Maxim Fire Truck

1926 Maxim Fire Truck

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | Weybridge, U.K. | May 18, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Fire trucks are not an uncommon collector’s item. But even old historical parade-worthy examples like this still only manage prices in the four-digit or low-five-digit range. I think it’s very odd, but I guess they have a relatively low usability factor.

The Maxim Motor Company was founded in Middleboro, Massachusetts in 1914 by Carlton Maxim. He was a firefighter, and his initial goal was to build a fire engine for his department. Well that blossomed into a company that was purchased by Seagrave in 1963. They built their last fire truck in 1989.

This pre-war example appears to be powered by a straight-six engine. It carries a Connecticut livery and was recently used in the filming of the live-action version of Dumbo. It is expected to bring between $12,000-$16,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

Delahaye Fire Truck

1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Crosley Fire Truck

1952 Crosley CD Fire Truck

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Kansas | April 23-25, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Cincinnati-based Crosley began building cars in the late 1930s but halted production when war broke out. They continued after the war, building diminutive but well built cars in two-door sedan, wagon and convertible form. And then there was this.

These Crosley Hook & Ladders, as they are sometimes called, were not actually built by the factory. They were constructed out of normal, road-going Crosleys by Overland Amusement Company of Lexington, Massachusetts. They were built between 1947 and 1952, with 1952 being the final year for all Crosley production.

This one is based on a Model CD Crosley from 1952. It uses a 25.5 horsepower 721cc straight-four. The Fire Trucks never actually saw service in fire departments, but were instead used as amusement park rides, with the trailer holding the kiddies, like so:

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Only about 100 of these were built and in recent years they seem to pop up quite regularly, with prices being all over the board. I’m not sure what you’d do with it if you bought it, but it would be rather hilarious to drive this thing to the grocery store, wouldn’t it? You can read more here and see the rest of this sale’s lineup here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $50,000.

Merryweather Fire Engine

1913 Merryweather Fire Engine

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Merryweather & Sons is the world’s oldest fire-fighting equipment manufacturer, tracing its origin all the way back to 1692. Their first self-propelled fire engine came in 1899 (it was steam-powered).

The truck you see here is powered by an Aster engine – a monstrous 8.6-liter straight-four to be exact. It also has some serious pumping equipment on it and the restoration still holds up magnificently. Looking at it, you can see differences between old American and old British fire engines. It’s kind of a weird thing to notice. This should sell for between $76,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $126,027.

RM 2012 Hershey Highlights

RM Auctions’ 2012 sale in Hershey, Pennsylvania had a bunch of really old, really cool cars for sale. We featured the cream of the crop (at least from our perspective) and most of those sold. The one-of-a-kind South Bend Surrey failed to sell. So did the Stanley Mountain Wagon and 1915 Peerless. The top sale went to the Barrelside Model J Duesenberg for $1,292,500. Our other featured Duesenberg, the Murphy Sport Sedan, was the second-biggest sale at $792,000. One of the interesting cars we didn’t get a chance to feature was this 1914 Jeffrey Four Five-Passenger Touring that sold for $40,700.

1914 Jeffrey Four Five-Passenger Touring

One big seller was a horse-drawn fire wagon. There were three of these at this sale, but this was far exceeded the other two, at $396,000. It’s an 1894 Silsby Fourth Size Horse-Drawn Steam Pumper. It was pretty decked out and everyone seemed happy when it sold.

1894 Silsby Fourth Size Horse-Drawn Steam Pumper

Other interesting sales included this 1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout. There’s something about the tires on this thing that make it look like it’s ready to go tackle some trails somewhere. It sold for $85,250.

1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout

Other alternative-propulsion vehicles included our featured 1900 Milwaukee Steam Runabout for $44,000. The 1906 Pope-Waverley Electric Runabout brought $60,500. And the 1906 Columbus Model 1000 Electric Stanhope sold for $52,250. This 1913 Simplex 38HP Five-Passenger Touring, while not electric or steam-powered, was still cool at $214,500.

As was this 1910 White Model G-A Five-Passenger Touring that sold for $66,000.

There was an interesting selection of American cars from the 1950s and 60s that included this very rare 1966 Studebaker Daytona Sport, which sold for only $10,450.

Kaiser and Frazer were also represented. This 1949 Kaiser Deluxe Convertible sold for $57,200.

1949 Kaiser Deluxe Convertible

And this 1950 Frazer Manhattan sedan brought $49,500.

This 1903 Ford Model A Rear-Entry Tonneau is the oldest known Ford in existence being  one of the first three cars built by the Ford Motor Company. It came from the John O’Quinn  collection and sold for $264,000.

1903 Ford Model A Rear-Entry Tonneau

As many old Fords as you see at auctions, you don’t see too many pre-1920 Chevrolets. This sale had one and its a great looking car. It’s a 1918 D-Series V-8 Touring car and it sold for $46,200.

1918 Chevrolet D-Series V8 Touring

Our featured 1918 Roamer Five-Passenger Touring car sold for $93,500. And the 1920 Premier Model 6-D sold for $63,250. This 1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo seemed especially cheap at $49,500.

1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo

Another car I found interesting was this 1910 Metz Two Runabout. It also sold for $49,500.

1910 Metz Two Runabout

Our other two feature cars were the 1902 Northern Runabout for $66,000 and the 1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges Touring for $110,000. For complete results, check out RM’s website, here.

Dennis Fire Engine

1930 Dennis Fire Engine

Offered by Coys | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | April 21, 2012

John & Raymond Dennis set up shop as Dennis Brothers Ltd in 1895 in Guildford. Originally, the sold bicycles before building their first motor-powered tricycle in 1899. Four-wheeled cars followed in 1901 and commercial vehicles – beginning with a bus – in 1903. The first Dennis fire engine was built in 1908 and the company had found their groove. Passenger cars disappeared by 1915.

Buses and fire engines were their specialty and this 1930 fire engine features a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and it is in the livery of what is believed to be the original department, County Hospital Prestwich. There is a lot of attractive brass and many period fire-fighting items, including antique extinguishers, ladder and a trailer pump.

The Dennis company has gone through a serious of corporate mergers since 1972. At one point, it was split into three separate companies, with Dennis Bus and Dennis Fire being merged back into one another and re-branded as Alexander Dennis in 2001, the form in which they currently exist.

Fire engines are great collectibles – they usually don’t cost all that much and there are a ton of them out there. Dennis is a recognized brand name among fire equipment collectors and this one shows well and would be great for parades – the most common duty retired fire trucks serve. Coys estimates that this will sell for between $15,000 – $24,000. For the complete description, click here. And for the rest of Coys’ Ascot lineup, click here.