200 Fire Trucks and a Dream

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First, in late 2002, came a red 1959 Seagrave from Elmwood Place, Ohio, a 12-cylinder quint — meaning it had a pump, an aerial ladder, a ground ladder, a booster tank and a hose. He bought it on eBay for $7,300. He’d collected antique all-wheel-drive dump trucks from the same company before. Why not try one of their fire engines?

Next came a cream-colored 1959 Pirsch ladder truck from Bergen County that was sitting by the road in Elizabeth, N.J., with a for-sale sign because the owner had lost its storage space. He thought, why not?...

And then, around his 15th acquisition, he began thinking there had to be a way to let people see them. Which is why Andrew B. Leider, 55, was wending his way through a three-acre abandoned industrial building, surrounded by 150 vintage fire trucks from the 1920s to the 1980s — about 120 owned by him and 30 by five others.

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