Antique Fire Truck Finds New Purpose

Friendly Wheels, Issue 80
October 2014

With Amigo owner Jimmie Dobson

For Amigo owner Jimmie Dobson, there is no such thing as too many fire trucks. 


After serving as an assistant fire chief in the 1940s, Dobson fell in love with the sounds of sirens and the ideology of being a fireman. Since then, he has collected more than 12,000 antiques and collectibles, including toy trucks and more than 60 full size fire engines. The collection is housed in his Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum in Bay City, Michigan.


Though each piece is special in its own way, one piece has serves a greater purpose-- the 1937 Seagrave Safety Sedan Pumper. The Seagrave was used up until 1967 by the Detroit Fire Department.


The rig surpasses its more modern counterparts in carrying our fallen heroes, because it is lower to the ground than current ladder trucks.


The vehicle has carried 11 firefighters to their final resting place, and contains a special plaque inside, proudly displaying an engraving of each name."The Seagrave provides a final ride for these firefighters that is easily accessible and a beautiful tribute to the firefighting heritage," Dobson said.             


Dobson first became an Amigo owner when Founder Al Thieme donated a specialized Amigo to the museum in 2010. It is no surprise that Dobson's Amigo is fire engine red with pinstripe detailing and other fire truck accessories. Dobson can often be found giving tours of the museum while riding his custom Amigo.


Although Dobson's one-of-a-kind Amigo is always on display at the museum, he donated the Michigan Fallen Firefighter's Memorial Rig to the Detroit Firemen's Fund Association in 2004. Recently, the Seagrave was back in Bay City to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the museum. Depending on the public response, the truck may have an extended stay. 


Yfat Yossifor for

Once the Seagrave returns to the Detroit Firemen's Fund Association, it will continue its mission of honoring fallen firefighters. "It's now a part of a permanent foundation that will protect it and maintain it for generations to come," Dobson said. "It's serving a greater purpose and that makes me proud to have been part of something like this."


To learn more about the museum or to arrange a visit, please call (888) 888-1270, or click here to visit the museum's website.



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