One of my hobbies is collecting vintage film cameras. I have a whole bunch; I lost count at about 75. I shoot all the ones for which you can still get film. I had film in a 1973 Konica SLR and was wandering around downtown Zionsville, a little town northwest of Indianapolis, when I came upon this great old Ford truck dressed in fire gear.
It advertises a State Farm agent in the village. I suppose that means this post does now, too. We should send this agent our rate card. Or a bill.
But given that this old girl has been so nicely cared for, maybe we’ll just give the agent a pass. I wonder if he drives her in parades. It’d be a shame if he didn’t.
That dashboard is all business, just as a truck dashboard should be. I love the row of matching knobs, although I’m sure it’s impossible to tell them apart in the dark. Let me just turn on the lights–aw crap, there go the wipers.
I think every little boy dreams of driving a fire truck. This insurance agent must never have fully grown up, because here he is, able to live that dream.
That is a beautiful truck.
It reminds me of my Tonka fire truck.
That sure is a nice truck, I wonder how many times it has been painted? I wonder because fire department politics can be a headache at times in regards to equipment.
That first picture is museum quality. Old camera, old truck, superb.
Thanks! I’m especially happy with that shot, myself.
+1, that is a great photo! The truck is not bad, either.
And not to hijack the discussion, but the picture quality from film is something that digital can’t quite replicate. To me, it’s like the difference between vinyl and CD’s.
Fabulous truck and, of course, your photography is always first rate. I’ll bet that the pictures are really great before being digitized for us all to look at here.
Does this big F-500 really have a six under the hood? I always thought that this was Ford-Code – the V8 had “V8” emblems while the six got the little gear with the lightning bolt through it. If I’m right, that old six probably has its work cut out for it moving this big guy around.
Actually, I don’t think I have paid attention to know that there was a Ford F-500 – the newer ones seemed to jump from a F-450 to an F-600.
I almost never have prints made, so all I ever see are scans. I barely even look at the negatives.
Most places that do prints scan the negs and print from the scans. Digital printing is a lot easier (no darkroom needed) and more cost effective than old-style prints that shined light through the negative onto photo-sensitive paper. I know of just one mail-order film processor that still makes old-style photo prints.
Feels to me like the 50s were a time when Ford was sorting out its truck nomenclature.
Jim, I’ve got a whole bunch of film, developed and undeveloped, that needs to be digitized…who do you recommend for processing, and what do you use to scan negatives? Your pics are gorgeous…really captures that great late (afternoon?) Indiana light!
Undeveloped – send straight to The Darkroom, http://www.thedarkroom.com. $10 a roll plus s/h and you get processed negatives and a CD of scans. Developed — I bought myself a scanner and scan them myself – you need one that can handle negatives, like the Epson V600 or V300. Or you can send them to scancafe.com, though I can’t vouch for them.
No F600 currently it is a F650 and there is a F550 available it uses the same hood and grille as the the 450 and smaller trucks while the F650 and F750 use the big rig style tilt front end.
For the longest time the F250 and F350 were the exceptions to the Ford truck nomeclature they had the F100, 250, 350, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900. Then the catalytic converter came along and by giving the truck a slightly higher GVW they could avoid the use of the cat, and to differentiate it they called it the F150 while they kept the F100. The F500 went away after 1977 and the F100 went away after 1983. Then in the late 80’s they decided that they needed a truck between the 350 and 600 and pulled out the old Superduty name so the line up was F150, F250, F350, F-Superduty, F600, ect, though if you looked at the data plate it showed that the truck badged as the F-Superduty was a F450.
Once they decided to split the “commercial” F250/F350 off from the F150 and call all of the Superduty the truck previously called the F Superduty became the F450 and the 600 and up trucks were switched to F650 ect. The F550 made it’s appearance shortly there after. The F800 went away as the sale of the Louisville line to Mercedes included a no compete agreement for class 8 and heavier trucks.
I used to drive an insulated van body 10 tonne Bedford cabover with only a 300 cube petrol 6 it worked fine slow yes I’ll grant that but it went over some pretty steep terrain every week without complaint
Cool truck, it reminds me of the Canadian Fargo (rebadged Dodge trucks sold thru Plymouth dealers in Canada to the early 1970s) http://truckfax.blogspot.ca/2010/06/remember-fargo.html
Also, I spotted on this link at http://www.hankstruckpictures.ca/t_brad_dunkin04.htm a picture of a 1959 mid-size Mercury, back when Mercury-Lincoln dealers in Canada sold Ford trucks badged as Mercury.
Small world. I lived in Zionsville for less than a year after getting married in mid-1977. We moved to Louisville afterward for my first “real” job. That large sign in the last photo looks pretty cheesy for the town that I remember — the village area tried to maintain a classy look. There was even a Rolls-Royce dealer there!
Nice truck and nice photos! It always amazes me that trucks of this era got quad headlights and wraparound windshields, when trucks were almost exclusively used for work, not pleasure. One glance inside told you trucks were all about getting the job done.
The main drag in Z’ville is carefully curated. This is a block off the main drag, where things are a little more relaxed.
Nice pictures, the old camera gives it an extra classic touch.
Two nearby volunteer fire departments restored their late fifties Ford fire trucks.
This is a 1957 Ford F600 with a 239 V8:
And this is a 1959 Ford F600 with a 223 inline-6:
I saw both trucks in the metal, the guys did a great job.
Jim — wait ’til you find the firetruck at the American Legion!