The restored Austin Pumper recently visited CFA Headquarters in Burwood
The need for a lockdown project was all the inspiration needed for two friends to restore a vintage Austin Pumper.
Eddie Tichelaar of Montrose Fire Brigade and Brett Eastwood, former Montrose member, purchased the 1956 WE Austin Series 3 in May 2020, and lovingly restored it over the following 18 months.
The vehicle had originally spent time stationed in Districts 14 and 22 before retiring.
“As we understand it, this vehicle spent its working life stationed at Nagambie and Whittlesea Fire Brigades and was decommissioned from active firefighting service in 1983,” said Eddie.
“After a brief stint being used for fire engine rides at Whittlesea’s Alpine Toboggan Park, the truck was put into storage for around 27 years”.
Brett purchased the Austin and the project to restore the truck began. Over the course of 18 months, the vehicle was stripped down, rebuilt and restored to a fully-functional vehicle.
Though the vehicle was in relatively good condition, the pair needed to search high and low for certain vehicle parts.
“Unfortunately, the front mounted pump had been removed from the appliance. After an extensive search, a pump was found in Castlemaine which we believe was originally mounted on an Austin Pumper from the Rushworth Fire Brigade.”
Eddie says the restoration project was a trip down memory lane.
“The Austin Pumper was the first appliance I turned out to an incident on,” he said.
“It was a constant in my early days of firefighting, and also the vehicle I learnt to drive on, so it really was lovely to conjure up all those old memories for me”.
The duo recently took the Austin to CFA Headquarters in Burwood and the State Logistics Centre in Scoresby, and plan on touring it around District 13.
For more information on the truck restoration, visit the Eastey Austin Fire Truck Facebook page.
|CFA News & Media