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Gettysburg's B Model Pumper "general Ike"


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Today I had the chance to take some pics of Gettysburg FD's former Engine 1-1, a Mack B Pumper nicknamed the "General Ike". It was originally red before they changed their color scheme to "slime lime" and white; thankfully they restored it to red clap.gif It was restored by PA Fire Apparatus, which is located in Heidlersburg. I believe it was restored for a private collector who had bought the truck, but hasnt picked it up yet. Enjoy!

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This rig was also there:

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These were all part of a Memorial Day display put out by the owner of PA Fire Apparatus/Lady and Taylor Body Shop, who happens to be the father of Heidlersburg's Fire Chief.

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MB 400

Thanks for taking the Pics' I am glad to see it returned back to Red, it was always a nice truck and unfortunate that they painted it slime lime and then sold it, it should have been updated to maintain it in front line service without the slime lime. There is a similar truck in NJ that has been maintained with new 5" line etc, and can still go on a call.

Firemack

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MB 400

Thanks for taking the Pics' I am glad to see it returned back to Red, it was always a nice truck and unfortunate that they painted it slime lime and then sold it, it should have been updated to maintain it in front line service without the slime lime. There is a similar truck in NJ that has been maintained with new 5" line etc, and can still go on a call.

Firemack

Anyone know where that ex-FDNY scope is from??

TWO STROKES ARE FOR GARDEN TOOLS

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  • 2 years later...

Came across this thread today....Gettysburg's old B85F is mine. Myself and my father-in-law purchased it in 2006 from the GFD. I had been a member there in college up until 2000 and ran many calls on this rig until it was retired in 1998. At retirement it was slime lime with SCBA's, 5in hose, modern engine company equipment and communications capabilities. GFD had no interest in spending the money to keep it in the ready reserve / antique role and it sat from 1998 until 2006 being used infrequently for training. Although I can't prove it 14 years after the fact, I believe that I was on this rig when it went to its last major fire.

The pictures above were from before gold leaf and hose reels being re-installed above the pump area (dunnage area). The truck underwent an 6 year cosmetic restoration and the punch list was finally worked out two weeks ago and the rig in is Florida now. Mechanically the rig was converted to a 6V53 and an Allison automatic in the 1970's and both function strong without need for anything more than a tuning. Converting back to Thermodyne and manual transmission spec's would be cost prohibitive at this point although its not out of the question for the future. Honestly the rig is very driveable with the Detroit in it. In addition, the hose bed was raised in the 1970's to accommodate a 1000-1100 gal tank... The larger tank remains as cutting down the body at this point seemed futile.

Tons of stories and info about this truck... too much to share. Please ask if you have any questions. Attached picture was two weeks ago at Lady & Taylor in Gettysburg (Heidlersburg) during final inspection.

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Ed Smith

1957 B85F 1242 "The General Ike"

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Came across this thread today....Gettysburg's old B85F is mine. Myself and my father-in-law purchased it in 2006 from the GFD. I had been a member there in college up until 2000 and ran many calls on this rig until it was retired in 1998. At retirement it was slime lime with SCBA's, 5in hose, modern engine company equipment and communications capabilities. GFD had no interest in spending the money to keep it in the ready reserve / antique role and it sat from 1998 until 2006 being used infrequently for training. Although I can't prove it 14 years after the fact, I believe that I was on this rig when it went to its last major fire.

The pictures above were from before gold leaf and hose reels being re-installed above the pump area (dunnage area). The truck underwent an 6 year cosmetic restoration and the punch list was finally worked out two weeks ago and the rig in is Florida now. Mechanically the rig was converted to a 6V53 and an Allison automatic in the 1970's and both function strong without need for anything more than a tuning. Converting back to Thermodyne and manual transmission spec's would be cost prohibitive at this point although its not out of the question for the future. Honestly the rig is very driveable with the Detroit in it. In addition, the hose bed was raised in the 1970's to accommodate a 1000-1100 gal tank... The larger tank remains as cutting down the body at this point seemed futile.

Tons of stories and info about this truck... too much to share. Please ask if you have any questions. Attached picture was two weeks ago at Lady & Taylor in Gettysburg (Heidlersburg) during final inspection.

Nice truck! Thanks for sharing!

