This month’s creation is more of a “project” than a creation – for now. The newest edition to the Moore family is a 1949 Peterbilt model 280 (full VIN number is M506) with its original 470 Hall-Scott gas engine. Thanks to my good friend Jeff Jarzynski (featured a few months back) who sold it to us. I have wanted one for many years, and couldn’t believe it but Cris, my wife, was even on board – she likes it, too. I looked it up, and it showed to be ordered with another one for Van Pelt, a company that built fire equipment.
Van Pelt was a builder of fire trucks, fire apparatus and equipment based in Oakdale, California. They were the largest builder of fire apparatus west of the Rocky Mountains. Building their first fire truck for the city of Oakdale in 1923, Van Pelt went on to build all types of fire-fighting equipment. In 1978, Van Pelt was purchased by FMC, but the Van Pelt nameplate continued to appear on trucks built in Oakdale. In 1987, FMC consolidated their fire truck production in Florida and the Oakdale plant was closed.
Not knowing much about the history of this old rig, I thought I would reach out to my 10-4 readers and fans and ask if anyone could share any information and/or old pictures about this truck. According to Jeff, the truck had been in Nogales, Arizona for at least ten years – that means I have about 57 more years of history to hear about. If you know anything about this old truck, please call me at (913) 484-7768 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to learn more, and appreciate any help or old pics or stories you might have about the rig so we can add them to the scrapbook once we start taking it to the shows.
The truck is missing most of the pump and equipment, so the plans are to modify it. I did some trading for a Reyco air-ride cut-off from a cool COE that Ralph Wise runs locally, which my good friend Mark “Buck” Aufdemberge has already sand-blasted and painted. My friend Kipp at Probilt in Tonganoxie, KS has volunteered to help get to running – I think he really wants to hear it, along with most of my local buddies, as well as my wife and kids. But, between kids, building trucks (work), and all the things going on, it will probably be a slow-go. For now, it’s real cool “yard art” at the Moore house.
You may remember my other non-truck “creations” we have announced over the years. Back in July 2006, we announced the birth of our son Trucker (yes, you read right) on June 11, 2006, and then in September of 2007 we announced the birth of our daughter, Georgia, on August 14, 2007. Georgia came six weeks early, and all my friends tease me that it was my first “creation” ever delivered ahead of schedule! Trucker is now 11 and Georgia will be 10 this month (see photo). Wow, time flies!
Cris and Georgia are excited to throw candy out of the back of the old Peterbilt during local parades and shows, so they have been bugging me about getting it running. I think they just want a place to sit, instead of walking around so much. I grew up at car shows with my parents, and have fond memories of them. In the last few years, in addition to all the truck shows we attend, we have been trying to go to a few more car shows, as well, with “Maude” and my first car. Maude is a 1972 Chevrolet K5 Blazer with its original “Ochra” color, and my first car, which I have owned since I was 13 years old (34 years now), is a yellow 1957 Chevy. Trucker really likes the ‘57 because it gets the most looks, but Georgia likes Maude. Funny how kids are different.
I have to agree with Georgia, Maude is really cool, but I am hoping that this neat old Peterbilt becomes everyone’s favorite once it is rebuilt. Being a Peterbilt fan like I am, I know it will be mine! I hope some of you out there can help me “fill in the blanks” about this old rig, because its history is probably about as interesting and cool as the truck itself, I’m sure! Hey, the “Moore” information, the better, right?!