1935 Chevrolet Fire Truck
The Fire Engine was gifted to our club by the late John Hogan of Three Streams Reserve, Albany around 1986.
Peter Lloyd recalls that it was originally owned by the Farmers Trading Company in Thames as a delivery vehicle. During the WW2 it was converted to a Fire Appliance by the New Zealand Air Force. After the war is was given to the Helensville Fire Service and then transferred to Warkworth.
John Hogan purchased it after it was retired from the Fire Service but did not recall what year that was. Peter can remember he first saw it at Three Streams Reserve around 1981. When it was donated to our club in 1986 it was put into storage at our original site in Oteha Valley Road, Albany for a number of years until restoration could be started. There it stayed except for the odd occasion like a club Christmas party where it was used to give rides to the member’s family and friends around the club grounds.
Transit New Zealand then purchased the club property for the motorway extensions and shifted the club along with the Fire Engine to our existing site. In 2005 Roger Duke (Chairman) Brian Cullen and Neville Gregory took control of the Fire Engine project and restoration began. They decided to go for cosmetic changes but the result ended up in a full ground up rebuild. It started slowly at first on Wednesday club nights as most of the members were still working.
A short time later they were joined by Neil Beckenham, John Tombs, Dick Andrews, and Murrae Henderson. Alan Collie completed the administration, financials and organised the work for members. Murrae completed all the electrical work on the Fire Engine but sadly passed away before the rebuild was finished. The Fire Engine has been nicknamed “Murrae” in his memory. Many other club members contributed to the work on the vehicle and they included Rex Cottrell, Denis Martin, Dallas McNeil, Jim Mowlem, Warwick Orr, Ian Kell and Tony Gillett just to name a few.
The goal was to have the Fire Engine finished in time for the 150th Anniversary of Helensville in October 2012. Surprisingly, considering its age and that it would have had a pretty tough service life, the front body section was in a good state of repair as was the woodwork, which has been retained. The body section has been recreated with new panels, and new steps and rear foot board were fabricated and fitted. Many items were donated to finish the rebuild including the hydrant on the back and the hoses. The Fire Engine was a hose truck. It never carried a pump on board, towing one behind it instead. The ladder is similar to the original. It is a one piece now as the sliding section was too far gone to use.
The Fire Engine was painted in “fire engine” red. All new aluminium trim was fabricated and fitted. They have stayed “bare” even though some original were painted. All the rubbers on the machine have been replaced. The October deadline was completed and the Fire Engine was registered on 4th October 2012. It had its debut at the Helensville 150th Anniversary.
STATUS: Complete, Running on the Road
Click on the image below to see photos of truck and restoration process