Lot 251 - 1928 American LaFrance Open Speedster
|Estimate||£24,000 - £30,000|
|Result||Sold - £22,400|
The American LaFrance Fire Engine Company is one of the oldest fire apparatus manufacturers with roots that go back to approximately 1832. The company that went on to become American LaFrance built hand-drawn, horse-drawn and steam-powered fire engines. The International Fire Engine Company, corporate predecessor of American La France, built some steam power fire engines between 1903 and 1907. Apparatus built by International included horse drawn steamers, hose wagons, and hook and ladders to chemical engines, water towers and combinations. American LaFrance delivered its first motorised fire engine in 1907 and over the years, they built thousands of fire trucks including chemical engines, combination pumpers, aerial ladder trucks, Aero Chief snorkel trucks, and airport crash trucks. The classical style of the American LaFrance apparatus is easily recognised and some of the company's innovations led to changes in the industry, most notably the forward style cab. The company has recently undergone a major rebirth and is once again producing custom fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
As with all American LaFrance vehicles, this is an impressive vehicle in all aspects. The 14½ litre, six cylinder, T-Head motor turns over with the aid of a solid iron flywheel and has double chain drive to the rear wheels. This particular LaFrance was being prepared for the Peking to Paris road race; however the owner, an engineer, had to abandon the project due to health reasons. Benefitting from an oversized fuel tank and brakes on all four wheels (an idea that could catch on one day) this handsome 90 year old vehicle will require some re-commissioning, although appears to be complete. Supplied with an instruction manual, together with a dating certificate for registration purposes and the necessary import documents, this is the perfect car for an enthusiast of this outstanding marque.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.