1922 Model TT / LaFrance
|1922 Ford Model TT / 1924 LaFrance Chemical & Hose Wagon|
|Builder||LaFrance-Foamite of Canada, Toronto, Ontario|
|Type||LaFrance Type "E" Chemical & Hose Wagon|
|Equipment||Twin chemical tanks, hose & ladders, at least 2 extinguishers|
|In Service From||1924-1944|
This is the primary showcase of DFFHS: The Model T
Purchased new in 1924 by City of Duncan, the Model T was the first commercial fire apparatus for Duncan VFD. Purchased from an agent working at Duncan Garage, this chemical & hose wagon served DVFD for 20 years before it was superceeded by a McLaughlin-Buick during World War II.
The arrival of this truck also marked a new fire hall in the city, as the fire hall on Canada Avenue was freshly converted from a barn, and became the new home of the fire department.
Not everything was "good times" however; the "T" did not come clean with problems, as full loads (4 men, and all the necessary firefighting equipment) almost made the truck inmobile, effectively rendering it's usefulness to a brick on wheels at times. Its services were drastically reduced to "second-truck out" once the 1928 Graham was purchased by selling one of the previous Ford motor car conversions that served alongside this truck in order to gain a new primary vehicle. Such services now offered by the "T" was to bring additional hose to scenes, along with towing hose reels which was already the norm prior to 1928.
The truck was quietly taken out of active service in 1944 (then retired completely by 1949), its services were slowly being replaced by the recently constructed truck that was acquired by the "Cowichan Protection Comittee" in 1942: a late 1920s McLaughlin-Buick which had been converted to a fire truck by the Comittee for wartime protection (which was later transfered to the city from the comittee after the war). The "T" however, did not leave department ownership at that time, as the chassis was later used for parade floats until 1954 when the "T" finally left the department.
The Model T, as found in 1977 in Deerholme (Glenora), B.C.
After it was sold in the mid 1950s, it found its way to Gerald Wellburn's farm (of BC Forest Museum fame), as it was discovered in 1977 sitting in the farm, in a derelict shape. Members of the DVFD sought to restore it, and had finished restoring the truck by 1984. The "1st restoration" lasted from 1984 to 2007.
The Model T (first restoration) in 1997, partaking in a hose relay event Evolutions '97, Duncan, B.C.
A minor restoration in 2007 resulted in several changes to the truck, such as lowering the seat and moving the ladder to the left side of the truck, as well as a refresh in paint.
Since 2018, DFFHS has been engaged in refreshing the drivetrain of the Model T, our crew has experienced a few time-consuming problems during this period. The Ruckstell rear axle was pulled and rebuilt however that did not make the vibration go away so the engine/transmission assembly was removed from the chassis and received new parts. The clutch parts did not swap well from the donor transmission and the engine/trans was once again uninstalled.
On this round of refresh, the water jacket in the block was rusted badly and the headbolt threads done for. It was decided to purchase another unit from a collector in Ladysmith. This engine is a 1925 Canadian block and we are in the process of starting it for the first time. ETA to completion changes every passing day.