Lot 5

1924 Ford Model TT Fire Truck

Coachwork by Waterous

Register to Bid


$40,000 - $60,000| Without Reserve



Car Highlights

Unrestored Example of a Period-Built Ford Fire Engine

Delivered New to the Kirkwood Fire Department of Illinois

Documented by Copies of the Original Waterous Build Records

Technical Specs

177 CID L-Head Inline 4-Cylinder Engine

Single Updraft Carburetor

20 HP at 1,600 RPM

2-Speed Planetary Gearbox

Braking by Contracting Band in Transmission and Driveshaft Brake

Front Solid Axle with Transverse Leaf Spring

Rear Live Axle with Transverse Leaf Spring

As roads were paved across rural areas of the US, purpose-built trucks became an increasingly common sight around American farms and factories. To compete with specialized truck manufacturers, the Ford Motor Company introduced the Model TT in 1917. Based on the standard Model T, but featuring a longer wheelbase, lower gear ratio, stronger worm-drive axle, and heavy-duty chassis, the Model TT was officially rated at one short ton. Initially offered as a chassis only, without a cab or body, the Model TT served as the foundation for many specialized commercial applications as demonstrated by the wonderful period fire truck presented here.

One of the most famous names in American firefighting equipment, the Waterous Fire Engine Works Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, offered a “motor propelled, triple combination fire engine” built on the Model TT chassis. In fact, the company’s own advertising boasted of the many advantages to using Ford underpinnings:

“‘The power plant,’ and in fact, the entire ‘chassis’ (one-ton, latest Model T, worm gear drive, truck, on which the apparatus is mounted) is standard Ford Motor Company equipment, with its established reputation for reliability and dependability. This fact makes available the local ‘Ford Service’ of your town, obviating in the years to come, all occasion for sending for parts or replacements, and insuring you at all times the prompt service of a mechanic who ‘knows his engine.’”

As documented by copies of the original Waterous build records, this Model TT Fire Truck was originally delivered to the Kirkwood Fire Department of Illinois in January 1925. Recorded as a Size W-1, Type C3 model, this Waterous-Ford Motor Fire Engine was originally equipped with a specially designed Waterous type pump (patented 1917), a chemical tank, Sterling hand-cranked siren, as well as typical firefighting tools of the era – ladders, hoses, axes, and lamps.

Preserved in remarkably original condition, with much of its period firefighting equipment and lettering still intact, this Model TT joined Mark Smith’s comprehensive Ford collection in 2019, when he purchased it from a collector near Peoria, Illinois – less than 100 miles from where it was delivered in 1925. Proudly displayed ever since in the main showroom window at Mr. Smith’s Midland Motors museum in Lynchburg, Virginia, this unrestored Ford fire truck is an utterly charming and likely unrepeatable piece of prewar Americana.

*Please note that this Lot, like all vehicles in this Auction, has been in long-term static storage and may not be currently operational. It will require mechanical attention prior to any road use.

Gooding & Company presents and conducts the Estate of Mark Smith Auction under the authority of John J. Rendemonti, Executor of the Estate of Mark J. Smith, duly appointed by the Circuit Court of the State of New Hampshire, Probate Division, Case Number 312-2022-ET-00072. The Estate has compiled available title and/or registration paperwork for the Vehicles offered in the Auction and will provide such paperwork to the Buyer if it is available. However, as set forth more fully in the Conditions of Sale, neither the Estate nor Gooding makes any representation or warranty with respect to any existing certificate of title or registration with regard to any Lot in the Auction. Any Lot may be sold on a Bill of Sale. By participating in this Auction, all bidders and buyers recognize that Estate and Gooding have expressly disclaimed all such warranties concerning the availability or sufficiency of any title or registration documentation.


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