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A Ride back in time, retired Middletown Fire Fighters restoring 1930 Tiller Truck

There are efforts to raise around 100 thousand dollars to restore the fire truck to its former grandeur.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — The1930  American LaFrance Tiller Truck is now back home. The Middletown Fire Department used the truck from 1930 to about 1963 and recently got a call from someone in Binghamton, New York – the old truck was sitting on a lot there. 

Jim Loewenthal, a retired Middletown Firefighter, enlisted his friends and fellow former firefighters and had the 75-foot fire truck brought back to Middletown. Now, the restoration work is beginning. 

 “It’s a lot of history and we’ve had a lot of fun restoring it. It’s been nothing but a team effort and it’s been a wonderful journey,” said Loewenthal.

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Among those admiring the antique fire truck at a recent restoration day in Middletown was John Cryulik. Cyrulik is now 103 years old and used to drive the Tiller fire truck.

“it’s wonderful to see it again because I remember when they took it away…. It’s a nice truck,” said Cyrulik.

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There are efforts to raise around 100 thousand dollars to restore the fire truck to its former grandeur.

“We are going to see what we can do with the funds we raise and hope to put it back to its original condition," Loewenthal said. "This has been a journey, a rolling journey and it’s been fun.”  

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The fire truck is scheduled to be at this year’s Memorial Parade in Middletown.

 While the truck does drive, it still needs repair work, so the plan is to have it on display in front of the Main Street Fire Station.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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