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Welcome to the Crown Fire Apparatus/Appliances Flickr Group. This Group is designed for people to share their photos of various Crown Fire Apparatus/Appliances from where ever they can be found. Please share your photos so others who are Crown Fire Apparatus/Appliance Fans can see them.
A little History about the Company that Made Crown Firecoach Fire Apparatus:
Crown Coach Corporation was founded by D. Brockway in 1904 as the "Crown Carriage Company" in Los Angeles, California, eventually moving factory operations to Chino, California in San Bernardino County. Both factories have since been razed. The property in Los Angeles is now a manufacturing center and the office and paint shed of the Chino property stood for a while longer and were eventually torn down as well. General Electric supposedly owns the site. Since a large number of 30-plus year old Crown school buses are still in service, replacement parts are supplied by West Coach, a company started by a group of former Crown Coach employees.
Crown Coach was the creator of the original large, flat nose (transit style or "Type D"), high capacity school bus. Their first example appeared in 1932. That vehicle still exists today. Beginning as a motorized truck builder, Crown expanded into passenger vehicles and quit building trucks. Working with Tanner Grey Line of Los Angeles, Crown designed the well-known art-deco 'Twinkie'-shaped coach that eventually led to a school coach utilizing unibody construction, mid-ship underfloor mounted commercial truck engines (often by the Detroit Diesel or Cummins; a handful of them had Caterpillar engines) and off the shelf Class 8 truck parts, which made them economical to operate. Starting with steel skins, Crown later switched to rust-resistant aluminum panels.
As regulations changed, the coach evolved into one of the safest, most reliable school buses. They were so well built that one of the factors that forced Crown to shut down was their product's extremely long life.
Districts would send in their aging Crowns for rebuild and repaint and have them returned looking nearly new. The service life of the average school bus today is approximately ten years. There are many Crowns over 20 years old still plying the roads of California, and in private use as converted coaches. Many Crowns retired by school districts in the U.S. continue to serve in Mexico as local transit buses, private charters, and even cross-country tour coaches.
From 1951 to 1985, Crown Coach Corporation was also a manufacturer of fire apparatus under the Firecoach brand.
After being purchased by a General Electric a few years prior, operation ceased in 1991.
Crown built 880 Firecoach products in the line's lifetime (1951-1985)
Firecoach 1949-1985 - pumpers , tillers, aerials and tenders
50', 75' and 85' Snorkels or platforms (75' Pittman Snorkel)
54', 55', 75' TeleSquirts
100' mid or rear mount aerials
100' Maxim ladder
100' tillered aerial-ladder truck
Water Tenders (tankers)
enclosed or open cab pumpers
Crown also built Firecoaches on various truck bodies:
Ford C-850, C700
Chevrolet Silverado chassis pumper
Crown also built custom fire vehicles from Supercoach and Firecoach chassis:
28-foot bus for LA County FD 1958
custom-built bulldozer transport using Firecoach aerial tractor for LA County FD
mobile hospital/ambulance - using Supercoach body
Heavy Utility tow truck using Firecoach chassis for LAFD
open-cab rescue truck using Firecoach chassis for Honolulu Fire Department
stripped down Firecoach pumper chassis for Los Angeles City Fire Department Shops
4-door wide cab Crown Firecoach 1979 for Mammoth Lakes Fire Department - only 3 built
2 axle trailer water tank/50' telesqurt for Tulare, CA Fire Department 1975
Please visit the following websites to learn more about Crown Fire Apparatus:
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