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It all began in 1938 with a rash of fires. The call came down from Fire Chief 'Wildcat' Smith that the town fathers needed to consider purchasing a new pumper. The call was answered, and in August of '39,
Freeport's American LaFrance, Engine 3, made its debut. This 500 gallon per minute pumper was the Rolls Royce of its day.
The interesting fact about this model was that it had an International Harvester cab. American-LaFrance began purchasing complete cab assemblies from International Harvester in 1939. These were used on the company's lower-priced, entry-level custom Type 500/600 fire pumpers through 1946. They were likely purchased in small batches, perhaps 10 or so at a time.
The reason American-LaFrance outsourced these cabs was that it was less expensive than making their own, thus keeping their bid prices competitive. At this time the company was building the much larger, wider 500/600 Series rigs, and the International cab nicely fit the narrow Type 500/600 chassis frame.
This Freeport fire truck is a Type 550-RC that was shipped from the Elmira, NY factory on July 31, 1939 with chassis number L1125.
YatMing Road Signature Series Diecast No. 20148