Ahrens-Fox can trace its roots back to a company called Latta that built a steam-powered fire engine in Cincinnati in 1852. Chris Ahrens was an apprentice at Latta at the time, and would eventually assume ownership before merging with American LaFrance in 1903. Ahrens, his son-in-law Charles Fox and several other family members then left to form what became Ahrens-Fox in 1910. Ahrens-Fox quickly gained a sterling reputation for its fire apparatus and boasted that it built nearly every part of them at the factory in Cincinnati, even the giant engines. Ahrens-Fox also built very fine horse-drawn fire apparatus, but after 1912 it focused exclusively on vehicles with engines. Often considered the Cadillac of fire apparatus, the Ahrens-Fox is instantly recognizable and highly respected for its innovation and high quality.
This 1930 Ahrens-Fox 500 GPM Model V Fire Engine first went into service with the Falmouth, Massachusetts Fire Department where it served ably for many years. It was subsequently acquired by an enthusiast and who commissioned a complete, meticulous body-off restoration to original specifications that was completed in 2013. The photo-documented restoration was done both to a very high standard and with authenticity in mind, and although the drivetrain had less than 10,000 original miles, it was fully inspected and repaired where necessary. Finished in the correct Ahrens-Fox #1 red lacquer paint, it has 23-karat gold leaf lettering, green trim, black leather interior and new 700 x 20 tires. Lavishly and properly equipped, it has hoses, ladder, siren, spotlight, fire extinguisher, fire helmets, bell, 500-gpm gear pump and an AF pike pole. Ably powered by a YCX-3 Hercules straight-six that is coupled to a Fuller four-speed transmission, this Ahrens-Fox also has a rebuilt brake system ad runs and drives extremely well. Notably, this is a fully equipped fire truck with a commanding presence but is compact enough to fit into a normal garage space. The Ahrens-Fox is the cream of the crop when it comes to vintage fire vehicles, and while many old fire trucks receive a restoration of average quality, this one has received the exquisite, top-notch concours restoration that it deserved.