Visit the Engine 51 Restoration Page page and take a video tour of the Engine today...>>>
Originally, the Ward LaFrance had been donated to Universal Studios by its manufacturer to serve as "Engine 51" on the "Emergency!" television series. When production of the series ended, Universal owned the fire engine until it sold the concession in Yosemitie National Park.
Engine 51 then served in Yosemite National Park for 15 years. The story about how Engine 51 ended up in Yosemite is an interesting one. In the end, the Museum was the lucky one! We have two marvelous apparatus in our collection thanks to a very smart Fire Chief.
In 1987, now-retired L.A. County Fire Chief John England arranged for Engine 51, the Ward LaFrance pumper, to be turned over to the Yosemite fire department in exchange for a 1937 Seagrave. The Seagrave was then donated to the museum.
As written on our Website in 2002, "Though we’re proud to have the 1937 Seagrave as part of our collection, we’re saving a spot for "Engine 51" when she retires from service in Yosemite. Eventually, we hope we’ll be able to park her next to our most popular piece, Squad 51." Well, as many of you know, on August 8, 2008 we retrieved the Ward LaFrance Engine 51 from Yosemite National Park. They had used it since the trade and had taken great care of it. Now, she does sit right next to the Crown Engine and Squad 51. We have restored the Ward back to its 1970s appearance as when it starred as Engine 51.
Engine 51 will be restored because of your generosity.
Please consider a donation today.
Or see our DONATIONS page for more information.
Video of taking a ride in Engine 51 coming soon.
Story: Bringing the Engine back to Los Angeles from Yosemite also coming soon.
We finally restored the light! The first step toward returning Engine 51 to its Emergency! glory days!
This broken light from Engine 51 was sold on Ebay!