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Fire Engines Photos

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Image of Dennis Dart fire appliance New Zealand
Fire Engine Photos
No: 2284   Contributor: John Walker   Year: 1930   Manufacturer: Dennis   Country: New Zealand
Image of Dennis Dart fire appliance New Zealand

Thjis is a 1930 Dennis Dart fire appliance that served with the Dunedin Fire Brigade (NZ). We understand that there were only three Dennis Dart appliances made and all of them came to New Zealand. Happily all still exist. This one has been restored over a 30 year period after being recovered from a farm where it was used as a weedsprayer with a large square tank replacing the ladder gallows and hose reel.
Picture added on 02 March 2007
add commentComments:
John, do you have any pictures of the engine. Is it a 'four' or a 'six'?

Added by Barry on 03 March 2007.
John, you are throwing out the challenge here to our British friends and Dennis fanatics! This is one incredible machine, I take it there was never a windscreen fitted? Does it have a rear mounted pump, Dennis? and what capacity water tank to feed the first aid hose reel and hand lines, would the original ladder have been shorter as this 35' Ajax(?) looks a little untoward. I can see why they named it a Dart!

Added by Pavel Zaremba on 03 March 2007.
I don't know what the engine is Barry but will ring the owner and find out. The water tank is only about 40gallons. There was never a screen fitted according to the photo I have of it in service. The pump is a 350-450 GPM Dennis and yes the ladder is a bit long and probably should be a 25ft Ajax.Incidently this was the 13th appliance in the Dunedin fleet but but they decided to number it 14 just to be on the safe side. Of the other two Darts one is very similar, possibly a longer wheelbase and carried a wheeled escape, the other has a New World body and is being restored

Added by John Walker on 03 March 2007.
This Dart has a 6 cylinder engine

Added by John Walker on 05 March 2007.
Hi, I'm a Dennis bus enthusiast - been researching them in the Dennis archives at Woking. The Dart was a bus chassis and 4 of them went to NZ in 1930 [chassis numbers 75719/20/28/33] and 2 more in 1934 [chassis 75798/9]. Can anybody provide the chassis number for Dunedin 14 - and what are the identities of the other two please??

Added by Martin on 06 November 2007.
Three Dennis Dart fire engines were imported to New Zealand about the same time.

The first left the Dennis Works on 20th February 1930, for the Christchurch Fire Board (Car/Chassis Number 7357). It saw service at the tragic fire in a range of downtown buildings known as Ballantyne’s Department Store in 1947 in which 41 people lost their lives. This appliance is now privately owned and has been restored by its present Canterbury owner after being earlier altered to serve as a general emergency vehicle for the Cust community.

The second, (Car/Chassis Number 7358) was bought by the Nelson Fire Board. It left the Dennis Works on the 29th April 1930 and was Nelson’s prime pumping appliance. Much later it had a Bailey’s Wheeled Escape fitted and after its working life it was privately purchased, preserved, and is presently exhibited in the Ferrymead Hall of Flame Museum in Christchurch.

The third (Car/Chassis Number 7359), was bought by the Dunedin Fire Board. It was driven out of the Dennis Works on 25th April 1930. I was told by Mr John Dennis when I was vsiiting Guildford that very few Light Six Low-load “Darts” were made as fire engines, nearly all were buses, post 1930. He gave me a copy of the drawings. The three fire engines that came to New Zealand are probably the only three Dart appliances made in 1930, if at all. This is borne out by the Works Order docket for the Dunedin appliance which states “ Dart -1st 3 chassis only” and mentions variations to the basic design/equipment for each of the three appliances. This fire engine has been restored - present owner is Ric Carlyon, Auckland, New Zealand.

Added by Ric Carlyon on 07 November 2007.
Great photo, of a beauty of a fire-truck. It's owner is to be congratulated, and for sharing it with us on the WW Web.

Fellow readers, keep up the good work, tracking down the particulars, and histories, of these wonderful machines.

Regards, from Canada,

Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 28 September 2008.
P.s. please, could we have more views of this fire engine, and perhaps, of the other 2 darts ? (:>)

pat_r-b, again

Added by Pat Rivers-Bowerman on 28 September 2008.
This fire engine went to Mosgiel in 1936 as their first motorised fire engine and saw service until 1957 when it was replaced with a 1940? Ford V8 Fire Engine with a Colonial Motor Co front mounted pump. Old no 14 was a lovely machine in operation which we as kids used to beat to the fire but never home as once it warmed up, used to fly. After being returned to Dunedin it had a tank fitted as Ric said and the motor was done up and it saw service as a tanker. Unfortunately it suffered a broken chassis going across the Chisholm Park Golf Course at St Kilda and was withdrawn from service.

Added by Bob Strong on 24 February 2009.
Ric - You're spot on with the chassis details.

Added by Ian Moore on 25 February 2009.
Hello John, There is an old Dennis Fire engine in RUNANGA, West Coast, it was replaced by a Bedford in 1956. The Dennis is being restored by the Runanga Brigade, it is the model with Brass radiator, the contact there is Harry Piner, he is in the phone book. The last time I saw it was in 2006 in the parade for 100yr celebrations at Runanga. I live in Aust but go back often.

Added by Peter Westwood ( Charlie) on 16 August 2010.
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