1928 Leyland 48/60hp Model FE2 Fire Engine with Ajax Escape  Chassis no. 11813

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Lot 14
1928 Leyland 48/60hp Model FE2 Fire Engine with Ajax Escape
Registration no. CH 7699 Chassis no. 11813

Sold for £ 7,382 (US$ 9,885) inc. premium
1928 Leyland 48/60hp Model FE2 Fire Engine with Ajax Escape
Registration no. CH 7699
Chassis no. 11813
Leyland introduced the Model FE2 specifically for fire-fighting services in 1921 and such was the success of the model that this design remained in production until 1930. It was powered by a four-cylinder, cast in pairs, side-valve engine with a quoted horsepower rating of 48/60hp and power was transmitted via a four-speed gearbox. Although pneumatic tyres were a later option, solid tyres remained the popular choice and when this chassis left the factory in August 1928 it was so equipped.
It was ordered new by British Celanese Ltd for service at their Spondon factory, near Derby, and Braidwood coachwork was commissioned with John Morris & Sons, Fire Engineers of Manchester, providing the 50 foot Ajax fire escape. CAV electrical equipment and Leyland Rees roturbo pump were fitted and steel artillery wheels were standard. The complete engine as delivered to British Celanese Ltd was featured by Leyland in their advertisements in Fire Magazine in 1928/1929.
CH 7699 was to remain in active service with British Celanese at Spondon until 1954, remaining in their ownership as a showpiece until 1967. It was acquired by the present owner and her husband in 1969 and participated in the HCVC London to Brighton Run in 1972 and the Transpennine Run in 1971. It was subsequently used in various parades and rallies including the Lord Mayor’s Parade in Sheffield during the 1970’s and 1980’s. In 1990 it was placed on exhibition in the Sheffield Fire & Police Museum. During the period 1990 to 1994 the engine and water pump were stripped and rebuilt and in 1999 the electrical wiring was refurbished as necessary. Later that year CH 7699 left the museum for the bodywork and escape ladder to be coachpainted in traditional red livery in the South Yorkshire Fire Brigade workshops, including the application of gold leaf and correct sign-writing. In its splendid new livery CH 7699 returned for exhibition in the Sheffield Fire & Police Museum. The engine has not been run in recent years and following a period on display this vehicle will need the usual gentle recommissioning. This magnificent engine – undoubtedly the ‘Best of British’ in every respect - is offered with a Swansea registration document, old style log book and documentation relating to refurbishment in recent years.


(Bonhams acknowledge the kind assistance of volunteers at the Sheffield Fire & Police Museum.)
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