SOHS Volunteers Restore 1946 Fire Engine

This blog will document the progress of the rehabilitation and preservation of a 1946 Ford Fire Engine once owned by the Ashland Oregon Fire Department. The Fire Engine was donated to the Southern Oregon Historical Society in May 2017.
History of the Amphibious Fire Engine

Mike is rebuilding the windshield wiper while Norma paints the inside of the truck bed.

Volunteer Phil Kessler milled the lumber and fabricated new floors for the back of the fire engine.  We just brought them over to the workshop this morning.   What a difference!

We’re making progress on the Fire Engine.

Brakes have been overhauled.  Radiator has been re-cored and ready to be mounted once we get the motor running.  We have poured some “Marvel Mystery Oil” in the engine and cleaned and gapped the spark plugs.  In mid-October, we’ll mend some old wiring under the hood and begin the process of getting the motor running again. 

The Voget family donated a glove box door that was missing and the paint matches almost perfectly! Many volunteers have been busy rubbing out the paint, and the fire engine is starting to look pretty good

Donations haven’t been coming in fast, but we have been fortunate to get some great ones.  Donations have reached $4000.  We still have a long way to go, so we’re still needing additional donations.

Several companies have donated parts to the project.  Sasco Fasteners donated the dozens of brass wood screws to remake the slat floors in the back.  Model A owner Phil Kessler donated the oak to remake the wood slat floors, Interstate donated a battery.  Skip Geear (of Wood House fame) found and donated a Motorola radio that was missing from the right running board.  Another Model A’er Eric Engelmann rebuilt the wood frame for the seat.   And Farrell’s Glass reproduced a missing beveled glass lens in one of the large gauges.  Many others have donated parts and labor.

To see our progress, take a look at the photos showing the fire engine when it arrived in May and how it appears now.We are documenting this journey on the SOHS website at  Please check there frequently for updates.    And please feel free to share this with others. 

Rick Black—541-499-1356

Ben Truwe—541-773-8369


John Darling intereviewed Ben Truwe and Rick Black about SOHS's fire engine. We hope you'll read all about it! 

ADT Article | Medford Trib

Everyone is welcome to join us for the Fire Engine Open House! (at 3263 Biddle Road (at Lawnsdale) just south of the Medford Airport).

The radiator was re-cored, and six leaks in it were repaired.

A Brake Job is our first priority.
Here we're working on the front brakes.
The master and wheel cylinders and rubber parts will be rebuilt and reinstalled.
Our second task was to remove the radiator
and have it cleaned out.
We also drained the old gasoline and pulled out the tank.