Boyer Jeep FC Fire Engines


Boyer Fire Apparatus of Logansport, Indiana built many Jeep Fire Engines in the late 1940s (see Boyer Jeep Fire Engine Production List) but their relationship with Willys apparently ended in 1950. Later, after a 1950s corporate restructuring as "Universal Fire Apparatus," they built four units on the Jeep Forward Control platform during 1958-61.


DRW FC-150Rodger Birchfield found this photo of an unusual Boyer FC-150 dual-rear-wheels Forward Control fire engine built in 1958 by Universal.

Roger comments, "It was delivered to Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, and later went to Madison Township Fire Department in Morgan County south of Indianapolis. Madison Twp. sold it to nearby Brooklyn IN and they eventually sold it to a truck repair garage near Martinsville. The garage removed the fire equipment and used the Jeep for a flatbed truck."

Short DRW FC The no-nonsense little truck had a Hale pump and the dual rear wheels allowed it to include a 150-gallon water tank (compared to the 200-250 gallon capacity of the longer-wheelbase DRW trucks.) It's surprising that the FC-150 platform was not used more often by apparatus manufacturers, as an alternative to the CJs with their more limited rear capacity.


Palatine Records show that Universal built at least three more of these Boyer FC-170s with Hale pumps, for Wonder Lake, Palatine and Waukegan, all in Illinois. The Palatine FC-170DRW as seen in this builder's photo has yet to be outfitted with any brushfire gear.

Courtesy Tim Curtis The FC-170 in this photo is believed to be the Palatine DRW after it was sold circa 1986 to Fairhaven, Mississippi. It has a few added features but appears to be largely original.

Boyer ad A 1959 ad for the range of Boyer apparatus from Universal, shows the Palatine FC representing their brush trucks. However, after 1961, Boyer once again stopped using Jeeps, and went back to cab-forward trucks from Ford, GMC and International.

Palatine Spencer Landers in Arkansas purchased the cab and chassis of the 1959 FC, circa 2018. The cab interior (250K JPEG) looked like it would clean up quite nicely.

Palatine Spencer noticed the pinstripes between the slots of the front grille, which can be seen in the Boyer photos above. He then confirmed that his serial number matched the Palatine truck in the Boyer Jeep Fire Engine Production List.

Palatine After a basic rebuild with a 20-gallon fuel tank from a CJ-10A tug and a flatbed from a 1945 Chevy 1.5 ton G506, the truck was sold again in 2019. Unfortunately the pinstripes are now gone. Thanks to Spencer for the photos.

WaukeganThe Waukegan FC-170 from 1960 has backpack tanks on board in this factory photo. The turret gun however, suggests that brushfire duty was only part of its function when it was originally outfitted. The pump is configured slightly differently from the Palatine truck, perhaps because of the turret gun.

The rear body was reportedly replaced with a flatbed after the truck was sold by the Waukegan FD. I don't know where it or the 1961 Wonder Lake truck are located now.

Thanks to Rodger Birchfield for the photos from his article "Jeep Fire Apparatus" in issue 2000-2 of Enjine Enjine, the magazine of SPAAMFAA. -- Derek Redmond

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Last updated 7 December 2023 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond