Kind of a slow work day for me today, so I thought I would post up some pictures and the story of a small truck my grandfather built for my dad in 1935, you know, kind of do my part to help get this new forum going. When my dad was very young, he was really into Fire Trucks. Perhaps because his family lived near the Fire Station in Springfield, Ma or because my Great Grandfather built Fire Trucks up in Pierreville Canada, either way, he really wanted one of his own. So my Grandfather, being perhaps the most creative and industrious person I've ever known (and apparently a very cool dad as well) built him his own pedal powered Fire truck in the style of the day. Since my grandfather was a young dad and it was the height of the depression, most of the parts to build it were recycled from some other source. For example, the grill is a washboard, the headlights are made from coffee cans, the lenses as well as the gauges (note the Dodge Brothers Ammeter, Pat. Pend. 1917) were found at a junk yard. The chassis is oak, most of the body is wood, the fenders were shaped using the backs of old chairs with sheet metal tacked to them and the hub caps were made from Scotty dog ashtrays. He made an extension ladder and fixed a bell that could be rung via a string by the driver, all in all a pretty cool little truck for a 5 year old! My dad told stories of pedaling it for miles in several Springfield 4th of July parades, hard to imagine as it probably weighed about 80lbs with the pedal set-up, The local Newspaper did a story on them and the truck after seeing it. (see pic) Fast forward to the 1960's when I was a kid, by then my Grandfather had fitted it with a small gas motor. There was nothing I wanted to do more than visit my grand parents so I could drive the Fire truck, as well as all the other small cars, tractors and other things he had built by then. When he got sick and had to sell the house in the late 70's, I moved the truck (now with no motor or pedals) to my parents basement for safe keeping. There it remained until the early 2000's when my son, at 5 years old, asked my Dad if he could have the truck so that I could put a motor in it for him and he and his sister could then drive it in our July 4th parade, the same as his grandfather had. (Funny how things go full circle, my son is named after my grandfather who built the truck). We didn't really like the idea of a gas motor with a couple of 5 year olds, so I used an electric motor, mounted to the rear section of an old riding mower chassis that I cut to fit and bolted under/to the original oak frame. It was an ideal set up, as it had a transmission, axle and brakes already. I added new wheels/tires a throttle set up and some other parts to marry it all together and it was ready to go. For the kids to drive, I would set it in 2nd gear and they could use the hand throttle which would limit them to about 7-8 mph, letting off the throttle stopped the truck as well. They drove it in our July 4th parade for several years and took turns driving or sitting on the back and throwing candy. The first year they led all the full size fire trucks and a couple years they led the antique cars which they thought was really cool. And, like their grandfather before them, they made the local paper every year! Now it's stored in my barn waiting for the next generation of drivers.