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Monday, February 18, 2008

Platt students restoring ’52 truck for W. Haven

By Pamela McLoughlin
Register Staff
— Students in Platt Technical High School’s automotive department are taking part in a unique assignment: restoring a 1952 Mack A model fire truck for West Haven’s Allington Fire Department.
Department Chairman Mario Ferguson said the mechanics of the antique truck were repaired at the firehouse and the students will make it look like new, so the truck can go to fire musters, parades and other special events.
The truck went out of service in the late 1970s.
Students have the truck almost entirely stripped and in the coming months will use it for experience in welding, sanding, plastic filler, priming and painting.
The firetruck will be painted red with gold leaf lettering and a stripe.
“It’s something different,” said sophomore Matt Babian, 16, of Derby. He said the firetruck is made of thicker metal than the other vehicles they work on.
Sophomore Amanda DeMayo, 16, of New Haven said the restoration takes a lot of skill and requires close instruction. “It takes a lot of work and you have to know what you’re doing, but it takes a lot of hard work,” Amanda said.
The idea to make the truck a class project came from John Carew of the school’s plumbing department, who is also chief of the Allingtown Volunteer Fire Association. “We’ve been working on it in bits ands pieces in the firehouse for six years, doing mechanical work,” including on the brakes and carburetor, Carew said.
“It was in nice shape for its age,”Automotive collision instructor Robert Turcotte said. “It’s a whole group of the same students who will take it from start to finish.” The materials to restore the truck were donated by Pittsburgh Plate Glass.


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