The Hall-Scott Motor Car, Truck & Engine Co.®

The Hall-Scott Motor Car, Truck & Engine Co.®  

Gallery #2 - Fire Trucks


1914 Knox Hose & Chemical Wagon, Engine # 2, from Berkeley, CA.

This truck was repowered in 1927 with a Hall-Scott 4 cylinder engine Model 101-1 Serial # 821
Made: 12/1/1926

This engine has a 4 1/4" bore X 5 1/2" stroke, dual plugs, zenith up-draft carb.  The change over was done by The Hall-Scott Engine Co.,  You'll notice the different radiator than what the Knox company used.  Hall-Scott replaced this also.

Owned by, Buck Kamphausen, Vallejo, CA.
(more photos of the truck are coming)
The two photo's above are of the very first Peterbuilt Fire Truck ever built.

A 1939 Peterbuilt/Challenger Fire Engine, from The Fremont Fire Dept. CA.  This fire truck was built with a Hall-Scott Model #141 engine.  5" bore x 6" stroke, 6 cylinders, Zenith up-draft carb.

We are still investigating the history of this engine model and more information with be added as we find it.  Also they are sending us more photo's.

Below is the story of this truck and builder, sent to us by Mr. Allan Diaz, Firefighter, Fremont Fire Dept.

The builder of the fire engine was Ollie Hirst.  I guess Ollie was short for Oliver.  The production name plate shows O. N. Hirst.  The story that we heard was that Ollie was the Chief's driver and in April of 1906, on the morning of the earthquake, Ollie and the crew extricated the Chief from a collapsed chimney that killed the Chief.  Shortly thereafter, they removed the engines from the damaged firehouse and began fighting fires throughout the city.

He left the city shortly afterward and moved up to Pioneer, in the California foothills, and opened up a mechanics shop.  Around the year 1920, he noticed volunteer firefighters pulling a hose-cart uphill, which inspired him to start building smaller, rural, fire engines.

He had success using Faigol trucks previously and when Mr. Peterman bought the company, he contacted him about acquiring some new apparatus.  Peterman was going to focus on fully enclosed cab logging trucks, which was incompatible with his need for an open cab fire engine.  Peterman also did not have the front-grill and sheet metal fabricated for the new Peterbilt hood assemblies.  Ollie purchase a 1938 Diamond-T front grill and hood/fender assembly and built a fire engine body that matched the streamlined design copied from the "Bullet Steam Trains", very popular during this era.  Three equipment compartments were incorporated to maintain that streamlined look.

The Waterous 500gpm, two-stage, chain-driven pump incorporates a pressure relief valve.  Half of our current fire engines use a similar design.  It also has a small PTO pump off the transmission and a water tank that provides pump and roll capabilities similar to our current wildland engines.

Ollie's small fabrication shop was the "Challenger Fire Equipment Company".  He purchased all six of the Model 200 truck frames that Peterbilt produced.  The Serial # is S100.  S was designated for "Small" or "Special".  The engine shipped from the factory mid-year 1939.  The pump was installed on 7-13-1939 per the nameplate.  It was the first Peterbilt made into a fire engine and the first Peterbilt to ship from the factory.  This claim is substantiated in the book, "Evolution of Class", the history of the Peterbilt Truck Company. 

The author researched the factory records and describes the first truck frame assembly shipped to Challenger and sold to the Centerville Fire DepartmentCenterville was one of the five towns that joined together when Fremont incorporated back in 1956.  The engine was first displayed at the 1939 Pan-American Exposition, San Francisco, at Treasure Island.  The Centerville town council and also the Chief probably saw it at the Expo and purchased it from Ollie at the end of the Expo.
The above five photo's are of a 1947 Pirsch, owned by the Culver City Fire Dept. CA.

This is one pretty truck.
This truck is housed at Station #1, Culver City, CA. and Capt. Heins has taken on the responsibility of getting it back to running order.  This truck was restored a few years back with excellent results.

The engine had a noise, so we checked as much as we could without taking it completely apart.  We found that after all these years, and I don't know how many hours of operation, it was just out of time.  Mark, one of the Capt. Heins' radio engineers, reset the timing and has been redoing the wiring.  Two of the Capt's probees have been cleaning and painting parts and they have done a terrific job bringing this great looking engine back to life.  All on their own time I might add.

Next we'll be checking the brakes, trans and clutch.  The Capt. has promised that we get to go on the first ride, once everything is checked and passed, and you can believe we are going to hold him to it.

The city ordered two of these trucks.  I'm not sure if they came with Hall-Scott's or if this is a repower.  We located the sister truck and are going to see if it's for sale.

Originally this truck had a 10-12" spot light were the bubble light is.

The engine is of course a Hall-Scott, model 470, from the 400 series, back when they still called them by their model number and not the cubic inches.  This engine was made in Berkley, CA.

5 1/2 bore x 6 stroke, 855 ci. 245 HP.  Comp. ratio 5.25 to 1, Max rpm is 2200

This engine runs on a six plug distributor and/or a six plug magneto, single coil.  The carb is a Zenith updraft, 5 choke type.  Counter-clockwise rotation looking at flywheel.

This engine has three oil filters, which is usually a military set up.  It may have been ordered that way from the factory, as that was a option they offered.  And this engine runs on gasoline, at least 73 octane.
(This is one of the big three, model 400=1091 ci. & model 480=935 ci.) 
The top four photo's are of our truck.

1929 American LaFrance Type 285 Straight Pumper #6575

The last one of nine ordered by the LAFD. (There were only nine type 285 pumpers made, all for LAFD.  This is the last of the nine)  Four were straight pumpers and five were triple combinations.

This truck was delivered with a ALF 6 Cyl. 140 HP engine.  Dual fuel tanks behind the driver.
1000 gpm Buffalo single stage centrifugal pump.

The first photo is shot behind the ALF factory in N.Y. right before delivery.  The second photo is how we got it.  The third and forth photos are of the engine.

The engine, a Hall-Scott Model 177 Engine Plate #360180.  Date when built, 4-14-1939.
5 1/2 bore x 6 stroke, 855 ci. Overhead cam, Hemi. 220 HP.  Dual spark plug, six on distributor and/or six on magneto.  Dual Zenith updraft carbs., with heat exchange cross over.

This engine does not have a oil pan.  It has three acsess panels, very simular to the very early Hall-Scott engines.  It also has a aluminum block, which was used a lot in airplane engines.  The look of the engine reminds me of the early look of airplane engines.

This engine was installed as a repower by LAFD in 1942.  (In the early 50's a Tinken series 4200, top loader rear end was installed) 

When we got this truck, it still had the battery charger plug-in connector and no generator.
Because of a loss of complete records, this truck could have been assigned to E-1, E-27, E-41 or E-61 when delivered.  All four of the straight pumpers were delivered at the same time.

This truck is currently being restored and is about half way done. 
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