SOHS Fire Engine

Welcome to SOHS's account of our Amphibious Fire Engine. It provides the history of the fire engine, and the SOHS all-volunteer effort to restore the fire engine so it can ride again!  Please use this link to view photos of the restoration process. 
SOHS fire engine logo SOHS's Amphibious Fire Engine

The Southern Oregon Historical Society’s “amphibious” fire engine was ordered new by the City of Ashland early in 1946, but with postwar shortages, delivery took nearly a year. The Ford truck chassis was converted to a fire pumper by the Howard Cooper Company at their Portland factory. It then served Ashland for nearly thirty years before being sold as surplus to a private party. The fire engine acquired its unusual nickname during a flood in January of 1948. Firefighters placed the engine on the bridge at the entrance to Lithia Park. While they were preparing to pump out the basement of… more

Jacksonville Christmas Parade 2021 Amphibious Fire Engine

Christmas Parade, reported by Ben Truwe

Jan 12 2022 - 5:49am

Image removed.A few months ago, organizers at Jacksonville e-mailed to ask if the Amphibious Fire Engine could perform as Santa Claus' sleigh in their Christmas parade. This makes two years in a row. It could become a tradition.

            The Jacksonville Christmas parade kicks off the shopping… more

Mike and Nora Trump Amphibious Fire Engine 2

Water pumps, steering and wires

May 9 2018 - 9:12am

Our new water pumps arrived Saturday. Unfortunately, though we received boxes properly labeled for a left-hand and right-hand 1946 Ford water pumps, inside one of the boxes was a 1953 water pump. Oh, joy. The dealer says the replacement should be here next Monday.

We--Phil, Paul and Ben--replaced the right-hand pump without any particular trouble; with luck we'll be able to replace the left-hand pump next Tuesday.

With our remaining time we took a collective deep breath and removed our worn steering… more

fire engine repairs Amphibious Fire Engine 3
  • Progress Report, 10/10/17

    Oct 11 2017 - 9:02am

    Image removed.We’re making progress on the Fire Engine

    Brakes have been overhauled.  Radiator has been re-cored and ready to be mounted once we get the motor running.  We have poured some “Marvel Mystery Oil” in the engine and cleaned and… more

fire engine first visit Amphibious Fire Engine 4