Fire Engine Restoration Project
On April 12, 2013, we invited the Mandeville firefighters to Northshore Millwork for a crawfish boil to thank them for their community service. We all admired the 1918 American LaFrance our owner, Jim Diefenthal, is restoring for the second time to it’s original state. Hurricane Katrina almost destroyed it after it’s first restoration by Jim’s father, Stanley, in 1957.
Three identical fire engines were brought into Southern Scrap, their family business in 1957 and one good fire engine was made out of the parts of the three and the remaining two were scrapped. The fire engine was used by the family in an Easter parade in Metairie, LA in the ’80’s and ran until 2005 when Hurricane Katrina flooded it in New Orleans. It’s current restoration includes original parts from all over the world and some new unique millwork such as an ash steering wheel, Lignum Vitae dashboard, hickory and African Mahogany ladders and genuine Mahogany benches. The leather fan belt and ash wheel spokes are all original to the vehicle from 1918.
The hope is to ride the fire engine in a Mardi Gras parade in 2014. Stop by the millwork shop to see it in person!