Historic Marion Fire Truck Revived for Public Events & Fire Prevention Education

MARION, IN: (July 7th, 2016) – After more than a decade of sitting in a garage, a 1930 Marion Fire Truck in the Marion Fire Department’s possession has been revived, thanks to many hours of volunteer labor. City of Marion Mechanic, Kinnie Sollars, and his 13-year-old son, have been devoting time outside of work and school in order to restore the iconic piece of history.

The fire truck was manufactured in Marion in 1930 by Indiana Truck Corporation, a once prosperous company in the automotive industry, one of many that saw a quick rise and fall during the early 20th Century. The truck returned to its birthplace from Buffalo, NY during the Ron Mowery administration and had been restored by mechanics prior to the turn of the 21st Century.

Sollars has been working on the vehicle for approximately 3 months during his free time. He’s repaired and replaced essential parts while preserving the truck’s historic quality. The engine revved up about two weeks ago after the starter was replaced, and since then, Sollars has test-driven it on several occasions.

The truck was first showcased during the First Friday celebration on the riverfront on July 1st, where Chief Williams drove patrons around the block sounding the siren, one of the truck's many original features. “It still needs new brakes and electrical system, and we are raising funds for the needed replacements. For functionality, we still need to raise $500-1,000. Replacement parts that preserve historical character, such as the bell, would likely be much more pricey.” Sollars explained.

The fire truck will be one of many vehicles in queue to symbolize Grant County during the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on September 28th.

Chief Williams said, “I’m so thankful for Kinnie’s hard work, and happy that we can begin to utilize this truck for public engagement events as well as fire prevention education.”

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