175th Anniversary Celebration Comes to Hilton Head this Fall

1911 American LaFrance Type 5
Hilton Head Island, SC – The Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival is pleased to welcome American LaFrance, America’s oldest manufacturer of fire, rescue and EMS apparatus, to their 6th Anniversary event this year, November 1 – 4.

Celebrating its official 175th Anniversary this October in Summerville, SC, American LaFrance will carry the festivities down to Hilton Head Island with two of its eighteen historic, fully-restored antique fire apparatus from the American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center in North Charleston to participate in the two-day Quest for Speed & Style display, November 3 – 4, 2007. One of the two apparatus that will be on display is a 1911 Type 5 Double Tank Combination, which was the first real production of an American LaFrance motorized fire apparatus, was easily three times faster than the horse drawn wagon it replaced and was originally built for the Liberty Fire
Company of Reading, PA. The other is a 1935 400 Series which combined style and function and is regarded among many historians as the most beautiful of fire engines. A V-12 engine supplied the power for the 400 Series and the pump was moved from under the seat to just behind the engine.

In addition to the two fire engines to be exhibited directly by American LaFrance’s museum, other fire apparatus slated to participate in this unique Quest for Speed & Style display include: a 1924 American LaFrance currently begin restored and a 1955 American LaFrance open cab from Chief Wendell Wilburn and the Beaufort Fire Department; a 1926 American LaFrance from Chief Tanner and the Georgetown Fire Department; a 1949 Chevrolet Hose Truck from Captain Thad Dixon of the Savannah Fire Department; a 1952 REO Speed Wagon Engine from John Peavy, Sr.; a 1956 Ford Pumper from William (Stony) Blanton; an engine from Chief Graves and the Bluffton Fire Department and a contemporary apparatus from the fleet of the Hilton Head Fire Department.

Additionally, this exhibit within the Quest for Speed & Style show field and sponsored by Memorial Health, Savannah, A’s leading healthcare provider, will display an exhibit of antique ambulances.

For more information on the 2007 Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, visit www.hhiconcours.com or call (843) 785-SHOW (7469).

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