Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Firetruck Birthday Weekend

We had my daughter's birthday this past weekend. It went well for something we only had a week to plan. Somehow, we miscalculated the weeks that everyone would be avaliable, and in the end, it all worked out. Like the previous year I borrowed my Dad's 1939 ford Bickle fire truck and planned to give the kids a ride. I picked it up on a Thursday, gave the local kids a ride on Friday, checked it at 12:30pm Saturday to make sure it was gonna run smooth (it started up fine) but BLAMMO! at 2:30... Nuthin! Betsy wouldn't start! Ack!
They were excited enough just to be able to climb all over it like ants. As it turns out this is a V8 with a 6 volt battery and it needs mondo juice to turn over. From previous experience my dad has a killswitch for the battery under the dash so that when kids sit in the cab and press all the nice buttons for the siren, wigwag, lighte, spots, etc.. it doesn't kill the battery. In any event, when I flicked the battery back on, all the lights, wigwag, spots, etc.. were all ON and it can't even turn over in that condition. I didn't put two and two together until it was too late. I had killed the battery. No fire truck ride today!

We charged it up and brought it back to the warehouse where they store it on Tuesday night. That thing is a blast to drive(hard though, no power steering back then and you have to double-clutch). Everyone looks at you, people fall off their bikes, stick their heads out of windows, honk horns. Every day is a parade!

Somebody asked me about seatbelts, because this is a historical vehicle (pre world war 2 man!) the only thing is is required by law to have is what they had in it at the time it was in service. So it didn't have seatbelts back then, and doesn't now. The kids ride in the back where the empty hose bed is, it's a pretty safe affair.

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