One of the traditions at the Reno Air Races is the Fire Truck ride given to race winners and their crews. Traditionally, the winning team of each race jumps on the old (very old…) red fire truck and is given a ride from the pits up in front of the grandstands and back down to the pits, gathering applause and accolades for their efforts.
Sharp eyed attendees at the 2021 races will notice something different however – the truck is not what it used to be! It turns out that the old classic, owned by Harrah’s Auto Museum in Reno, was not made available to the Races this year. Coincidentally, one of the RARA volunteers who likes unique machinery had purchased a small used fire truck on eBay – and it came all the way from New Zealand!
He made it available to the event, so victors this year are taking their rides on a Toyota Land Cruiser based “brush truck” – a typical back country firefighting machine with its own pump, but no water tank – that is very unique in this country. While the front looks like a modern road vehicle, the back is still a good place for a team to sit and soak in the adulation of the crowd. And yes – it DOES have a siren!