FLINT, Mich. — A Flint firefighter has sold an antique fire truck he has owned for nearly 15 years to another firefighter.
Flint Fire Department Quartermaster Rico Phillips handed over the truck to Clio firefighter Jeff Holbin on Tuesday after putting it up for sale earlier this month through an online auction, the Flint Journal reported .
“It’s a bittersweet day,” said Phillips, who went on a handful of runs aboard the truck in his more than 20-year career with the Flint Fire Department.
Phillips purchased the yellow 1968 American LaFrance truck in a 2003 city auction after it was decommissioned. The truck has since been in several parades, a movie scene and the former Fire Station 2 near downtown Flint.
Holbin saw the posting for the truck on Facebook after passing on a pair of fire trucks that went up for sale in Clio.
“I put my max bid on it and I’m like, ‘If it goes above that, I’m done,'” he said. “It never budged from the number that I had it at.”
The truck is a piece of history for Holbin, whose grandfather helped set the original bricks in downtown Flint.
“I thought if I can’t get a Clio truck, I might as well get the next best thing,” he said. He has plans to knock off some rust, use it in parades and other events and possibly paint it red.
The truck is also a wedding gift for Holbin’s fiancée, Marissa McAlister.
“If that’s his story, I’m sticking to it,” McAlister said. “I think it’s pretty cool. I actually have a firefighter in my family. The fire service means a lot to both of us, and I think something historic like that is pretty cool.”
Phillips said he’ll miss the truck, “but things have to change sometimes.”
“He’s (Holbin’s) got a big hydraulic pedal to fill,” he said.
Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint