Lot #657 - While accounts vary, at some point in 1911, the Four Wheel Drive Auto Company was founded by Otto Zachaw and William Besserdich. Since the majority of roads were surfaced with dirt and gravel during this time, rugged and purpose-built trucks were required for many tasks. In response to this requirement, the duo produced heavy-duty 4-wheel drive vehicles for a wide variety of applications. In 1914, FWD built its first fire truck, with production continuing under the marque into the 1990s. In 1916, Besserdich, armed with patents for his transfer case and front axle designs, left FWD to form the Oshkosh Truck Corporation. Nonetheless, FWD soldiered on, expanding into military truck production during World War I and was quite successful over the years. Renamed FWD Corporation in 1960, it acquired Seagrave Fire Apparatus, the oldest manufacturer of fire equipment, in 1963. The combined entity, known today as Seagrave Fire Apparatus, boasts operations in Canada and the United States, and remains a premier supplier of fire trucks to many customers throughout the world. The interesting FWD Pumper Fire Truck presented here was built in 1950. Fire engines in general are rarely driven, used for the occasional parade and of course, to fight fires. While very little is known of its service history, this particular example is believed to have last seen action in Nebraska during 1973. It's powered by an inline six-cylinder engine, utilizing two spark plugs per cylinder, in tandem with a 5-speed manual transmission and FWD's trademark 4-wheel drive system. This truck retains an index box containing the locations of all residents and businesses in its area in Nebraska, including directions to the nearest available water source for each location.
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