Ahrens-FoxMX4 Pumping Engine

     This is our 1927 Ahrens-Fox, Triple Combination Pumping Fire Engine.  Back in 1927 there were several fire engine manufactures, but only one true Cadillac of them all, it was the Ahrens-Fox.  According to Hans Halberstadt, author of Fire Engines, "Not every city had an Ahrens-Fox; it was the Dusenburg of the apparatus world during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s" (133).  The Classic Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine was the best of the best, when it came to pumping, "it was a son-of-a-gun to drive," but it was a great pumper (135).  Most commonly recognized for its large chrome ball on the front of the engine, the Ahrens Fox was able to keep a constant flow of water pressure because of this sphere. 

     "The sphere is actually an air chamber that helped 'smooth out' the action of the the piston pump.  Rather than spurting with each movement of the piston, the sphere would help to equalize the pressure for a more continuous, steady and powerful flow of water.  The sphere on some engines has been preserved and represents a truly beautiful work of art that once served as a working part of the most powerful fire engines of the day" (capecodfd.com). 

     Ahrens-Fox Fire Engines are considered one of, if not the, most collectable fire engines available.  Halberstadt writes, "The few, the proud, the Ahrens-Fox piston pumper.  If one of these valuable collectable turns up in a "local municipal auction, you are quite unlikely to snatch it up for a grand or two" (131).  Originally Ahrens-Fox built "steam apparatus but gradually converted to gasoline power as the old technology gave way to the new" (131). 

     Our Ahrens-Fox has an older restoration, but it still remains one of the most beautiful trucks in our collection.  Nearly pristine in every way.  Click here to see a few pictures of the Fire Engine before and during its restoration.

Halberstadt, Hans.  Fire Engines.  2004.

Cape Cod Fire Department, Ahrens Fox.  2005.

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