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Antique Fire Engine Facts

Manufacturer: American-LaFrance Foamite Corp.
Model: 710 Empire #9154
Year built: 1949
Where built: Elmira, New York
First Used: April 14, 1949 -- Colorado Springs, CO


History as we know it:

This engine was built primarily to be used as a pumper engine to boost water through its huge pump (solid brass) to a fire in the distance. There are pumper test records dating from its initial delivery point in Colorado Springs on 4/14/49, to May 22, 1970. On December 26, 1974 it appears the engine was transferred to Pueblo, Co., per a sales agreement to Western Fire Equipment Co. Records are a bit sketchy, or absent until January 1985 when weekly reports started, then ended in June 1988. On March 4, 1980 this engine was officially donated to Angel Fire, NM where records were kept (sort of) until October 1994. The Angel Fire VFD sidelined the engine for about five years when it was taken to Raton, NM and auctioned off in the Colfax Co. Auction to Paul Sandoval, who is now one of our esteemed board members. Paul sold the engine to the "Friends" in March of 2000. He donated part of the asking price and the Friends "scratched up" enough money for the rest of the "deal"!

Over the years since, we have modified the engine to make it into a 'chase truck' for the Smokey Balloon. Lots of us have had our hand at rewiring, re-everything we could to get it into shape as you now see it. The Clark Truck Equipment Co. has been a tremendous help to keep it running. Dick Pederson (rewiring), Bill Dimit (welding) and the Los Lunas Correctional Facility (painting and body work) are among the chief contributors.