American motor fire apparatus design reached its high-water mark in the 1950s. Every one of the nation's major fire apparatus manufacturers boasted uniquely individual custom fire truck designs.
American LaFrance dominated the industry with its landmark cab-forward 700 Series which morphed into the new-and-improved 800 series and all-new wide-cab 900.
Seagrave introduced its the siren-in-the-nose 70th Anniversary Series, augmented late in the decade by the company's first belated cab-forward design.
Mack replaced its classic ''L'' Series conventional with the pleasingly contoured new ''B'' Series.
Ahrens-Fox continued to offer its archaic front-mounted piston pumpers, and at mid-decade fielded its own sleek cab-forward pumper design.
Crown Firecoach arrived on the scene in 1951; Pirsch, Maxim and FWD successfully marketed their distinctive long-nosed conventionals; and Fords, Chevys, GMCs, Dodges, Internationals, REOs, Federals and Diamond-Ts were every bit as stylish as their custom-chassis counterparts. And, the most successful fire engine chassis of all time -- Ford's tilt cab ''C'' Series made its debut in 1957.
For sheer variety and visual dazzle, this fondly-remembered decade has never been equaled, all here in this long-overdue tribute to the fire trucks of the Fabulous Fifties!