Lot 289 - 1917 American LaFrance Type 12 Two-Seat Tourer
|Odometer reading||5,413 miles|
|Estimate||£48,000 - £58,000|
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 powered 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. The company has recently undergone a major rebirth and is once again producing custom fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
This 1917, American LaFrance Type 12 was supplied new as the Fire Chiefs truck to Fergus Falls Fire Department, Minnesota, USA, the owner when doing his research obtained an original photograph showing the truck on its first day of duty. Imported to the UK in 1991 as a restoration project, it was purchased by the vendor in 1997 and over the next two years set about a ground up restoration preparing the car as a Simplex rally special for long distance rallies. During the rebuild, the 14.5 litre, straight six engine was stripped down and rebuilt including fitting oil rings to the pistons which has improved oil consumption, the engine is believed to generate around 135bhp and runs off a Schebler carburettor. The truck is fitted with an electric starter and all the electrics run on a standard 12 volt system with dual ignition and the offside plugs being magneto driven and the nearside from a coil through a distributor giving reliability and good backup. The truck is fitted with a period looking two seat touring body with a 40 gallon fuel tank mounted on top giving a 400 mile range and a large storage compartment to the rear in front of the twin mounted spare wheels. The bronze casted, three speed gearbox and the gearing through the chain sprockets means this LaFrance is happy cruising at 50mph in top gear with the engine running just over tick over. Finished in maroon with maroon artillery wheels and black seats, this is supplied with a V5C registration document, a 1922 maintenance handbook and a file containing old MoT test certificates and correspondence relating to the history of this Fire Truck. Over the years of his ownership, the vendor has fully maintained it and made it ready to go on any rally in the World such as the Peking to Paris or any long distance endurance events.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.