Shell Rock's 1924 fire truck restored - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shell Rock's 1924 fire truck restored

by Danielle Wagner

SHELL ROCK (KWWL) One town's first fire truck  is now fully restored thanks to many donations and many hours of labor.

It's a 1924 Graham Brothers fire truck.

Several years ago, Shell Rock firefighter Tom Hardy randomly came across this piece of history when he stopped at Ron Saathoff's Auto Salvage.

"He said Tom you gotta see my old fire truck. I said where'd you get that. He said northwest of Clarksville. Right away I said that's Shell Rock's old truck," said Tom Hardy.

Hardy said he knew the truck was sold in 1946 to a farmer northwest of Clarksville, and in the 1980s people even looked for it.

Ron Saathoff agreed to give the truck to the Shell Rock Firefighter's Association. It was brought to the home of Michael Schuldt because he had a body and repair shop.

It sat for several years. Everyone was thinking it was too far gone to restore.

"Nothing moved on it. When we got it everything was frozen. From the brakes to the motor to everything," said Tom Hardy.

"Too far gone, even as optimistic as I am, to repair," said Michael Schuldt. 

But last year, Schuldt lost his job. With more time on his hands, he started working on the truck one piece at a time.

He said pieces stripped from the truck before it was sold began finding their way back home.

Thanks to hundreds of hours from Schuldt and numerous donations, the 1924 truck is almost fully restored.

"I'm pretty tickled just to know it's preserved. It's going to be around for a long, long time. A lot of people are going to learn a lot and be able to enjoy it," said Schuldt.

The truck will be in Shell Rock's Fourth of July parade on Saturday, July 3rd at 10 a.m. After that, it will be on permanent display at the Shell Rock Firefighters Museum.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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