the Fire Chief always got the coolest car, a '47 Buick Roadmaster nose and chassis

image found on the HAMB

the story about it is better found on Hemmings:
This rebodied 1947 Buick Roadmaster is an example of how volunteer firefighters in parts of New York have cooled off for years: They compete against one another in timed contests of basic hose-and-ladder tasks on lots of warm weekends.

The object is, a team of competitors board a customized vehicle that looks sort of like a fire truck. They line up at a starting line against another team and, on signal, race for 475 feet. The rigs halt, they dismount, and hook a hose to a hydrant before hitting a target with the water stream. Or, throw a ladder against a platform and scramble to the top.

 So on one level, it's a car race. Today's hottest "trucks" are often based on tubular steel chassis originally designed for drag racing or paved-oval Modifieds. One team famously used to use a mid-1960s Corvette body turned around backwards, with the fastback rear window serving as a driver's windshield and the engine bay, less hood, as a hose bed.

Where these contests exist, almost all in New York, they're big, big stuff. Millions were first exposed to firemen's jousts during the 1960s when ABC's Wide World of Sports, which had a top producer living on Long Island, discovered them. Their proximity and low production costs made them staple segments on the program, like figure-eight racing and demolition derbies from nearby Islip Speedway. A Web site specializing in the drills,, lists well over 100 fire companies with drill teams, about 75 percent from Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island.

What we know about this Roadmaster starts with its purchase, evidently as new, by the Runts, drill team of the Flower Hill Hose Company Number 1 in Port Washington, Nassau County, Long Island.

The Roadmaster also lacks a pump, thus its use in laddering contests. It still has a hose bed, oaken panel liners and planks, the latter over steel sheeting. Fire and rescue work requires the most disciplined teamwork. Therefore, firefighter games are a team sport, with a wide, deep rear step on the Buick for the Runts' ladder crew. The Buick powertrain was left almost completely stock, a Dynaflash L-head straight-eight engine, displacing 320 cubic inches and with 144hp and a three-speed manual transmission

the Runts donated the Roadmaster to a smaller fire company in North Creek, New York, a rural area in the Adirondack Mountains that also had a tournament team.

Ron's fire wagon is impossibly rare, a Buick Roadmaster from the 1940s with a history in any kind of motorsport, maybe the first since the one that Lee Petty destroyed at the old Charlotte dirt track in NASCAR's earliest days. Quite the opposite of Petty's, this example is pristine. Devoid of modifications, it might conceivably qualify as the lowest-mileage 1947 Roadmaster extant. The odometer read 17,500 when Ron got it, and it's barely cracked 18,000 miles right now.


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