#5, Big Lizz


Magnificent original Ahrens-Fox CT4 Triple Pumper! Very rare 1 of approximately 5 built featuring a massive 935ci Inline 6 cylinder valve-in-head engine and 6 piston front pump capable of moving 1,000 gallons of water per minute! Iconic fire trucks built with precision by the hands of Cincinnati craftsmen and used all over the world, including Tokyo, Japan! Known collectively among enthusiasts as the Rolls-Royce of fire trucks. Exceedingly rare to find today, especially in original, operable condition like this! What an outstanding piece of history!!

Horse-drawn steam powered fire pumpers were the standard fire fighting apparatus of the late 19th Century, almost all of them using boiler technology patented by Charles Fox of Cincinnati, Ohio. Chris Ahrens began building fire apparatus in 1870, forming Ahrens Manufacturing Company in 1875. By 1910 the company had become known as Ahrens-Fox and continued to build from their Cincinnati, OH facility. In 1919 the company introduced and patented the first modern triple-combination, self-propelled pumper. While other manufacturers used centrifugal or rotary-type pumps, Ahrens-Fox preferred a 4-cylinder piston pump which was well proven in the field and widely known and accepted by fire departments. Ahrens-Fox, perhaps reflecting Charles Fox’s experience as a fire fighter in Cincinnati, became known for the high quality of its apparatus. Their last example was delivered in 1952 to Hope Hose Company #1 in Tarrytown, New York.

We are very proud to present “Big Lizz”, this 1933 Ahrens-Fox C-T-4 triple pumper fire truck! This timepiece is unrestored and still finished in its original livery from the Covington fire department! Powered by its original 935ci Inline 6 making about 210 horsepower with 3-speed manual transmission, this fire truck makes plenty of torque to run its 1000 gallon per minute 6-piston pumper attached to the front! This unrestored truck features a lot of features, options and accessories including Ahrens-Fox emblems throughout, twin primary pump hoses, two auxiliary hoses, two wooden ladders, cowl lights, rear wind-up hose bin with reel, Ahrens-Fox step plates, passenger side spotlight and bell, extra hose, fold down windshield, two extinguishers (Dayton and Alert), extra nozzle, Y coupler, spear picks, several storage bins and more!

This outstanding unrestored example was delivered new to the Covington, Kentucky fire department right across the Ohio River (literally a mile) from Cincinnati where the truck was assembled. Before being put into service, the truck was even blessed by a local minister in an initiation ceremony! This CT4 served a dutiful life, amassing some 7700 miles before being retired. Seeing as most fire trucks have a substantial value in scrap metal, it is amazing to see a truck as preserved as this one! It does appear that the main on-board water tank was removed at some point but almost everything else save some small accessories remain with the truck.

Upon its purchase from an outstanding collection called the Antique Toy & Firehouse Museum located in Bay City, Michigan where is spent the better part of 27 years, the St. Louis Car Museum spent several weeks fine tuning the mechanicals and couldn’t be more proud of the results! A new fuel pump & filter, 18 new spark plugs, a new fuel tank and carburetor adjustment means this truck runs down the road without hiccup, with smooth power delivery and relatively easy engagement of gears. With proper timing and throttle, it is even possible to idle down to about 150 rpm! The truck wears original paint and as a former rescue vehicle, it will show spots of flaking in some spots but holds a wonderful patina that could tell a thousand stories of life saving encounters! As a matter of fact, this particular example when brand new was said to have been blessed by a Bishop from a Cincinnati Catholic Church prior to its departure to the Covington, KY firehouse, literally just miles outside of downtown Cincinnati.

The CT4 was certainly among the largest and most significantly capable fire trucks ever made to come out of Ahrens-Fox’s doors. As such, it represents a unique opportunity to own one of what may be only a few surviving 1933 CT4s models ever built let alone in existence! We know of only one other located in the Baltimore Fire Museum. We would invite any interested parties to call with additional questions on Big Lizz and look forward to working with the next owner!