1920 Ahrens-Fox Firetruck
Noted fire truck collector Mark V. Smith, from Staunton, Virginia,
sold this premium pumper to the current consigner, and it has been
in his collection for 20 years. A fine show piece, and rare example
of one of the best of its time.
The original owner, the Minneapolis Fire Department, had this 1920
firetruck in its arsenal for many years. Ahrens-Fox has long since
been considered the Rolls-Royce of firetrucks. They are both
rolling works of art and remarkably capable. This was the best
equipment to have for the firehouse and as such, has become the
envy of collector's worldwide. This beautiful example is being
offered for sale at the Classic Auto Mall.
A large Chromed Priming ball sits above a 4-cylinder pumping
engine. Early firefighting was not only dangerous to firemen
because of the risk of collapsing buildings and being seriously
burnt but was extremely hazardous due to a surge from the pump.
Intense pressure would quickly move the hose allowing the surge to
break arms and wrists, as well as causing facial injuries. With the
Ahrens, the priming ball would store unevenly pumped water, and
once the ball was somewhat full, a steady pressure would be on the
hose, and a solid steady stream eliminating injury from early
pumping engines. This coupled with the invention of a step-down
nozzle, lower pressure with a larger stream was possible. These two
inventions made the fighting with water aspect much safer
A 6-cylinder gas powered internal combustion engine was capable of
taking the truck up to 50MPH. Due to reliability issues, the Ahrens
had built in redundancy. This can be seen on the engine with dual
ignition systems, as well as double spark plugs on each cylinder.
Numerous other systems on this truck were backed up with
redundancy, which made this engine so expensive for the time.
This beautiful and rare timepiece, an item of firefighting
historical significance presents in good condition. Engine does not
run, however with some mechanical tinkering, it will be ready to
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 150 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. A 450 barn find
collection is currently also on display.
This vehicle is in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania,
conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76
Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and
our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for
more information or to come see the vehicle in person.