Performance & Hotrod Business - May '15

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Page 49 of 83

HOTROD All photos by the author. Thanks to Richie Clyne, Keith Franz, Pierce Manufacturing and the Allenton, Wisconsin Volunteer Fire Dept. for making their trucks and/or literature collections available. L et's say the local volunteer fire department comes knocking on the door of your shop. They have the town's first fire truck—a 1935 American LaFrance—and want to get it restored. Is this a job you can handle? What does it take to restore vintage fire apparatus? Where can you get the parts you'll need? Is it worth taking on such a project? And is the fire truck restoration market a niche that your shop can harvest for more business and more profit in the future? The Fire Truck Niche How large is the fire truck rebuilding niche? The hobby of collecting and restoring fire trucks has a rich history. Almost all vintage fire truck buffs (many of whom are current or retired firefighters) belong to an organization called the Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Motorized Fire Apparatus in America ( SPAAMFAA was organized in Syracuse, New York, in 1958 and today has 3,000-plus members and over 50 chapters. How hot is the vintage fire truck restoration niche? By John Gunnell 48 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2015 Specialist Ken Soderbeck restored this 1912 Knox Model B Triple Pumping Fire Engine and Combination Wagon for the Venerable Fire Collection. All Fired Up

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