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Hooniverse Truck Thursday: America LaFrance Type O-11B

Jim Yu January 3, 2013 Hooniverse Truck Thursday 18 Comments


Last weekend, I visited Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California. In addition to the 50+ combat and support aircraft on display, there was this weather-beaten Air Force fire truck.


In the early 1950s, America LaFrance was tasked by the United States Air Force to design and build fire trucks that could be airlifted.


This Type O-11B was the third iteration, preceded by the O-10 and O-11A. The O-11B was 31 feet long and weighed around 15 tons when fully loaded. It was able to hold 1,000 gallons of water, 100 gallons of foam, and 40 gallons of bromochloromethane (what fire extinguishers used in the 1950s and 1960s).


An 820 c.i. Continental engine rated at 310 horsepower moved the little beast. An air-cooled Continental engine acted as the auxiliary power source.



Here is an O-11B that was for sale recently. You should really check out the seller’s YouTube channel— military vehicles, hovercrafts, a C3 Corvette, and a Model T?

And here is a bonus shot of my Popemobile in front of an SR-71 Blackbird at the museum.


Hat tip to Lukas and m4ff3w for identifying this truck for me. More photos of this rig here.

Images source: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Jim Yu

  • Charlie

    Nice Phaeton, what year?

    • Scandinavian Flick

      2005 V8 model. There's a couple of good articles covering that car here on the 'verse that is Hoon: http://hooniverse.com/2012/03/29/volkswagen-phaethttp://hooniverse.com/2012/10/29/a-years-worth-of

      • Charlie

        Very cool car.

        • Thanks! i love it.

          • Charlie

            I would be inclined to buy 2, and keep one in storage so that you have one of every part. It could even be cheaper depending on how long you keep the car and what breaks.

            • I'm eyeing a salvaged Phaeton in Connecticut.

              • Charlie

                Ha! That's where I live. Have there been any other expensive repairs since the window regulator in that last post?

                • Nope.

                  *Knocks on wood*

                  • Scandinavian Flick

                    All the interior paneling in the Phaeton is exclusively for knocking purposes.

                    • You think I'm joking but every time I take a long trip, I knock on the wood on the driver's side door.

  • danleym

    Cool post. Are the doors two pieces, so you have to open both sides and they open opposite directions, or are they folding, so you open one side and they both collapse off to the same side? Either way, a cool idea, I guess so they could have a little more clearance to open the doors while loaded in the aircraft?

  • topdeadcentre

    A face only a mother (or a Hoon) could love…

  • For some reason, I have a vision of myself driving this truck down the street, douching everbody and everything in sight with the remote sprayer from inside the cab.

    • Irishzombieman

      . . . with Kool-Aid. Sticky red Kool-Aid.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        Oh yeah!

  • Van_Sarockin

    Aaannnd, we've got our first HCOTY entrant. The chisel nose is fascinating for a FC cabover. I wonder how bad engine access and maintenance is?

    Also, ALF has a museum… http://www.legacyofheroes.org/Collection.html

  • Peter Fulton

    We always give much more interest to our armed forces and the equipments, weapons, vehicles etc, they use. For the transportation of weapons Air force uses heavy duty vehicles like: Truck. These trucks are generally different from the trucks use for other purposes. The trucks those are use for transportation in Aircraft basically made up of heavy engines. More hp engines will the work more easily and also in fast rate. The article also give view about such a truck use in aircraft. The truck is of 310hp. I just gone through the article and by knowing about its features I can promise this model of truck in any armed force can able to do a lots of work and can give the most output. http://germanimportservices.com/smart_car_repair_

  • Weather-beaten doesn't even cut it. The truck looks like it's been completely stripped of equipment. I can only wonder how much different it would've looked with a functional hose and ladders everywhere.