Original Fire Engine
“American Canyon District Receives New Fire Truck – The “thrill that comes once in a lifetime” was experienced this week by the American Canyon Fire District Board of Commissioners, when they drove their new fire engine around the streets of Rancho Del Mar. Frank Waters, chairman of the board, was at the wheel, and Vic Lee and Wally Dahlquist were aboard. Their delight was matched by the dozens of children who followed in its wake, eying the shining engine and its intricate equipment.” Vallejo Times Herald Friday, June 17, 1955.
Well, the community of American Canyon gets to experience the thrill twice in a lifetime! The very same original fire engine the district obtained when it became operational on July 1, 1955 has survived the test of time and is coming home! Pictured below is how the engine looks today and how it looked when it was first acquired in June of 1955.
The apparatus remained in service and functional with the district for approximately 30 years. We do not have records of the exact date, but we think it was sold as surplus in approximately the 1980’s. We had lost track of it until we received a call from the owner, who had been storing the truck in French Camp, Ca. He planned to sell the truck, however, knowing the origin of the truck he wanted to provide us with an opportunity to purchase it prior to placing it on the open market.
Assistant Chief Lawson, Fire Chief (Ret.) Keith Caldwell and Fire Captain Jose Martin went to inspect the truck and were amazed at how good of shape it was in! In July with further assistance from Captain Cordeiro and Firefighter Bartow we re-acquired this fantastic piece of American Canyon history! The truck is currently in Sacramento and we are planning a complete restoration process. We are looking forward to bringing the apparatus home in its original condition soon. We plan to make the original American Canyon Fire Protection District fire apparatus available for all of the community to enjoy at community events, parades, open houses etc.