1965 Volkswagen Ziegler Feuerwehr Type T8F-T Fire Truck
Normally the name Ziegler is associated with the ultra-modern and gigantic fire trucks you see at major airports around the world. You would be correct to make that connection, however, Ziegler, like many other major companies of today, had small beginnings, and that is precisely the object of this report.
This otherwise normal 1965 Volkswagen Transporter Type 2, was modified by the Albert Ziegler Giengen (Brenz) Company, and converted to a fully equipped fire fighting unit. Modifications to the platform or drive train are small; however it's what's inside the vehicle that makes it special.
The most noticeable of this changes or additions, is the installation of a 36hp flat-four Volkswagen engine acting as a water pump for fire extinguishing purposes. The engine rests on a special set of rails that permit the operators to literally pull-out the engine to the side of the right hand doors, for ease of operation and maintenance.
The engine is completely self-contained utilizing a starter, controls, its own battery and a safety fuel tank or cell. The flywheel drives the water pump that once connected to a water supply will provide sufficient volume and pressure of water to accomplish its task.
The rear cargo area has been specially prepared to hold the support equipment necessary for fire extinguishing work. Equipment such as couplings, fittings, hoses, connectors, axes, shovels, buckets, etc. all have a special location making it organized and easily reachable by the fire crew.
Inside the cabin, a special set of switches activate the siren, emergency lights and speakers. The exterior of the van is kept factory stock, with the exception of a roof rack to accommodate a ladder, and obviously, the pertinent colors, insignias, etc. to identify it as an official fire-fighting truck.
This particular van was purchased by Dr. Norman González Chacón of the Volkswagen Museum of Puerto Rico in the year 2008 from an airport fire station in Germany, where it was still in use. The unit is one hundred percent operational.