Peterbilt 359 Fire Truck, engl.

On the cover of one of the first issues of the fire brigade magazine, no idea what year, this fire truck was shown. Excited about this vehicle, I wrote to the head of Burnsville FD in the US. State of Minnesota. And weeks later I received a drawing and 24 color photos of this Peterbilt. Since Revell had a 359 tractor unit in its range at the time, I used it to convert it into a Fire Truck.

With the help of the drawing and the 24 photos I started in 1985 to build a model of Engine 585, built on the chassis of a Peterbilt 359. But before I describe everything again at this point, read the 6-page construction report that was shown in the June 1987 issue of Modell Magazin. The construction time was 18 months and since I was driving a truck all week, I could only work on the model on the weekends. I had to remake many chrome parts, e.g. the bumper or bumper as the part is called. A company in Lüdenscheid was kind enough to chrome-plate all the components for me, at that time still using the dipping process. Mind you, this model is a one-off and was still mine in 1987. But the story of this goes further.

Since my construction reports in the Modell Magazin issues were also seen and read by the model manufacturer Revell in Bünde, they contacted me, as well as several other model builders, and invited us to a so-called “expert meeting”. Three times in a row, every year 1987, 1988 and 1989. And at the last meeting I had my Peterbilt Fire Truck with me, but the model was still in the trunk of my car. Then, when the subject of new model proposals came up, I suggested an American fire truck based on the existing Peterbilt 359. Since none of those present could imagine such a model, I got my model out of the car and put it on the huge table in the conference room. What I didn’t expect at all was the applause I got for it. When the meeting ended in the late afternoon and we all left, I too drove home, but without my Peterbilt, which Revell had bought from me. The company wanted to release it as a kit.

  • 1st row
  • Image 1: Manufacture of all parts for the tool shop, dimensions were taken from the CAD draftsman,
  • Image 2: Parts of the Fire Truck body, handmade,
  • Image 3: Crew cabin doors,
  • Image 4: The first test molding from the Fire Truck mold,
  • 2nd row
  • Image 1: Assembly and testing of all new parts for the Fire Truck on Peterbilt chassis,
  • Image 2: First test model next to my hand sample, comparison,
  • Image 3: Here I was allowed to draw the first building instructions for my Fire Truck,
  • Image 4: One of many finished kits
  • Image 5: A production image shows hundreds of Fire Truck kits.
After the delivery of the new fire truck, the crew was familiarized with the vehicle. More original photos can be found here in the archive.