The 1940 GMC American LaFrance 500 gallon-per-minute pump truck was originally purchased circa 1956. The truck was sold by the Fire Department in the mid-seventies, and eventually found a home in a fire museum in Hastings, MN.
After the fire truck was found by a retired Coon Rapids firefighter, the Fire Department contacted several local businesses to ask for their help in restoration. One of those called upon was Mell Messer, General Manager of ABRA Auto Body & Glass-Coon Rapids. "The truck was in rough shape," said Messer, "and came to us in pieces. We repaired the body work, painted the pieces 'fire engine red', and then returned the pieces to the Fire Department for reassembly."
Fabricating of some parts was handled by Messer, with Pete Fick of ABRA-Coon Rapids completing the repairs and the painting. "Special thanks need to be given to Pete for all the hard work he put into this project," Messer continued. "We also extend our thanks to Sherwin Williams for providing the paint, and to ABRA for donating the remainder of the materials as well as paying for the hours that Pete and I put into the project. The estimated value of the repairs performed by ABRA is $20,000."