In 1927 the town of Washburn, Illinois was looking to acquire its first motorized fire vehicle, and in its search contracted with the Obenchain-Boyer Company of Logansport, Indiana to build up an apparatus to its specifications on a six-cylinder Reo Speed Wagon chassis. The rig had a Hale pump capable of 400 gallons per minute, two 40-gallon chemical tanks and 150 feet of chemical hose. It spent twenty years in service with the Washburn Community Fire Department and many more under the department’s care. It was declared surplus in the 1970s and used by its next owner primarily for parades before going into long-term storage. The rig was then brought to the attention of a local group dedicated to the preservation of motorized fire vehicles in 2009, and underwent a full, thorough restoration that is still fresh and beautiful.
This fascinating Reo, bodied by Boyer, is a fine, usable and fun vehicle complete with all the necessary equipment expected of an antique fire truck. Finished in the appropriate shade of red with gold leaf script and black upholstery, it is loaded with a siren, bell, spotlights, axes, tools, fire extinguishers and even a broom. It has all the charm and presence that make it perfect for parades and display, but also is compact enough to fit in a normal garage space. It has been used sparingly since its restoration was completed. From the gleaming paint and wide array of equipment to the attractively detailed engine bay, all is gorgeous and it runs and drives wonderfully. Thanks to its beautiful condition and open cab layout, this lovely and genuine classic fire truck would be a star at either parade or show.