Being a kid who grew up in 1970s India has some long lasting repercussions. The lack, or rather absence of good toys and toy shops meant that I still get excited like a four year old when I enter a toy shop now. A visit to the Hamley’s in one of the malls that now dot India is still like a pilgrimage. I was on a work trip to Moscow and looking to buy some toys for my daughters aged 7 and 3. My excitement level was pretty high and once I had finished with selecting two dolls for them, I decided to give a look to the other sections. Like a programmed robot I moved to the model cars section. There my eyes fell on a beautiful vintage fire engine. I decided to pick up one. Then I decided to pick up one more and then one more till my brain started sounding the baggage weight limitation alarm. Well, I still ended up with three of these beauties.
The one I am talking about today is the 1924 Stutz Model C. The Stutz Motor Company was founded by Mr Harry C Stutz in 1911 at Indianapolis as the Ideal Motor Car Company. It was renamed as the Stutz Motor Company in 1912. The company was famous for building fast and sporty cars. Once Mr Stutz was forced out of the company after falling off with his investors in 1919, he founded the Stutz Fire Engine Company. Quality of these fire engines was very high and they were considered one of the best in business. The company built a number of models in the 1920s. In 1924 Harry C Stutz left the company to concentrate full time on his new car company. Despite having excellent products, the Stutz Fire Engine Company ceased production in 1929.
Stutz fire engines had a reputation for durability, quality and serviceability. The model C could pump water at the rate of 750 gallons/ minute (2,839 litres/ min). This pumping capacity was achieved thanks to a rotary gear pump. The hoses were carried on wooden slat beds and it had a wooden steering wheel. They carried wooden truss ladders for reaching higher floors and for rescuing people trapped in upper levels.
These trucks were powered by a six cylinder inline 120 HP petrol Wisconsin T Head Type P engine which was placed in the front and drove the rear wheels through a manual transmission.