Fire Trucks of the 1960s & 1970s: An Illustrated History

Fire Trucks of the 1960s & 1970s: An Illustrated History

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By Kent Parrish

During the 1960s and 1970s, the fire apparatus industry saw unprecedented revolution, innovation, and parity. The long-admired conventional models gave way to the contemporary archetypes that are the genesis of today's fire trucks.

Most notably, this period saw a ”changing of the guard.” Legendary fire apparatus manufacturers still included the likes of American LaFrance, Mack, Maxim, Pirsch, and Seagrave. However, an aggressive new generation was being led by Pierce, Emergency One, Grumman, FMC, and Salisbury. The new faces of fire apparatus eschewed old-school materials and construction by using aluminum or stainless steel and modular construction, some delivering apparatus in half the industry standard time or sooner.

Whereas the classic manufacturers had been relegated to their standard lines, the new class threw standard out of the window, developing expansive portfolios of fire apparatus for every type of incident imaginable on practically any chassis the customer requested. A new collection of custom chassis-only providers such as Hendrickson, Pemfab, and Spartan also aided smaller body builders into becoming competitive. This new generation was the future of fire apparatus. Parrish covers more than 100 manufacturers and outfitters through detailed captions and more than 300 outstanding images. A ”must-have” for any fire apparatus buff.

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