In 1928, the Grapevine Fire Department introduced a new Model A Ford.
Although long retired, the truck is still the pride of the fire department and is seen throughout the year at special occasions such as the city’s annual Main Street Christmas Parade, Breakfast with Santa fundraiser, fire open houses and neighborhood events.
But time has taken its toll and the truck is badly in need of mechanical and body repairs.
So fire department fans started raising funds several years ago to Save the ’28, with a goal of $10,000.
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“It’s going to fix the fire engine which is really dinged up and needs a new engine,” said Kathleen Thompson, a board member of the Grapevine Citizens’ Fire Academy Alumni.
At a fundraising dinner Friday night, they were told they met their goal.
“We made our goal of $10,000, thanks to dozens of generous donors and event attendees,” Thompson said. “Some wrote large checks. Some elementary school children donated allowance money. And we are grateful for every dollar.”
Outback Steakhouse catered the steak/chicken dinner with two dinner seatings at Fire Station One at 601 Boyd Drive.
Thompson said the restoration efforts are rewarding because the truck is “part of Grapevine heritage.”
When the 1928 Model A Ford was purchased, the only fire station was downtown. The town probably had about 35 volunteer firefighters then.
Now there are five stations and 110 fire and administrative personnel, Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ashmead said.
The truck was retired in the 1950s and began service as a historical piece of fire equipment. The truck was restored in 1977 by the Grapevine High School automotive and body department.
Their efforts were lauded by retired Fire Chief Bill Powers, 84, who has a long and fond history with the Model A, saying, “I’m just an old-fashioned man.”
Added Powers: “I rode on that truck. I used to keep it running, doing tune-ups and whatever else it needed. It’s part of me.”