Volunteer firefighters in Burlington County (NJ) who lost their century-old headquarters five years ago are regaining a different piece of the past.
The 1941 Ford truck that Franklin Fire Co. No. 1 sold in the 1970s and brought back home to Mansfield Township last year — after buying it on eBay — is being restored.
The venerable apparatus will be used in parades and for educating kids about fire safety.
Members of the state’s firefighter community alerted Franklin No. 1 to the availability of the truck, helped negotiate its purchase from a Florida businessman, and arranged for no-cost shipping.
The solid-looking vintage vehicle cost $3,900, slightly less than what Franklin No. 1 paid for it, brand-new, 72 years ago. The odometer reads 9,800, the Ford Flathead V8 engine runs, and the wooden ladders, draft hoses, and other equipment are intact.
“Finding parts for a 1941 Ford is challenging,” says company president Doug Burgstrom, a township resident who is also a full-time firefighter in Marlton.
The restoration is estimated to cost $20,000. The company hopes to raise $100,000, which would include the purchase of additional period equipment to display.
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