According to a report from WTVG, the Richfield Township (OH) Fire Department (RTFD) is auctioning off a Willys fire truck to help pay for new equipment. The sealed-bid auction begins with a minimum bid of $10,000.
At the time the jeep was placed into service, crews would use it to fight all kinds of fires. In its later years, it was only used to battle brush fires. At more than 75 years old, it will once again provide a valuable service to the community after it is auctioned off.
The jeep initially cost about $500 and was paid for with community donations. It has sat mostly idle for more than a decade, and the RTFD has a lot of older safety gear and vehicles in its fleet right now. The proceeds will help pay for some much-needed updates.
RTFD Chief Keith Clonch said that the estimate value of the jeep about $15-16,000. However, if fully restored, he said it could be valued at about $30,000.
Clonch also said that people are coming from all over the country to the old “workhorse.” Visitors have come from as far away as Las Vegas, Indiana, and Kentucky to place bids on the vehicle. A woman in New York has also set up a GoFundMe account to raise enough to buy it and donate it to a museum.
Address sealed bids to Chief Keith Clonch and the RTFD at 11450 Sylvania Avenue Berkey, OH 43504. Bids will be accepted until April 2, with an announcement on the winner April 5.