Whalom Park Artifact: 1951 Crosley Fire Truck

Here in New England, the nostalgia effect is very real. Buildings that should be razed survive, artifacts to the past are celebrated, and amusement parks play a very big deal in residents’ perceptions of their past. Whalom Park in Massachusetts was one such place, and this intriguing Crosley firetruck was a fixture as a kiddy conveyor throughout the park. It’s been cosmetically restored and has just 9,000 original miles. Find it here on eBay with a reserve and opening bid of $12K.

Whalom Park died a slow death, facing the reality that it was becoming increasingly outdated as major amusement parks like 6 Flags to the west and Canobie Lake Park to the north threatened its viability. Outdated not only meant its traditional rides were losing its luster but that safety (and lawsuits) were becoming an issue. Following its closure, Whalom gave up some of its artifacts, including antique bumper cars and other carnival paraphernalia that became the stuff of legends for trespassers and treasure-seekers.

This Crosley somehow escaped that fate, and it’s a good thing: with only 9,000 original miles – literally, racked up from driving kids and costumed adults around the park’s grounds – it was an incredible survivor. It was built as an amusement park ride, certainly not as an actual fire apparatus, and it delighted children and guests for years. Whalom Park enjoyed an incredible run as far as amusement parks go, opening in the late 1800s and eventually closing on Labor Day weekend, 2000. The seller is correct that the Crosley’s association with such a historic park is a major selling point.

It’s refreshing to see a restoration that did, in fact, leave some blemishes in place. The paint isn’t perfect in the engine bay, but it has been mechanically refreshed to safely offer rides to guests of the Volo Auto Museum, which is the listed seller. The Crosley is quite rare, as noted by the seller: “….one of just four of this particular model, the Crosley hook-and-ladder truck was built by Overland Amusements of Lexington, Massachusetts.” For a New Englander like myself, it’s hard to resist the history and charm captured in this Whalom Park heirloom.

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  1. healeydays

    Wow, I remember riding on that as a kid.


  2. hatofpork

    I remember Whalom Park!

  3. KawiVulc

    I like it. It’s like something Mickey or Goofy would drive in a Disney cartoon from 60 or 70 years ago.

  4. Scooter

    The shriners should buy this for their parades

    • Jeff

      If I had the money, I’d buy it and donate it to the Shriners.

  5. Beatnik Bedoiuin

    That is very cool! Hope it goes to an appreciate home where it will be driven and not just displayed.

  6. Thomas Monaco

    Rode on this as a child on school field trips twice.

  7. S?Ryan

    Volo museum is a fun to visit. Even have a spot for your wife to spend money. Always have very interesting cars.

  8. David

    Any idea when this was taken out of service? I don’t recall seeing it during the 80s as a kid, nor during the 90s when half the high school population in the area worked there (I didn’t, but I sure did visit a lot!)

  9. Howard A

    Funtown at Capitol Court, Milwaukee, early 60’s I believe had one or rented one.They’d come and pick you up for birthday parties and such. Can you imagine the legal complications this would involve today?

  10. Jay

    My dad was co-owner of the Rose Garden, an ajoined supper club. I am fondly remembering my rides on the back of that truck.

  11. steve

    One of these was used at the Catskill Game Farm near Catskill NY. Based on photos it appears that the Crosley power was replaced by (wait for it….) a 1957 Nash metropolitan…That vehicle appears at old tractor events and so on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7aFZ3_fphs

  12. Mike
  13. Richard Love

    Jay, you were raised in that area. Get it for old times sake.

  14. mikestuff

    Remember drive-in movie theaters? There was one just a few blocks from where I lived as a kid and my mom (and sometimes my dad) loved going there where they could sit and read the paper and my brother and I (and sometimes friends) would play at the drive-in playground.
    The drive in guy had a train-type thing which was free to ride and pulled by a Crosley that had been converted to be able to pull the train part which held maybe 10 kids at a time. And he’d actually let the older kids (me,me,me) sometimes drive it and that was the only reason I’d loved going. The theater lasted until the mid 80s and I took my kids to see Jaws there (my middle son wet his pants he was so scared!). I actually have a claim that this was the only time I walked out of a movie (in this case, drove out) because I hated it so bad. And my wife agreed. This was the movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077523/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_29

    Took me a while before I’d see Clint again. And yes, I know it was “one of the funniest movies ever made…etc”

  15. chrlsful

    I had seen the Metro 1 B4 although this Crosely is only 20 min (@ least Whalom was) frm my current house.
    Speakin of drive ins – there wuz 1 in Braintree (a double screen @ that) that hada surface level trampoline park adjacent. When tired of watchin either screen (some pretty bad movies in the early 60s) from my 1 spot I’d watch the girls over at the 2 doz trampolines. The boomers were in a different economy! Now the millennials R an even larger population bubble than boomers but noneadis stuff has evolved.

  16. stillrunners

    cool….we had a local long haul shipper with one out front with a mini 40 foot trailer on the back…we always wondered what happened to it as the land got developed…

  17. Terry

    I remember having a whale of a time at Whalom. First roller coaster I ever rode was a Whalom. Best fun house was at Whalom.

  18. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $30,100.
    Someone’s nostalgia was heavy.

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