Jeep FC Fire Engines Around the World


Jeep Forward Control cab-over-engine trucks built by Kaiser-Willys from 1957-65 were the basis for a number of fire apparatus conversions around the world, quite different from those seen in North America.


Austria Most Forward Control fire engines in Europe were fully enclosed apparatus, with bodies supplied by various coach builders in Europe, on imported Jeep cab and chassis units.

This example from Sittendorf, Austria is courtesy of Das große Buch der Feuerwehr-Oldtimer in Österreich ("The Big Book of Oldtime Fire Apparatus in Austria") by Günther Graber und Erwin Hauke (1990). The FC-170 had a box added to the rear, with crew cabin, storage and pump compartment.

Austria A slightly different way of achieving a similar configuration is seen in a pair of FC-150s from coachbuilder Peter Reitbauer (130K JPEG) in Stanz, Austria. This unusual photo shows one of them being consecrated by a clergyman as it goes into service with the Freiwilliger Feuerwehr ("Volunteer Fire Brigade") in nearby Edelsdorf in 1962. The FC-150 is serial number 65548-25213.

Austria A great wintertime in-service photo of the same truck shows suction hose on the roof, and a canvas covering snapped over the open rear compartment for the gas-powered pump. Not much was going to stop this truck with its chains and winch, from protecting this area at the eastern edge of the Austrian Alps.

Austria The other FC-150 (left) was nearly identical, but equipped with a plow instead of a winch. It was used in the village of Fischbach, about 20 minutes east of Edelsdorf.

Fischbach The value of tire chains and a snowplow to the volunteer firfighters in this part of Austria, can be fully appreciated in this beautiful photo of Fischbach. Photo by M.B. under CC.

Austria Valentin Eggbauer, who grew up in Fischbach, is a Volkswagen Bus fan who always dreamed of restoring one of the FC-150 fire trucks. He says the Fischbach truck was "sadly scrapped 10-20 years ago, but I found parts from this truck including the doors (90K JPEG)."

In 2012 Valentin was able to purchase the Edelsdorf truck. it had been repainted in green (310K JPEG). Another photo of the Jeep on his trailer gives a view of the rear compartment (270K JPEG).

Austria This undated photo shows a parade in Fischbach. In the background is a Willys MB still in service with the Feuerwehr at the time.

Valentin plans to document his restoration of the Edelsdorf Jeep on his Austrian Jeep FC-150 Blog.


GendtJan Scheele took this photo of a 1964 FC-170 beautifully preserved by the community ("gemeente") of Gendt, south of Arnhem. Designed for equipment and personnel transport, the truck was never equipped with a pump, but can be seen here pulling a pump and hose trailer.


SwitzerlandProbably because of the climate, fully-enclosed fire engines built on an FC-170 chassis were also popular in Switzerland.

This FC was used in Glattbrugg, a suburb of Zurich, to carry equipment for closing down streets in case of an emergency, and was in service from the 1960s through the 1980's. Thanks to Richard Jud and Craig Brockhaus for the photo.

SwitzerlandHere's another example, configured slightly differently, but clearly from the same builder -- Hanni Co. of Zurich, Switzerland. The volunteer fire department in Regensdorf, another suburb of Zurich, has been restoring this FC-170. See also a rear view (30K JPEG) and right side view (50K JPEG).

VordemwaldA little further south of Zurich is Vordemwald, whose Feuerwehr ("Fire Department" in German) takes their FC to shows like Jeeptreffen 2005 (60K JPEG) at Rothrist, on a regular basis.

Dry chemicalHere's something different, from the town of Hinwil, also near Zurich: a truck with a 750kg dry chemical tank and two 30-meter hoses. Thanks to The FC Connection for the photo.

LadderThis photo comes from Swiss Firefighters, and the truck appears to belong to the Service du Feu ("Fire Service" in French) of Vallorbe, north of Lausanne in western Switzerland.

See also the Jeep-Zanzi, a Swiss-built cab-forward truck on a CJ-5 chassis.


United ManufacturingI ran across this photo advertising United Manufacturing Co. of India, makers of fire apparatus. This fire engine is based on a Forward Control Jeep chassis (210K JPEG) also built in India, by Mahindra & Mahindra.

See also Willys Fire Trucks in Australia.

Thanks to Stephan Meyer in Switzerland. -- Derek Redmond

Also on CJ3B.info, see more Forward Control Fire Engines.

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Last updated 15 April 2021 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond