What did I need a gigantic, three-ton ex-fire rescue truck for? Well, nothing, actually. I was driving past an equipment sales place in Monroe, MI, and saw it just as you see it above, and I had to have it. Sometimes that’s all it takes, if you’re a Ridiculous Car Guy Who Just Got His First “Good” Job And Suddenly Has More Money Than Sense. Which I was.
And I didn’t regret it, either. Tank was a Wonderful Thing. He was driven on special occasions (or for cargo-hauling) only, and with a big-block under the hood, his exploits were legendary. This truck towed a ’61 Ford without even grunting, hauled refrigerators and scrap metal without breaking a sweat, and when the Castrol Quick Oil Change accidentally put power steering fluid in the brake fluid reservoir and caused the front brakes to seize, Tank just kept going without hesitation until the pads burst into flames. The rear shocks had been removed, so speed bumps would cause the dual rear wheels and extremely heavy cargo bed to bounce into the air if taken too quickly.
The only reason I let Tank go was because I was moving to Texas, and the notion of driving him that far (he got about 5mpg on a good day, only had an 18-gallon fuel tank, and had a temperamental carburetor) was frankly terrifying. So, he was passed on to a welding shop in Taylor, where he hopefully found many things to tow and haul. That’s all the big ugly thing ever wanted to do.