked Mr. Macklin if he would be willing to donate it back to the company or if we could buy it back.”

After a several conversations, Macklin decided to gift the truck back to the fire company. The long years of farm work had left it rusted, faded and tired looking.

The members of the fire company spent the next four years raising money through dinners, fundraisers and bingo to have the truck restored by Swab Wagon Co. (PA).

“We took everything off of the truck, fixed it and patched it, sand blasted the whole truck and re-assembled it. Anything that was chrome was sent out to a company to be re-chromed,” said Bill Mille of Swab Wagon Co. “It was amazing to see the difference from when they brought it into us to when they got it back.”

The total cost of the restoration was $116,000.

The truck made it’s debut for the Bowers Beach Fire Company’s 75th anniversary parade. The GMC traveled the parade route along with many other trucks from area fire stations and was then parked for display at the festivities following the parade.

For more information, view

No posts to display