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Ken

HOF City, PRR Country, and Charter member of the "Mack Pack"

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Anyone know where that ex-FDNY scope is from??

you beat me too it i was gonna say that was an x FDNY rig. You can tell by the strait lines on the canopy cab just above the half doors in the jump seat area.Most of the non FDNY were slanted. My department just replaced our Mack tower ladder last year. We got it in 1985 and as any Mack would it served us well with a slight body refurb back in 2000 all those years. There was probaly 20 of them in service on LI since the 70s and they are all just about gone . Ours was 1 of 2 left in service. Funny thing about it was it would have ran better thru the flood water then our new computerized Seagrave which is a mess now. We had no choice but to use it with about 10 fires during and after the storm

Local 282 Union Service

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Really sharp B-model,thanks for posting! i do have a question,but its about fire engines in general (no pun intended) its been asked on this forum several times,but never answered (at least in my mind) satisfactorally what is the benefit /reason for the open cab? especially the northeast where winter is a factor! i have always wondered about this.....................................Mark

Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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Really sharp B-model,thanks for posting! i do have a question,but its about fire engines in general (no pun intended) its been asked on this forum several times,but never answered (at least in my mind) satisfactorally what is the benefit /reason for the open cab? especially the northeast where winter is a factor! i have always wondered about this.....................................Mark

Ed Smith

1957 B85F 1242 "The General Ike"

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There are many rumors as to why the open cab. There is just as much commentary on the definition of what is open and what is not. Technically this rig would be considered a semi open cab due to the existence of doors. An open cab would have no doors. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers but many of the stories from the old-timers consisted of reasoning that without radios cell phones and even telephones for that matter that an open cab allowed them to smell and see the fire that they were theoretically responding to.

The story with this rig goes a little deeper. Again unconfirmed but it has been told that when the apparatus committee arrived for their predelivery inspection they instructed Mack to cut the roof off so that it would look like a proper fire engine.

Ed Smith

1957 B85F 1242 "The General Ike"

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The open cab is simply tradition. The fire service is very slow to change; "100 years of tradition unbridled by progress" is the unofficial motto of many departments. The original horse drawn apparatus were open and the "new" motorized apparatus were ordered the same.

There are lots of excuses around for open cabs; the visibility is better for size-up, you don't get too comfortable before you get exposed to the weather conditions, they are faster to get into to leave quarters,etc., but it always comes down to one of the fire service's oldest maxims; it's that way because we always did it that way.

The riots of the late 60's were the death knell of open cabs when members found themselves to be an easy target for rioters that threw bricks, fire bombs, etc. For at least a decade after the riots many improvised plywood roofs could be found on rigs and manufacturers started making fiberglass roofs to enclose the open cab rigs as well.

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Money, sex, and fire; everybody thinks everyone else is getting more than they are!

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When you think about the old horse drawn wagons, most of them were completely open vehicles. Likewise, early automobiles and trucks weren't

much more than an open wagon with a gasoline engine. Like their civilian brethern, early fire trucks were open to the elements but unlike civilian

vehicles fire trucks, for the most part, stayed with the open cab design. Mack built the first completely enclosed cab in 1935 for Charlotte, NC.

Seagrave later built similar models for Detroit but until the 1970s the enclosed cab did not catch on with the fire service. Like fxfymn says, the fire

service does not like to rush into any changes. There were all kinds of reasons why an open cab was needed and I guess at the time they made sense

to those involved.

When I joined the fire department we had coupe style "B" model engines. The driver and officer rode in the cab away from the elements but the firefighters

rode the rear step. We had a large district and there were many long runs on the back step in the rain, snow, wind, cold, etc. Probably was a good idea for

the driver to be out of the elements. Anyway, it was when I was a lot younger and I would not trade those memories for anything.

bulldogboy

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There was one other element to the open cab that I forgot to mention; the cost was usually lower because they were the standard cab for most builders. Mack's standard cab was an open cab, you paid more for a semi-open cab or a closed cab.

Having spent a fair amount of time riding and driving semi-open cabs I'm glad we finally realized what the rest of the world knew for at least 50 years; a roof over your head in the rain and snow is better. We finally had enough sense to come in out of the rain! It only took us another 25 years to figure out that four doors and seats with heat and air conditioning were even better yet.

I am not the least bit nostalgic for riding tailboards or open cabs. They were dangerous and uncomfortable and I'm glad we don't have to do it anymore.

Money, sex, and fire; everybody thinks everyone else is getting more than they are!

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