Vintage Fire-Engine Restoration

A highly technical, community-driven restoration project completed by the talented apprentices at Cummins Generator Technologies with guidance from Airblast Eurospray.

March, 2019

In 2015 a group of apprentice engineers from Cummins Generators Technologies were tasked to complete a practical workshop module, the project of which they were expected to propose themselves. The Team reached out to a local estate, the Burghley House, to see if they had any machinery in need of some TLC. The Fire-Engine was donated which was a  celebrated local Elizabethan tourist attraction there.

For context, the fire engine had been built in the 1930s. The metallic and wood parts of the vehicle, though well preserved, had developed severe surface damage. After several attempts made by the team, they were unable to achieve the right finish on these surfaces. None of the group had experience in surface preparation and finishing, as a result, they reached out to Airblast to seek their expertise and guidance.

Over the course of several weeks, Airblast Eurospray taught this group of talented young engineers’ valuable skills in surface treatment and finishing. Together, we processed the metallic parts of the vehicle in our cabinet and blast room, and once treated, coated them in our spray paint booth. For the wooden panels, Airblast suggested chemical stripping the old paint that was present. After these components had been processed, the apprentices from Cummins Generator Technologies set to enthusiastically rebuilding the Merryweather Fire-Engine

Almost four years after accepting the challenge of restoring a classic fire engine to its former glory, the project was finally drawing to a close. What had initially looked like a neglected husk of a vehicle was now finished to a standard that, in many ways, exceeded their initial hopes. Their share of the work was essentially done.

The next step was for the fire engine to be transported to Darlington, where it would be fitted with a new engine. It then moved back to Stamford where final touches were completed, and the vehicle was presented back to Burghley House in a condition that no living Stamfordian would ever have seen before.

If you wish to visit our case study page on the Vintage Fire-Engine project, please follow the link.