Vintage Fire Fighter: 1926 Stewart Pumper Fire Truck

The Stewart Motor Company was another one of those manufacturers who had a brief but shining history, and their specialty was commercial vehicles and trucks. They began producing vehicles in 1912 in Buffalo, New York and continued until manufacturing ceased in 1942. This 1926 Stewart Pumper Fire Truck is typical of the vehicles that they built, and it looks like it would be a great project vehicle. Barn Finder Dave L referred this classic to us, so thank you so much for that Dave. It is located in Easthampton, Massachusetts, and is listed for sale here on Enginads. The owner has not set a price on this beauty but is looking for the best offer.

This is a great old truck, and it comes from an era when Stewart was pretty much at their peak. At this point in their history, they were employing around 650 people and were building heavy vehicles for a multitude of uses. This is by no means the only fire-fighting appliance to carry the Stewart badge, as their vehicles were utilized by a number of different brigades across the country. This one would have been built by Stewart as a cab/chassis. It was then delivered to the Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation, who outfitted it as a Pumper. Buffalo Fire Appliance undertook this type of work from 1922 through until 1927. It isn’t clear exactly what specifications this vehicle would have been built to, but it would have been fitted with one of a number of rotary pumps, ranging in capacity from 350-750 gallons-per-minute. It looks like the pump is no longer fitted to the vehicle, as there is now a tank where it would have been. The rest of the Stewart looks to be complete, and it is remarkably well preserved for its age.

The “cab” area of the Stewart is pretty basic, with a single bench seat available for the occupants. It isn’t clear how complete this is, but given the general state of the rest of the vehicle, there is cause to be optimistic. The dash would have been a fairly flat affair, with gauges arranged in the center section. These would have comprised a speedometer with odometer, and ancillary gauges for oil pressure, amps, water temperature, and fuel. The shift lever would have been a regular floor shift, making this essentially a 2-seater, or three people at a pinch.

Powering the Stewart is a Lycoming 6-cylinder engine (which we don’t get a look at). If it is original, it should be a 224ci flathead engine which produces 25hp. The engine power would then be sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. The owner gives no indication of the mechanical state of the vehicle, so this is an area that is a bit of an unknown. The other mystery surrounds the brakes, at it is entirely possible that this truck may only have brakes on the rear wheels. This was not an unusual feature on Stewart truck of this era, although I’m not sure whether this applied to vehicles that were destined for fire-fighting duties. The other aspect that Stewart emphasized on its trucks of the era was the use of steel Dayton wheels, due to their strength. It appears that this one still wears its Daytons, which is also good news.

I love old fire-fighting appliances, and this one is an absolute beauty. It is a shame that the original pump is missing, but it might be possible to source a replacement through any one of a number of enthusiast clubs or forums. Apart from restoring it for use as a parade or museum piece, I can’t think of what you would do with it. Given the fact that Stewart ceased manufacturing in 1942, and Buffalo Fire Appliance Corporation did likewise in 1948, maybe someone needs to restore this old girl as a tribute to both of those long lost companies.

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Comments

  1. Norustmorestuff

    Close to crapped out mopars, Chevy’s, mustangs. I own a a few cars, and tools. Who? In real life buys a fire engine? For fun, ok. Like the oddball, in the Midwest we have lots of ugly old rust. Cars/trucks, whatever. Have a rust free day!

  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Love to see this one back on the road and doing parades. Even better, I do volunteer work for the Spina Bifida Association. I’ll bet the kids would go bonkers for a ride on this one. We do a yearly thing taking the kids and family out for rides in our Corvettes, that’s an unbelievable hit with them but I bet something like this would even be a bigger one.

    Like 2
  3. Rube Goldberg Member

    Stewart, from what I heard, was a high quality truck, but never gained the steam to be a major player. I believe they missed out on government contracts, important for survival, and never made it out of the war. There’s a big interest for restored fire trucks of this vintage, and there’s a lot of fire departments that have restored antique trucks,( my little town restored a Kissel fire engine) doesn’t have to work, just drive, but they don’t have a lot of money, most of it coming from the fire fighters, so it’s got to be cheap. It’s the newer fire engines that are a tough sell. Some dept. will fix up this old gal.
    BTW, I read IH used Lycoming 224 engines and theirs were rated at 50hp. I saw the early ones had 25 hp, doesn’t sound like much for a 6 cylinder. This truck probably saved a lot of basements,,,

    Like 1
  4. WR Hall

    It does still have a pump, look under the SEAT! It is very obvious!

    Like 2
    • Keruth

      You are correct sir! Driven by the motor, one of the levers is for selecting motion or pumping!
      This would be fun, but better have a longggg garage!

  5. David Conwill

    Probably sacrilege to the fraternity of fire apparatus collectors, but I’m seeing this civilianized as a ramp truck for carrying a speedster. The Museum of American Speed has an open-cap Ford Model TT set up the same way.

  6. WR Hall

    This needs to be left as is or at least restored, There are plenty of better pieces to destroy.

    Like 2
    • Steven E Prange

      Thank You!!

  7. Jeff Wolfe

    Our Dept has our original, purchased new, 1931 Stewart. We use it in parades and for special functions. We also have a 1923 Model T that was purchased new.
    Here’s a photo of both getting ready for a parade:
    https://scontent.fagc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/33868366_2151438975085722_1245089054647648256_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_oc=AQngA9JFJCToVcbv3o5u3TfX7VSsw6F7Hk10VB9Izqv6nKlWaBxDKXouyZezG6JYbeE&_nc_ht=scontent.fagc1-1.fna&oh=8a8e4ad7a6bb9024485b578b0123eb1e&oe=5DCFBD3D

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