Maybe I'm a sucker for fire trucks and Land Rovers, sue me. But if anyone has ever seen the Granville, Ohio FD's Defender 90 grass fire response unit, which is now for sale, in action I want to hear about it.
With its high operating cost and relatively small cargo area, a Defender 90 seems like a strange choice for public service. In fact, this is the only the second Land Rover I've ever heard of doing duty for an American public organization (rumor has it the US Forestry Service had some manual-shift Discovery SUVs in the 90's). But with a Warn winch, a light bar, meaty tires and only 12,000 miles on the clock it's pretty sweet.
The Defender makes a lot more sense once you see this photo, which is from Granville's "village gallery" on their official website:
Yeah, a ratty Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer just wouldn't look right rushing toward that burning mansion.
If you're keen to get your hands on a unique piece of American firefighting history, this rig can now be yours for $60,000 if you're reading this before April 3, 2014.
It's currently for sale on GovDeals.com where all kinds of wacky shit like this pops up and gets me excited until I see the asterisk that says the vehicle I want is in Guam, requires a special license, or starts at $60,000.
It also feels like a strange coincidence to see two low-mileage red 1997 Defenders in one week.
This Defender, which got a little coverage on Pangaea Expeditions back in 2005, was apparently picked up by the Granville fire department as a replacement for the Willys Jeep they had been using for grass fires and accessing areas their larger apparatus wouldn't make it.
Apparently they considered a Hummer, but reckoned it was too wide. Then they voted down a three-quarter ton pickup, thinking it would cost too much to modify. The Defender won out, but obviously didn't see a whole lot of use in the past fourteen years.
Granville's Fire Chief Jeff Hussey moved to unload it at a Granville town meeting, and as it stands the town believes they'll be able to get somebody to pay $50,000-$60,000.
Sounds like a pretty aggressive ask, even if this is the only Land Rover fire truck in the United States. If it's not, then I want to see some more!
Hat tip to Charlie Hartman, Images from GovDeals and the Town Of Granville.