The first truck with a ladder and chemical liquid tank, able to serve as a firetruck, was the 1915 Ford Model T, with a Runabout body and equipped with American La France equipment. Very successful against small fires, these vehicles were later produced specifically as firefighting trucks for Ford in Ohio under the brand name “Prospect Fire Engine Company”. Prospect’s “Deluge” was the most popular fire apparatus of the day. In 1919, a 1 Ton, long chassis Model T without doors and windshield with full firefighting equipment started working in Ford’s Highland Park factory firefighting department with a Runabout body.

In 1917, a “Model T” chassis was extended to begin Ford’s truck manufacturing operation. In 1920, Ford’s 1 Ton capacity trucks were named “TT”, short for T-Truck or Ton-Truck. The 1919 Prospect Model SL, equipped with Deluge equipment capable of pumping 250 gallons of water per minute, was optionally fitted with pneumatic tires and high-speed rear axle. In 1924 Ford attached a hose trailer with gun carriage wheels to its firefighting trucks.

Purchased in the United States and currently the only truck in our Museum, this 1947 model is from a series which actually began production in 1942. The light-duty models were called the “Tonner”, the conventional cab models were named the “Regular” line and the cab-over-engine truck models, with the engine below the cab, were named the “C.O.E.” line. Widely used in wartime, this body’s most commonly produced chassis with 158 inch wheelbase and 1.5 Ton capacity was manufactured also in 2 Ton and 2-speed differential models. With larger rear tires than the front and heavy-duty 18 rear leaf springs (including 6 stiffening truss), most of these vehicles, including the 798T here, were used as fire apparatus.


  • Make Ford
  • Model 798T
  • Model / Body Number Regular, Type 81
  • Body Style 1,5 Ton Chassis, Fire Fighting Truck
  • Year 1947
  • Origin U.S.A.
  • Passenger Capacity 3


  • Engine Model 79 V8, L-Head, Gasoline, 239 cu. inch, 100 bhp, 3800 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 3.19 x 3.75 inch
  • Compression Ratio / Torque 6.75:1, Maximum Torque 180 pound-feet, at 2000 rpm
  • Transmission Manual, 4-speed, floor shift
  • Body / Frame Steel, U-channel
  • Suspension Front, Rear Semi-elliptic leaf springs
  • Electrical System 6 Volt, 120 Ampere
  • Brakes Vacuum-Boosted, 4-wheels drum
  • Wheelbase 158 inch
  • Overall Length 256 inch
  • Overall Width 90 inch
  • Overall Height 80 inch
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 15,000 lbs
  • Tires Front 7.50 x 20
  • Rear  8.25 x 20