ALF - 900 Series

alvin201

Firefighter
I think ALF billed this turbine engine powered model as the "Turbo Chief", and their ads featured one lettered for SFFD.
 

GA_Dave

Assistant Chief
There were three Turbo Chief apparatus built in 1960-1961. The first was a 100' tractor-drawn aerial for Seattle, currently being restored. Next was a pumper for San Francisco, then the Mount Vernon rig. In 1972, ALF built another Turbo Chief. This one was powered by a Detroit Diesel/Allison GT-404 gas turbine, also rated at 325 Hp. After a lengthy demonstration run, it was converted to diesel power and sold to a California FD.
 

Engine33Truck

Assistant Chief
Keyser, WV
Keyser VFD
Engine 33-11
1960 American LaFrance 900
Original specs: 750/300 (tank was later upgraded to a 500 gwt)
Also originally topless and had a revolving light dome that only rotated 45 degrees (if anyone knows the model, please tell me. I think we have it still somewhere). Also originally had a gas engine, which was later replaced with a Detroit (I think a Series 60), she sounds wonderful and runs like a champ.

The ALF 900 series has always been my favourite model of fire apparatus. Classy and mean, this girl is a battlewagon, and I'd guess that all other 900 series rigs are like that. My dream is to purchase this girl when we retire her and remove the hideous roof and lightbar, get rid of that ugly tank upgrade, repaint her, put the original fittings (or identical ones) on, polish the Sireno and bell, and replace all the hose with leather lined/brass coupling hose.
 

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Engine33Truck

Assistant Chief
wetgloves said:
Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department, Scottdale, PA.
1965 American Lafrance bought new by the dept. in '65. Truck was in-service until approx. 2004 when it was put on reserve status. Officallt retired in late '08.
We still have the truck, no used for the typical parades, shows, weddings, funerals etc. A few of us have the goal to try to get her back to as original as can be, in due time, I guess.
This truck was a featured " centerfold" of the book 'Great American Fire Engines' and Corgi also mad a model of her.
Below are a few pictures. I have more if anyone wishes to see them.
first one is from the book, although my picture isn't the greatest, followed by the 1st place trophey she won for her class at the 2005 Penna. State Firemans Convention, and last from a local parade I took her to last summer.
I've been drooling over these pictures of this rig, LOL. One question, does that Sireno on the first picture seriously have a clear lense or did I look at the picture wrong? I've never seen a Sireno with a lense like that before!
 

boardmansteve

District Chief
Engine33Truck said:
I've been drooling over these pictures of this rig, LOL. One question, is that Sireno on the first picture seriously have a clear lense or did I look at the picture wrong? I've never seen a Sireno with a lense like that before!
That would be a missing lens, not a clear one.
 

wfdstation42

Firefighter
The light your 900 originally had was probably a Federal Signal "Super" Beacon Ray. They oscillated 95 degrees instead of rotating and were seen regularly on the original Hawaii 5-0 cop cars.
 

brucobuff

Assistant Chief
Engine33Truck said:
Keyser, WV
Keyser VFD
Engine 33-11
1960 American LaFrance 950
Original specs: 750/300 (tank was later upgraded to a 500 gwt)
Also originally topless and had a revolving light dome that only rotated 45 degrees (if anyone knows the model, please tell me. I think we have it still somewhere). Also originally had a gas engine, which was later replaced with a Detroit (I think a Series 60), she sounds wonderful and runs like a champ.

The ALF 900 series has always been my favourite model of fire apparatus. Classy and mean, this girl is a battlewagon, and I'd guess that all other 900 series rigs are like that. My dream is to purchase this girl when we retire her and remove the hideous roof and lightbar, get rid of that ugly tank upgrade, repaint her, put the original fittings (or identical ones) on, polish the Sireno and bell, and replace all the hose with leather lined/brass coupling hose.
Here's a photo of it with the original bubble light
V. McLaughlin photo, Jenkins collection
 

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brucobuff

Assistant Chief
wetgloves said:
Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department, Scottdale, PA.
1965 American Lafrance bought new by the dept. in '65. Truck was in-service until approx. 2004 when it was put on reserve status. Officallt retired in late '08.
We still have the truck, no used for the typical parades, shows, weddings, funerals etc. A few of us have the goal to try to get her back to as original as can be, in due time, I guess.
This truck was a featured " centerfold" of the book 'Great American Fire Engines' and Corgi also mad a model of her.

I was lucky to shoot this in 1993, and was very impressed! I have 3 books with photos of this rig.
Warren W. Jenkins photo
 

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mgk110

Captain
Pittsburgh E14 ex E1. Replaced at E1 by an 81 Ford/Grumman then assigned to E14 until replaced by an 86 Pierce Dash. It was the only closed cab 900 on the roster and the only red over white rig until the 86 Dash's were delivered. The story (unconfirmed but reliable) is that US Steel bought the 900 for the city due to the construction of the US Steel office building downtown. Originally ordered by a dept. in Texas but never delivered there.

Credit to the photographer
 

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Open Cab Mack

Firefighter
This ALF was an emergency purchase by the City of Pittsburgh due to the Beacon Warehouse fire. At that fire, they lost an engine. This was purchased and placed in service at Engine No.1 downtown. It also was the first diesel apparatus in the city.
 

mgk110

Captain
Don't know the current whereabouts of it. It was replaced in 1986 by a Pierce Dash. I don't recall seeing it ever as a reserve piece.
 
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