Pennington donates original Manchester fire truck back to city

Manchester’s first gas-powered fire truck, a 1929 American La France, is loaded up to be delivered back to the city after it was donated by David Pennington. Gullett’s towing offered to tow the truck for free and donated $500 toward restoration of the truck.

David Pennington, who is an avid collector of antiques, purchased the city of Manchester’s first ever gas-powered firetruck back in 2000 when the city sold it as surplus. Monday (Oct. 28), Pennington signed papers with Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman to donate the 1929 American La France fire truck back to the city. The truck was delivered to the fire hall on Tuesday. Pennington said he donated the truck back to the city because it belongs there, and not to him. 

“That fire truck, ‘granny,’ she don’t belong to me and she don’t belong to the mayor and aldermen. She belongs to the people,” Pennington told Thunder Radio.

The conditions of the donation are that the city keeps the truck in a climate controlled area at all times and it cannot be sold. 

Added Pennington: “I want that truck to be protected. I want it to be in Manchester for another 100 years so 100 years from now kids can see what a nearly 200-year old fire truck looked like. That is Manchester history”