|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
One of the pioneering show rods was Chuck Miller’s Fire Truck, a Ford C-cab that won the coveted Ridler award at the 1968 Detroit Autorama. Miller, who owned Styline Customs in Detroit in the late 1960s, specialized in building custom and concept cars designed to attract attention and win awards, and that’s exactly what he did with the Fire Truck, a whimsical combination of Keystone Kops-era Model T body and dragster-inspired chassis that was never meant to see the street or the strip, let alone an actual four-alarm blaze.
The C-Cab Fire Truck played off several popular elements from the era, including every young man’s enthusiasm for fire equipment, the booming T-bucket craze, a recurrent show car practice that Street Rodder magazine called “Wacky Show Rods,” and the enduring popularity of the early “C-Cab” Model T trucks. Combining these themes, Miller built a delightful rendition with a single-monocle windscreen, tiller steering, a small-block V-8 engine with a “dummy” blower, competition-themed American mag wheels, drilled ladder bars, and “pie crust” drag slicks.
Other stylistic elements include abbreviated wooden ladders, gold leaf side lettering, rear-only brakes, drum headlights, vintage Model T taillights, a winged Moto-Meter radiator cap, and a roof rack. Not intended for street use, the Fire Truck was designed and built with just one purpose: to win custom-car shows.
I have a fondness for show cars and show rods. While I seem to build very few, they still hold an attraction for me and I'm pleased that Round 2 has been able to reissue some of these kit as it certainly benefits us from not having to pay collector's prices for some very neat kits.
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