Mike’s fire truck restoration blog!

Posted in Fire 32 History on January 4, 2009 by mikefire32

Welcome to my fire truck restoration blog. This is a new venture for me; although I have built several websites, this is my first time to blog.

I am restoring an old fire truck, which I refer to as Fire 32. This was the vehicle’s designation when it was placed in service in 1965. The fire truck was designed by my father, who was a Mechanical Engineer by profession and a volunteer fire chief by default. As an engineer who designed saw mills, he saw things in the fire service different than most people in the early sixty’s. The design of the truck was easily 30 years ahead of its time.

The fire department was the Happy Valley Fire District #65, which covered the unincorporated areas of Happy Valley, Sunnyside and Rock Creek. The fire district would eventually become part of Clackamas County Fire District #1, which is now one of the largest districts in the state of Oregon. 

I need to clarify something now, as it could later confuse you without an explanation. There were two identical trucks when they were delivered, Fire 32 and Fire 33, but they were destroyed in a wreck in July of 1968. The cab of one truck was removed and placed on the front of the other to make one complete truck. I will go over the wreck in more detail in later posts.

The rebuilt truck remained in the fire district until 1981, when it was sold to the City of Soldotna, Alaska. I purchased the engine in the fall of 1998 and have worked on it on and off over the last ten years. In recent months I have picked up the pace with the hopes of having it back on the road within two years.

The purpose of the blog is to tell you about this unique piece of firefighting equipment, and to bring you along on my journey to get it back to original condition. It will not be a frame-off restoration, as that is simply not feasible on a vehicle this large and complex. I am, however planning to make it as close to the way it was when it first went in service.

I am preparing to launch a new FIRE 32 website, but until then, you can go to the following link to read the history: http://www.pnwspaamfaa.com/Fire_32_1.htm

Here is a picture of Fire 32 when it went into service in July of 1965


Here is a picture of the engine when it left for Soldotna in 1981


Here it is today with most parts removed and work being done